Putting different age chicks together

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by lotsablessings, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. lotsablessings

    lotsablessings Out Of The Brooder

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    I know chickens will peck at smaller weaker chickens, so I haven't put my varying aged chicks together.

    Here are the dates of hatch for each batch:

    April 28
    May 25
    June 26

    My question is would it be fine to stick the 1st and 2nd batch together if I put them side by side in their cages for a few days? The ones just hatched, of course, are still inside. However, I only have two pullet cages and I will be needing the smaller one in a few weeks for them.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. ForgePondFarm

    ForgePondFarm Out Of The Brooder

    I am also interested in the correct answer. I have six speckled that are less than a week and 60 chicks coming in three weeks:)
     
  3. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

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    Personally I would not mix chicks with that great an age difference. I would try to come up with some additional temporary housing. I have constructed a pen using thermo-ply. It is quite inexpensive and comes in a 4x8 sheet. Cut in half length wise and join ends together to make a circle and cover with netting. I place a couple of pieces of 1x2 across the top to keep the mesh from sagging. I've also suspended a light from the 1x, covered with a tarp and used it for a brooder. Round is an ideal shape for brooders since no corners eliminates the possiblity of losses due to piling.
     
  4. gamebirdsonly

    gamebirdsonly Overrun With Chickens

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    I mix mine all the time sure there some pecking but all is good.
     
  5. wingsofglory

    wingsofglory Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It helps to know which breeds, breeds vary in agressiveness or mellowness. What breeds do have? Are they all the same breed, or three different breed ages, or mixes , and also breeds that vary from small to large? Any banties involved, or small ones like Jaerhons, SSHamburgs, Spitz?

    I just spent four days mixing eleven 4 day old Chanteclers with twenty five, two-and-a-half-week-old Brabanters/EE. The Chanteclers were up for it, kept jumping over the divider to be with the larger chicks, and pushing their way into the food and warm spotlight. The Brabanters had been flying over the divider to check out the Chanties food and were not pecking the tiny ones at all, just curious. The tiny Chanties peck the larger ones if they want to and the Brabanters just move away. Twenty Brabanters move and fly around at top speed, the Chanties just go with the flow or just watch and avoid being trampled somehow. They're chickens and know this stuff I guess. The two EE are the largest and one is starting to referee things, although she? should be a pullet and is colored like a pullet. Last night they were all snuggled together, although the Chanteclers stick together.

    I don't know if this will continue to work when the Brabanters start chest-bumping and setting the pecking order. May have to separate them, but at least they'll know each other. This pecking order stuff starts I think at 3 and a half weeks? So I think your spread of a month/four weeks inbetween maybe too much. This was a lot of walks out to the coop and checking this last four days and nights!! and not knowing how it would go although it went much better than I expected. I kept telling myself the little ones were chickens, not babies, and seemed to really want to be with the other chicks. And bold by nature. Meeker or fearful chicks might have not worked.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011
  6. lotsablessings

    lotsablessings Out Of The Brooder

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    I incubated them from the current hens and rooster I have now. The parent hens and rooster have a bit of mix in them, and hence do the chicks. They look to have a lot of RIR and Golden Lace in them. They all seem to be pretty mellow. I wonder if I just sent them side by side in their cages to see their reactions? The 8wk olds are about double the size of the 4wk olds, so I am not sure it would work...
     
  7. wingsofglory

    wingsofglory Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I take one of the big ones and place it in the little one's place. If the big one immediately pecks the little ones hard, it might not work. If the big ones are just curious and not aggressive, good. Also, my tiny ones pecked the bigger Brabanter and it didn't retaliate, or at the feather pulling, or the little ones trying to stand under it.

    so many factors - do the little ones still need a heat lamp? Do they have enough space to live in two groups, basically ignoring each other for awhile? Or do the larger ones think they "own" the coop now? and won't accept newcomers?

    I put my two groups in the coop on the same day four days ago, right from their brooder boxes into the baby pen. So nobody "owned" the new place. Actually, I put the Brabanters in the coop and the five day old Chanteclers in the baby pen - but the Brabanters didn't know what to think of all that space and huddled in the corner and shrieked - so I divided the baby pen in half with a board, and put them in there too. They were much happier in the smaller space. Just a 14" tall board separates them from the rest of the coop and they are jumping over and exploring it at their own pace. The nine week old BBS Ameraucanas are separated from all this by chcken wire divider - they think they owned the coop.

    I tried so hard to get them at the same time this spring so I wouldn't have to do this mixing and separate broods, but Ideal was sold out of what I wanted, and the Ameraucanas came from a breeder who only sets the eggs to incubate when she gets the order.
     
  8. lotsablessings

    lotsablessings Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 14, 2011
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    Thank you for the input of putting a larger one in with the smallers. I think I will try that!!

    I am sure hoping it will be a fit, but am fully ready to do something different if not.

    I'll post the findings!
     
  9. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    I have done it successfully. They did bicker a little at first but all is well now.

    I had hatches on:
    February 12th
    March 12th
    April 12th
    May 3rd
    June 23rd

    I sold some of the Feb. hatch and put the rest of the Feb, hatch with the some of the March hatch and others from the March hatch with the April hatch.
    I sold all the chicks from the May hatch. The June hatch is still in their brooder.
     
  10. lotsablessings

    lotsablessings Out Of The Brooder

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    Panhandle of Florida
    Thank you for the peace of mind!

    I did put one of the cockerels from the first batch in with the second batch right before they roosted. There was a bit of quibbles from a younger cockerel and him. The younger one is the one that was being mean, but they seemed to work it out pretty quickly. I am wondering if I should add one larger bird to the smaller bird's cage daily until they're all in one location and then move them back to the larger cage. I figured the smaller ones can fend themselves better in their environment then in the first batches cage.
     

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