Putting newly hatched chicks in with 3-5 day old chicks

williamsl77

Chirping
8 Years
Sep 15, 2011
284
0
99
Northeast
Is this a bad idea? Will the slightly older ones pick on the newer ones? Should I keep them separate until they new ones are up to speed?

Thanks!
 

Coop de Grille

Songster
9 Years
Apr 24, 2010
682
20
143
South Carolina
I'm pretty new to chickens so I could be wrong, but here is my experience. I got 3 chicks when they were three days old. The other day I got seven more that were the same age, six days old, but from a different place. I put the seven new ones in with the three existing chicks and they are all fine. They huddled up together and I have had no issues. They are now 8 days old.
 

tinychicky

Songster
9 Years
Mar 24, 2010
2,623
48
181
Hollis, New Hampshire
give them a day or two to strengthen thier legs and get used to being a chicken, then they should be fine. last fall i had a very staggered hatch under a broody. when they first chick hatched i put the eggs under a different broody, leaving the one chick with mama. when the next chick hatched i let it recover under a heat lamp, then moved it. the rest of the chicks hatched over the course of about a week and even with that much difference in age they could all keep up fine.
i love this photo. the black chick was less than 24 hours old, the yellow chick was about 3 days and the biggest chick was over a week. of course being half serama, the black chick was pretty teensy. he had a protien deficiency (i think) which caused his first feathers to be very brittle with pale sections that grew when the deficiency was at it's worst. i was scared we wasn't going to make it, but he's doing great now. the hatch was all cockerels but one, so i kept only him and the pullet to put in my silkie and serama coop.


i hope putting your babies together works out!
 

Soli

Songster
9 Years
Sep 18, 2010
125
4
124
This may not work with strongly game chicks or ones with a lot of game heritage like Cornish.

But, you can often add new chicks with existing chicks, up to a week apart. This is the way I hatch and raise batches of chicks - I generally add 2-4 eggs to the incubator 2 days to a week apart, marking each egg with a number and then writing it down on the calendar. They then hatch in a staggered pattern, and every few days I'm adding new chicks to the brooder, in with existing chicks. This works for about a maximum of one month. The oldest chicks get so accustomed to new chicks arriving every few days that they do not pick on them as much, if at all. I also use a red heat lamp to discourage picking.

I use a separate incubator for hatching; this would not work very well otherwise.
 

Me & Jack

Songster
10 Years
May 31, 2009
395
17
123
NC
I find older chicks always seem to pick on younger ones, especially if they seem weaker in any way. When you're an itty-bitty chick, three days is a looooong time!
 

LegginMF12

Songster
8 Years
May 2, 2011
707
14
133
Yucca Valley
I put a nine day old chick in with 2 day old chicks and had no problems. They were in a big plastic tote box with a heat lamp.
 
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