Need advice on integrating new babies with 2 week olds


10 Years
Jul 2, 2009
I originally planned to only add three babies to my collection this year, but we had a bit of a coyote problem and now I need more chickens. I've had the 3 for a couple of weeks. Orginally I was planning to get them to 8 weeks old or so and add them to my one lonely remaining girl outside and then start over with 2 more. But the advice I've gotten is to get the babies now, integrate them with my 2 week olds and then add the whole group to my loner later. So, some questions:

1. Do you agree with this advice? Will it be easier the younger they are?
2. I plan to divide up the current brooder with a clear plastic lid and put the babies in one side and the two weeks old in the other for a bit. How long until I remove the divider? It'll be a bit tight for the big girls.
3. Should I buy another feeder and waterer or can I get away with some shallow dishes for the babies just until I remove the divider?
4. Any other advice?

Thanks in advance!
I some what do agree.......The sooner you integrate the better, IMO! It's harder is they get older...if they grow up together they do better. I'm planning on doing this myself actually, I will have 2-1/2 week olds and week olds integrating. For now I have them divided with seperate waterers and feeders. Only basically to quarantine for a week. I have made some homemade feeders that seems to be working well......There are lots of great ideas on the internet if you do your research.

I did this same thing, but on a smaller scale with plastic cottage cheese containers from the store and pie tins.

Good luck!
Anyone out there have input on the amount of time to seperate? Does it need to be a week, or can I try sooner? Thanks!
I'm in the same boat looking for the same advice. I have 2 week olds (4) and now a set of couple day olds (3). The guy at the feed store said the older ones would kill the younger ones if I threw them together now, but I'm wondering if he was just selling another set of brooder equipment (which I did buy)! Having 2 sets of equipment is ok by me, but the two 250 watt bulbs going 24/7 in the garage is bugging me.

I'm going to experiment with some "free range" time to see what happens, but I think I'm going to just raise 2 sets until the newbies are big enough to be similar in size to the older girls. *sigh*
Space, space, space. It can work, but doesn't always. Your best chance is if they have lots of room. If they're even a little crowded you'll be sunk. Good luck!

ETA: If you can add the older chicks one at a time to the younger ones it may go better then if you just put the youngsters in with the older chicks.
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Kittymomma - Thanks I was just thinking about doing that. I thought when I get home with them tonight it would be about time to clean out the brooder anyway, so I was thinking I'd pull all the old girls out and let them hang out on the bathroom floor while I change everything and settle the new girls in. Then I'll add the old girls back one at a time starting with the bottom of the pecking order. And if it looks ugly, I'll be ready to go with my back-up plan of seperating them with a plastic lid. I think there is plenty of room for 5 to wonder freely, but if I have to cut it in half and have room for 2 sets of feeders, waterers and roosts, its going to be tight for the big girls.
I added 2 newborns to my week old group last night and one of the older ones actually "protects" the younger ones. If one of the babies really starts cheeping up a storm this older one runs over and intercedes whatever is happening. I kept a close eye on them at first to make sure no attacking was happening and so far, so good. I had asked about mixing ages at the store and the woman told me that one week in age difference isn't as bad as two or more weeks.

My background is mixing dogs and we always do it through a fence. So some kind of grate between them at first might help.

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