Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by amydzek, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. amydzek

    amydzek Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2010
    So can I mix ages of chickens in one group?? someone told me I cant mix babies and big chickens because they will peck them to death...
  2. Barry

    Barry Chillin' With My Peeps

    That would likely happen.
  3. dieselgrl48

    dieselgrl48 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2010
    Itroduction of newbie's should be done slowly.Rooo's are insane especialy if they have been with hen's a while and even hen's will peck at newcomer's.I graduated out some month+ olds a couple weeks ago in same coop as I have older bird's but they are penned in a sep. pen.
  4. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    I keep my new hatches separate for 1 month & then add them to my "young bird" coop.
  5. enggass

    enggass Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2010
    Mid-Coast Maine
    If next Spring I get some newbies and want to add them to my then 1 year olds, at what age should add them to the flock/integrate them? I have read on here not to mix young with older until about 5 months. Is that correct? All hens, no roosters.
  6. enggass

    enggass Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2010
    Mid-Coast Maine
  7. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
  8. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    It's a ticklish prospect mixing the age groups. Even a five or six week age difference is likely to produce conflict, with the small fry coming out on the losing end almost always. This is due mostly to two reasons: the size difference and the fact that the age groups are extremely cliquish.

    It's enough to simply state that you cannot just toss them all together and hope for the best. That guarantees disaster.

    You can mix the different age groups, but you have to be prepared to meddle. A lot.

    Some people let the youngsters mingle with the older ones during free-range under supervision. You need to be prepared to step in if a small one is getting ganged up on by the bigger ones.

    I prefer the "panic room" set-up. This permits the youngsters to adjust to being in the general population with a safety net. I usually begin to bring the babies outdoors around four weeks old if the weather permits. They spend the day inside a small pen inside the bigger run. After two or three weeks of everyone being able to get acquainted through the safety of a fence, I cut one or two small holes into the baby pen that is too small for the larger ones to fit through.

    The babies venture out, eager to explore the bigger world, but when they experience the inevitable cruel peck from a big sister, they quickly learn they can retreat back inside the safety of their little inclosure. Their food and water is inside also to prevent the bigger ones from eating it all, but more important - to keep them from preventing the small ones from eating.

    I raised two batches of chicks this summer, six weeks apart in age. The youngsters are almost the same size as all the rest now, but even though they no longer require a "panic room", they do need to still be able to access food during the day in a way that they're not bullied while eating. It's a constant challenge to sneak them some food away from the others so they're assured of getting all they need. These three "babies" have learned that I always will put their portion of the evening scratch ration in a pan inside the coop, and they're in there waiting for me while the rest are outside fighting each other for what I just dished outside. Their flock feed is also inside the coop, and they've gotten adept at sneaking inside at regular intervals to eat.

    Merging them into the coop is an even bigger challenge. I won't go into it right now, but it involves so much more when there are different age groups. It can be done, but it sure isn't easy!
  9. nacylv

    nacylv Spammer

    Oct 29, 2010
    Spam removed
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 29, 2010
  10. can you hear me now?

    can you hear me now? Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2008
    Southwest Missouri
    This is my experience. I out some poor chicks in with my full grown girls some years ago. None of them made it past the first night. They weren't little chicks either, but they were still not big enough to take the onslaught from the full grown girls. I say it is best to wait till they are very close to the same size. Hope this helped.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by