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
10 Years
Apr 24, 2010
692
40
191
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.
 

SteveBaz

Songster
8 Years
Aug 6, 2011
2,130
47
173
Pacific North West
Quote:
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I would allow the babies every opportunity with a battle for food water and life! Happy New Year to you and the kids.
 

tinychicky

Songster
9 Years
Mar 24, 2010
2,623
54
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.
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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
22
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!
 
Valley Hatchery

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