Mixing chicks???

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by ameador1, Apr 5, 2007.

  1. ameador1

    ameador1 In the Brooder

    Hello everyone out there - this is my first post to this site! I have been reading quite a bit and have been impressed by the amount of activity and good natured assistance at this site. Hopefully this will continue for a long time to come. Well, on to my situation...

    I just got (this past Tuesday morning) a batch of 26 chicks. I wanted mild mannered chickens for egg laying and meat chickens. I got 13 Jumbo Cornish-Rocks, 4 Black Australorps, 4 Buff Orpingtons, and 4 Barred Rocks. We got one additional thrown in as a see-what-you-get chick. I don't know what this chick is. Anyway, I have been told that the Jumbo Cornish-Rocks will be ready to slaughter at around 8 weeks. My understanding is that they grow very fast - even got special food for them to help their legs keep up with their body grown. I am concerned about how to mix these babies. I am scared that the Jumbo's will get bigger much faster than the others and will beat up on them. I have also read that the chickens will get upset when they have members of their flock "disappear" on them. So I'm concerned for these two reasons (as well as the food supplement the Jumbo's are getting) about having them mix. But, they will end up in the same chicken coop in a month or so when they are ready and they will have to mix there. But I'm also concerned about mixing the two groups like that at a month or so old. The Jumbo's will probably be bigger then as well, and I could see that turning ugly too.

    What should I do with these guys? Mix'em now or later? If now, what do I do about the food supplement to keep the other chicks from getting this supplement (that they don't need and maybe shouldn't have)? The supplement is added to the water - it is from McMurray Hatchery and is called Broiler Booster. They other chicks are getting a supplement called Quik Chik (also from McMurray Hatchery) added to their water.

    I currently have them separated mostly to keep them out of each other water/supplement mixes. They are all only 6 days old (as of today). The Jumbo's are already a bit bigger that the others and feel more substantial when held.

    Well, please give me your opinions, experience, suggestions, etc... Thanks!
  2. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    ameador1.....I also bought cornish X this spring. Mine are in a seperate brooder...mainly because of the feed issues..but also for the space issue. If possible, I would not mix these with your "keepers" At 3 weeks old....almost 4 now, WOW....they are about 2 pounds already. Best to keep the meat birds, somewhere that everyone will not play with them, and get attached. That makes it very hard when butchering day comes. Mine are in the shop, with thier own heat lamp, and feed and water. I check on then several times a day, to make sure they have enough feed and water....boy can they go through the water fast!! Just my way of doing things....hope this works for you too!
  3. ameador1

    ameador1 In the Brooder

    We don't really have enough inside space right now and it is very cold this week up here, so no outside possibilities. I setup one brooder and separated it down the middle and put two het lamps, feders, and waters in. So they each have their own space, but they are next door neighbors 8)!

    Anyway, they are quick water drinkers for sure. They are using their water noticably faster than the others. They actually don't seem to be eating quite as much as the others. I figured thet would be going through more food and similar water. It's interesting to watch.

    I don't want to isolate them emotionally - I know this will be harder on me (I will be the slaughterer and so on), but I want to give them as much care and effection as I can for the time they will be here. I figure if their lives are going to be short, they should be good, that is the price I have to pay for making the decision to kill them. It's not their fault. My kids and wife may have a hard time with it, but want them to learn to respect their animals - whether as pets or production.

    Thanks for your advice and input - but I will have to put them together at some point. I will be free ranging them all once they are able to go outside and into a coop, so they will meet at some point, just trying to figure out they best way to deal with it - now or later.
  4. wynedot55

    wynedot55 Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    you can keep them togather.the reason that they say seperate them is because broilers are eating an pooping machines.an they do drink alot of water.an when they get about 2wks old their feed consumption will pick up.youll be filling their feeders 2 or 3 times a day.they should be ready to butcher at 6 to 8wks old.
  5. ameador1

    ameador1 In the Brooder

    But what about the water supplement? The Broiler Booster has significantly more stuff and quantities than the Quik Chik the others are getting - some vitamins are as much as 10 time higher in concentration than the Quik Chik.

