Mixing Different Age Chicks in Brooder

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by duckking, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. duckking

    duckking Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 2, 2010
    Cascade Foothills, WA
    We are planning on getting 5-6 more chicks in the next few weeks. Problem is in order to get the ones we want, they might be a 2-3 week difference in age in age for a couple of them. I really want to brood them together, but I guess I could separate them if absolutely necessary. Once they are old enough, I want to integrate the new chicks into an existing flock of 3 hens who were ll brought up together. They will be about 10 months old when we put them together. They will be separated for a while, but able to interact through a fence.

    Can I put chicks of different ages together in a brooder. I have heard no problem and I have heard don't do it.


    ***EDIT*** They will all be pullets
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2011
  2. BerrytangleFarm

    BerrytangleFarm British and Scandinavian Poultry

    I put our 25 chicks into a larger brooder this past weekend. Two are 6-week-old Silkies and the rest are 2.5-weeks old. Things were fine for a few hours. Then it was evident that the Silkies were keeping the younger ones from the food and water. I had to separate them in half of the brooder away from the young ones. I do plan on integrating them once the younger ones are large enough to fend for themselves.
  3. spish

    spish De Regenboog Kippetjes

    Apr 7, 2010
    i have 3 lots of chicks - group 1 is 5 weeks old, group 2 is 3 weeks + 3 days old ,group three is 2 days old

    i tried mixing groups 1 and 2 together when group 3 was hatched to save on room........ disaster! the bigger chicks trampled the smaller ones, jumped all over them and refused to let them near the food/water until they were finished with what they wanted!

    i wouldnt dream of trying to mix chicks of different ages again after that so have 3 seperate brooders for them all. i thought the week and a half difference wouldnt matter but it did!
  4. ScottsSilkies

    ScottsSilkies Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 15, 2011
    Live Oak
    I had same problem. The older chicks pick on the younger chicks. Best to keep them separated by their ages.
  5. yoie

    yoie Chillin' With My Peeps

    I was able to mix day olds with my 2 week olds with no problem. But I first cleaned out the brooder and re-arranged it a little bit and put them all in together at the same time. It was like a new place so no one had dibs on it then. I only had one little problem chick, one of the day olds tried to pick on a 2 weekers, they just looked at it and went on thier business. That chick is still a fiesty one, but the only one. I have some day olds coming at time now, but these chicks are 4 weeks and 2 weeks old now and I will be putting the new ones in a seperate brooder till they grow a little (they are bantams, the other aren't). After they gain a little size and presence to themselves I will do the same again and mix them all together in one brooder to make an easier transistion to the coop! But everyones chicks are different [​IMG]
  6. Momagain1

    Momagain1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2011
    Central IL
    I put my 3 wks with my newborn ones..no issues....I mixed them after the day olds had a couple days of food/water to gain
    strength...now they just run around together
  7. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    Here's what I have in the brooder right now ... 12 - 3 1/2 week old BO pullets (hatched 2/14,) 8 - 2 1/2 week old RIR pullets and 4 SLW (hatched 2/21,) and 11 - 1 1/2 week old EE pullets, 2 BR and 2 BA pullets (hatched 2/28.) That's nearly 40 chicks ranging from 3 /12 weeks to 1 1/2 weeks. I lost one of the youngest from them all piling in a corner when it got pretty cold one night, but otherwise I have NO problems. I did move the first two sets into a much larger space when I introduced the youngest ones and they have plenty of space (which I think is the key, they are in a 8 x 6 room with 3 brooder lamps) but still all like to lay under the same lamp. I also felt that the older ones had more trouble with the little ones pecking their toes than vice versa! I am happy to have all of these guys used to each other so that when I introduce them to the other chickens, they will have their own, larger group to hang with and maybe not get picked on so much by my old biddies (they're mean to each other.) Give it a try, it won't hurt if it does't work and you have to keep them separate, but if it works, it will be much easier! I like to use more than one lamp so that if one bulb goes out at night, they will have the other until I notice it and replace the bulb.
  8. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    If my chicks hatch out Friday [​IMG] I'm hoping to put them in with my week old chicks that I bought from TSC this weekend.....You guys are giving me hope that it'll be OK!

  9. Wild Trapper

    Wild Trapper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2011
    The closer in age and size the better. I would not put day old chicks in with 2 week old chicks, but by the time the day olds had some strength it might work. Keep in mind the temperature difference requirements for day old (95-100F) as apposed to two week old of (80-85F) would also be an issue. Providing there is room enough in the brooder to give all chicks what they need in the way of food, water, and warmth and a fence to separate them if there is a problem, you should be good. The two flocks will probably hang out together until much older and fully feathered, where warmth is not an issue.
  10. FlowerFarmer

    FlowerFarmer Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 10, 2011
    We had no problem mixing our four 2-week olds with a 1-week old. They all get along great. The younger one is a Plymouth Rock, and I've heard they mix very well. I feel that any older age difference might (and obviously do according to the other posts) cause problems. They grow so fast that the size difference, even with just one week apart, seems enormous. I wouldn't want my little one getting picked on.. better to side with safety here. An if you do combine, do it early or wait until they're grown.

    1 buff orpington, 1 new hamphshire red, 1 silver laced wyandotte, 1 blue laced red wyandotte (all 4 weeks), and 1 barred plymouth rock @ 3 weeks old.

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