Raising two batches of chicks, 6-8 weeks apart - many questions!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by hooplehead, Jul 22, 2008.

  1. hooplehead

    hooplehead In the Brooder

    Jul 12, 2008
    Homer, Georgia
    I have a batch of 4 week old game crosses now, they will be going in the coop/run once it is complete later this week. In mid to late August, I will be getting a shipment of 15 heavier breed chicks from MPC. I will put them in the outdoor frankencage (not using a brooder, it will be august when they come). In fact, I did the same thing with the chicks I have now and they were fine without the heat lamp. They have been outside on a raised platform under a shed roof area of my FIL's shop. His yard dog guards them at night.

    Anyway, when I get these new chicks, I would like to get them out of the cage sooner. I am thinking of building a tractor for them to enjoy once they are around 3-4 weeks old. I also would like to figure out a way to introduce them to the others and get them integrated as soon as possible. How old do they need to be before I put them in with my game crosses? There will be 6-8 weeks of age difference but the game crosses will be smaller birds?

    I was thinking of separating the game cross boys and prepping them for the freezer. Should I go ahead and build a second bachelor tractor or just keep them in with the girls until time for processing? I am waiting to find that special rooster to keep as the main man for my ladies).

    Oh, and should I be worried about the nasty humid august heat with the shipping of my chicks? Everything I read talks about keeping them warm, etc. That isn't the hard part. I wonder if the excess heat and humidity will be more stressful on the little ones? I ordered extras in case of trouble. If all survive, I will be overrun with chickens, I hope that it is easy to rehome some of them.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2008
  2. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    First, WELCOME to BYC!!

    I'd keep the new ones separate for a while as you say.

    With THAT much age difference, you'll be hard pressed to integrate them successfully without much bloodshed and heartache until both sets are near adult size (at least 12-16 weeks...)

    A bachelor pen is a great idea to keep your roo-lets as you decide which one to keep. I've not done it myself, but I have a buddy that routinely separates out his cockerels from the ladies and keeps them in pretty close quarters with minimal fighting by keeping ONLY roosters in the pen, and having them where they can't see the ladies directly.

    As long as your chicks have some shady areas to get out of the direct sun and cool off a bit, and plenty of fresh water they should be OK with the heat.

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