    My gut instinct is to put them together now, but I'm mostly concerned about the others getting into this Broiler Booster mix. Maybe let them mingle a bit without the food and water and then re-separate them? I don't know. I feel like putting them together at 4 or 5 weeks may cause a big fight.
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I keep them together. I usually raise 4 cornish x at a time with like two keeper hens. They do fine, just lots of cleaning cuz thoes cornish are poo machines. I don't do any supplementing eather for the broilers. Treat them the same as the others...minus the keeping past 8 weeks of course. They will be like 6 lbs before you know it and the little egg layers will be like 7 ounces!
  7. Citychick

    Citychick Songster

    Jan 31, 2007
    I got three broilers just to see how different they all where and kept them in with my other chicks. No different care and they have done fine. No problems. But they are poo machines dirtier than the others for sure And they do get along fine with the smaller chicks, but do push the others out of the way to get to the food water etc... We will big butchering them in the next week or so. I must have done something right they are huge! But if you don't have the extra space just keep them all together. Just my two cents. Good Luck!
  8. shaveudogg

    shaveudogg In the Brooder

    Apr 11, 2007
    I received cornish x from mm and buff orpington i keeped them seperated because of the boiler booster is so much strong then the quik chick.I started the meat chicks on 24% and egg layers on 20%.My egg layers are 6 week and meat 5 wks but are at least twice the size.The egg layers would not have a chance with these these girls.But they are not mean to the extra cockrells I have in there for fryers and I can say they could care less if chicks come or go as long as you feed them.
  9. ameador1

    ameador1 In the Brooder

    Thanks for the input everyone! I have another thought and update.

    Thus far, I have kept the chick separated, mostly because of the broiler booster issue (didn't want egg chicks to get this stuff - very strong - like the last post before this one said) and they seem very docile. Once one of our egg layers flew over to their side and they noticed her, but paid her little mind.

    However, the broiler booster says to give that to them for the first 2-3 weeks (or longer). My cornish x's will be 3 weeks this comming Saturday (4/21/2007). I have also read a bit on the 'deep litter' coop method. The egg layers we have are always scratching everywhere and keep their side of the brooder dry and 'clean', but the cornish x's are starting to stink!

    I've used a stick to try to keep the pine shavings/poo mixed well, but I think the chicks working on it all day would probably do a better job at it. So, my thinking is that maybe this comming Saturday, the remove the barrier between them, stop adding the broiler booster (while still adding the Quik Chik) and letting them be together so the eggers can help keep the cornish x's cleaner.

    I think this would allow the cornish x's to have more room to mess in, the eggers the same, plus the eggers can keep this litter scratched up, while keeping the cornish x's on some supplement and not over supplementing the egger's. What do you'all think about this idea?

    I'd love to get them outside, but it is too cold here plus their coop isn't ready yet - so the chicks are in our living room! The stink it begining to move through the room, so I have to do something.

    Anyway, thanks in advance for your replies!
  10. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    I have meat birds right now and slightly older chicks out in the coop. We dont play with or name the meat birds. Thats not to say that we're mean to them, but we just dont sunggle them like we do our "keepers". Because my hub is gone 2 weeks at a time, I will also be the butcher for them so it helps me in keeping a distance from them.

    As far as brooding, ours are a little over a week and they are about the size of a normal 2 week old chick. I choose to brood them seperatlt so they could get all the vitamins and different food they need. The supplements and food they eat is bad for normal chicks, and the hatchery I ordered from suggest never mixing the two for that reason. They said the 'normal' chicks eating the broiler food will cause them to grow too big too fast and they'll get all sorts of health issues. I would make additional space for them and keep them seperate to be safe. And if you dont let the two groups 'bond' they wont miss them when they're gone.

    JMHO of course...

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