Please help me figure this puzzle out!

lilbirdee

Songster
10 Years
Mar 14, 2009
175
0
119
Ridgefield, WA
I got 7 assorted chicks 4 weeks ago. I am smitten.
Convinced DH that more would be better. What a guy.
Went to the feed store today to get more, but they could only take orders. I ordered 8 but they aren't coming in all on the same day. I'll get 2 the first week starting 2 1/2 weeks from today.
2 the following week.
2 the following week.
And the final 2 the following week.
Obviously the new babies won't go in the coop with the older girls, and when the the 4Th 2 come home the first 2 will be 3 weeks old.
I am sooo confused and worried about how to orchastrate the blending of all theses different ages with out any casualties.
 

MissPrissy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 7, 2007
24,434
102
371
Forks, Virginia
As the new chicks come give them a day to make sure they are all drinking and eating well then put them in the same brooder with other babies. They are generally easy to consolidate into one big brooder anytime before 3 - 4 weeks.
 

lilbirdee

Songster
10 Years
Mar 14, 2009
175
0
119
Ridgefield, WA
Okay, so I've got the first half figured out. How to introduce the day olds to the other new ones as they come in.
But I am still at a loss as to how, and when, to put the younger flock in with the origanal flock. There will be an age difference of 8-11 weeks betwen the 2 flocks. This is starting to feel like a huge chore and I may reconsider getting the new 8 chicks.
 

MissPrissy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 7, 2007
24,434
102
371
Forks, Virginia
The younger birds have to be near the same size as the older birds. Young birds cannot defend themselves against larger birds and will take a beating from them as the pecking order is established. The 11 weeks older flock will attempt to starve the younger ones, they will bully them and make their lives miserable.

When the younger flock is 16 weeks old, after you have had them where the older flock can see them and get accustomed to their noises and presence for about 2 weeks, you can turn them out together.

However, the fighting and the bullying will happen anyway but the younger birds will be able to defend themselves and fight back.

They have to work out their own pecking order and you can't preven the behavior either. Just be on the look out for signs of starvation, pecking, picking and younger chickens hiding in nooks and crannies to stay out of the older chicken's ways.
 

artsyrobin

Artful Wings
11 Years
Mar 1, 2009
9,934
559
416
Muskogee OK
I wonder if ordering new chicks from mypetchicken or a hatchery would be better, they would be closer in age that way - less of a gap of ages?
 

lilbirdee

Songster
10 Years
Mar 14, 2009
175
0
119
Ridgefield, WA
Seriously? I'll have to wait until the youngest are 16 weeks old?
With the set up that I have I won't be able to let the younger group out into the run until the 2 groups are combined. I'd hate to keep them locked up for that long.

I was hoping to put them all together when the second group (14 birds) are ranging from 10 weeks to 7 weeks?
At that time the 1st group (7 birds) will all be 17 weeks old.

Until I combine them, the 2 groups will be in the same coop and be able to see & hear each other but will be separated by chicken wire.
 

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