Quick! Need help... should I get them or no?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Coop de Grille, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. Coop de Grille

    Coop de Grille Songster

    Apr 24, 2010
    South Carolina
    I have committed to getting 4 day old chicks on Xmas eve and 4 more from the same guy on New Years Eve. Today I found 4 one week old chicks on Craigslist ( I REALLY need to stay off of there!) and inquired about them. He wants me to come today. My question is this.. can I get these four ONE WEEK olds today and then put the day old chicks in with them next week? Then add another four one day old chicks another week later? Will I need two brooders or will they get along?
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011

  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    Two weeks differential is about my personal limit. This also depends on the breeds. You might as well prepare for two brooders, just in case. A two week advantage on size, agility, strength and attitude can be substantial. Your birds might be a 3 to 3 1/2 week differential. It will also help to keep the brooder as dark as possible. Red light only, in a dark room. White light increases activity and boisterous behavior. Lots of room so there is no crowding. Finally, to complicate things, the day olds on New Years will want it warmer than what the 3 week olds will appreciate. You have to compromise on the heat and allow the older birds space to move away from the epicenter of the heat. The younger ones may gravitate towards the warmer portion. I'd prepare for all possibilities.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I can't argue with anything Fred said. Be flexible. Prepare a second brooder in case it is needed. Make your main brooder extra large to give them plenty of room. Heat one area but let the rest cool down. 30 degrees F difference in in different parts is not too much. During this time of year, mine may have 40 degrees or more difference. They'll self regulate. You might even put in a couple of feeders and waterers just to help keep them separated. There will be a pecking order difference, but whether this is significant or not will depend on you specific chicks. Breed can have some effect, but each one is an individual with its own personality. Some can be brutes or they may all get along, regardless of breed. Be flexible.
  4. ladydoc1992

    ladydoc1992 In the Brooder

    Aug 24, 2011
    Hartsville, SC
    I have put different age chicks together , but the newest ones need a bit of protection from the older ones to start off with.
    So make sure your brooder is big enough to put a dividing wire between them..a piece of chicken wire running across the middle of the brooder , directly under the light. this allows both sets of chicks to get to the heat source, see each other and get used to each other, but keeps the younger ones safe for the first week - 10 days. Then just remove the wire barrier.
  5. Coop de Grille

    Coop de Grille Songster

    Apr 24, 2010
    South Carolina
    Thank you!!

    I have a dog house that I took the roof off of, and closed in with hardware cloth to make as my brooder. Its 3'7 inches wide by 2'7 inches in width. It should be plenty big to divide for both groups of babies. Again, thank you!
  6. CarolJ

    CarolJ Dogwood Trace Farm

    Jun 3, 2011
    Middle Tennessee
    I've put chicks with 3 weeks difference in age in a brooder together. I just echo what others have written - make sure there is plenty of room, two feeders/two waterers helps. Have a heat lamp in one spot where they can come to warm up as needed - but room to run around beyond the heat lamp, too. I also took a couple of plastic tupperware-type food containers (the cheap ones), and cut chick-size entrances in two sides to give them a little "tunnel" for hiding or just playing. I've also added a very short roost for them to hop on and off. They'll become their own little "flock" before you know it. Good luck!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by