Second round of peeps in August or wait until next spring?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Aeropennchick, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. Aeropennchick

    Aeropennchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 20, 2012
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    Wondering what everyone's opinions on this are -

    We have chicks right now - eight of them - that will be nearly 5 months old in August. We want to double the size of our flock. I was thinking of ordering another batch of eight from a hatchery, and to get the breeds I want, the earliest I can get them is the last week of July/first week of August.
    We are going to drive the five hours to pick them up, since I don't want them to be shipped when it is that hot.

    Our hope is that after living in side by side pens until the little ones are a few months old, we will be able to combine the flocks by November or so so they can all winter together. I am hoping that this way there will be less aggression as they will be introduced at a younger age.

    Or would it be better to wait until the Spring and have a year difference in age? What do you guys think?
     
  2. Imakedo

    Imakedo Out Of The Brooder

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    Is the 5 hour drive a round trip or does a round trip mean that's a 10 hour drive? Either way that seems rather expensive. In the end you're going to do what you think is best. I would wait til spring to hatch some out yourselves.
     
  3. Aeropennchick

    Aeropennchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's five hours each way, and the gas will cost as much as the shipping. I only want pullets, and I've never done any hatching...it would be more expense than I'm interested in to start up with an incubator and buy eight different breeds of eggs.

    Bottom line question is, will the chicks have an easier time integrating at a younger age, or will it really make no difference? I think it would be easier to rear new chicks in the spring, but I'm willing to do it in the fall if it may help the flock dynamic.
     
  4. Aeropennchick

    Aeropennchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Anyone else have an opinion on this? I am hoping to hear from people who have added birds to their flock, as I have never done it.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    With that much difference in age, I don't think it really matters as far as aggression of the older birds. I integrate brooder-raised chicks at 8 weeks. I have lots of room and just let them out to range together with the adults. My brooder is in the coop and the grow-out pen is next to the coop, so they see each other from the day they go into the brooder.

    Broodies often wean chicks at 4 weeks and they live with the flock. They have pecking order issues, whether brooder or broody raised, but they manage them if they have room. I really think integrating chickens successfully is a lot easier when you have room. If your space is tight, then it is harder.

    But as far as age of the older birds goes, I really don't think it matters. Do what you wish.
     
  6. Aeropennchick

    Aeropennchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 20, 2012
    Southern PA
    Thank you - we are planning on using a parallel run and letting them free range together, supervised...hopefully it will be relatively peaceful!
     

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