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Mixing/segregating chicks of multiple ages - HELP!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by LuluLuckybud, Jul 10, 2010.

  1. LuluLuckybud

    LuluLuckybud Hatching

    Jul 10, 2010
    I have (or will have) chicks of different ages and not enough areas to keep them segregated from each other. Can someone with more experience give me some suggestions? I apologize in advance for the wordiness but it’s a little complicated.

    I have 4 Black Copper Maran chicks who are two weeks old, in a brooder in my basement. I have one broody Golden-Laced Wyandotte sitting on an unknown number of X-breed eggs in the side of the chicken coop that I can keep separated from the other side of the coop and all the other birds. This is about Day 3-4 for her. I also have a broody Australorp sitting on about 16 X-breed eggs in the corner of my sheep stall, today is about Day 18-19. I have 2 sheep with indoor-outdoor access to this stall, and they spend a lot of time in there, especially during this hot weather. They and the hen have an amicable relationship. I have 30 eggs in the incubator (Wellsummer, Black Copper Maran and Speckled Sussex), today is Day 10. Lastly, I have 14 full grown hens, 1 full grown rooster and 5 eight-week old chicks (at least one of whom is a rooster, I discovered this morning) who are free-ranging. These chickens go in and out of the sheep stall where the broody hen is, and even if I close the door to the outside, they can and will fly into the stall to roost at night. About 2/3 roost in the barn at night and the rest roost in the coop (the side which isn’t closed off for the broody hen). Although I live on a farm, predators have never been an issue for me, amazingly enough (knock wood).

    It is my plan to segregate the broody GLW in the coop (leaving her where she is) and when the chicks in my incubator hatch I would like to put them under her. This will be about 6-7 days before the eggs she is sitting on will hatch. For various reasons, I don’t think this is going to be a very successful incubator hatch, I don’t think there will be anything like 30 chicks, maybe less than 15 even. Is it OK to do this or do I have to wait until she has her own chicks under her before I can add chicks? If so, they will be too old then and I will have to keep them in a brooder inside, which I can do, but I’d rather have her do all the work.

    It is also my plan to let nature take its course with the hen in the sheep stall. I am going to put water and grower crumble near her and her chicks in a way that the sheep won’t get into it. Do I need to close the stall off so the sheep can’t get into it? There are other stalls they can use, but this is the only one the horse and donkeys can't get into (it's their "safe area"). Will the other chickens coming into the stall (flying in from above) bother her or the chicks? The only other thing I can think of is to take her chicks away from her when they hatch and put them in a brooder indoors, which I can do but would rather not.

    The chicks that I really don't know what to do with are the 4 two-week old BCMs in my basement. Ordinarily I would be putting them outside in the segregated side of the coop in another week or so, but I’ve got that broody GLW out there. Could I still put them out there with her and put up some kind of wire “safe area” which the chicks can get into but the hen can’t?

    Thank you for slogging through to the end and TIA for any suggestions. This was all poor planning for timing on my part re buying chicks and eggs for hatching, but the broody hens made it all more complicated. Just want everybody to be safe and well-cared for.

  2. cracked_egg

    cracked_egg Chirping

    Jun 2, 2010
    Well, not sure if I will be much help... But I've been getting chicks since mid may, and have been mixing them all together, but I don't have any broody hens to worry about... I've had six week olds in with week olds and they seem to do ok...

    I currently have 7 week olds in with 2.5-3 week olds, and 1.5 week olds in the wings waiting to go out with the rest... As soon as they have more feathers they'll be out!!!

    Idk, I'm sure more experienced people can help!

  3. snowflake

    snowflake Crowing 8 Years

    Aug 21, 2009
    Belding Michigan
    can you put the 2 broody's together? I moved my 2 broody's in to a tractor they weren't to happy at first but by dark they settled down on their nest and seem to be doing fine now. I have had different ages free ranging together with no trouble, I like the idea of an area fenced off that the little ones can get in and out of but no hens can enter. good luck!

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