recieving sporadic shipments, do chicks integrate well?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by cupman, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. cupman

    cupman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2011
    Portland, OR
    I am planning on getting 2 shipments of chicks because the variety of birds I want won't all be available for one shipment. My first shipment will be 8 birds on September 6th, followed by the second shipment of 6 birds on October 17th. I have read a few threads about integration of chickens to a flock but I haven't seen too much information on introducing baby chicks. I realize it will be 6 weeks difference and the size will be noticeable but what do you think I should do for a brooder? Should I use two different brooders altogether or should I craft one large brooder and run some chicken wire down the middle so they can see each other. I guess there's just a lot of factors to take into account, will the 6 week olds even remember the baby chicks when I move them out into the coop, or will it just be integration all over again?

    Also one last side question, my birds will be little chicks during the winter months, the coldest it ever gets around here is in the 20s fahrenheit. Will it be safe to have a brooder outdoors with a heat light? Any tips on keeping a brooder warm and secure during the winter months?
  2. Jloeffler

    Jloeffler Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2011
    Northeast NC
    Wish I could help. Great questions! I hope someone can answer for you!
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    My advice would be to get the ones you want at the same time. Integration for me has been pretty hard. I had 26 chicks then 2 weeks later 12 more, and even though 2 hatchery people told me that it wouldn't be a big deal, it was. The 2 groups have been in separate groops in the coop and free ranging even now at 18 and 16 weeks. The younger ones are treated rougher by the older ones. I would just make a large brooder for 1 group. 2 feet high X 4-6 feet long sheets of plywood make a simple brooder, with a hardware cloth top (nailed to a frame) makes a great brooder and can be taken apart and stored. You need a heatlamp to keep your temps 90-95% for day old chicks the first week, so it depends on how warm and secure they will be outside. Since chicks grow incredibly fast, you may want to have a small brooder for the first 2-3 weeks then move them to a big one outside in the coop. At 6 weeks, they can move out of the brooder, though some keep them longer.

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