We are new to chicken handling and need help.

Karenmschrader

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 26, 2014
4
0
9
Tampa, Florida
We recently purchased 6 Rhode Island red chicks that are about 4 weeks old now. We wanted them for egg laying and everything we read said they were good layers and docile. We are thinking about purchasing some adult birds to start our egg laying while the babies grow up. I found a local organic famer who raises Giant White Plymouth Rock hens. He states these are also docile and good egg layers. Would they coexist with our baby Reds or should we stick to the same breed?
 

iwiw60

Crowing
5 Years
Jan 27, 2014
5,291
650
336
Central Oregon
We recently purchased 6 Rhode Island red chicks that are about 4 weeks old now. We wanted them for egg laying and everything we read said they were good layers and docile. We are thinking about purchasing some adult birds to start our egg laying while the babies grow up. I found a local organic famer who raises Giant White Plymouth Rock hens. He states these are also docile and good egg layers. Would they coexist with our baby Reds or should we stick to the same breed?
I don't know about "co-existing" between the two breeds, but I wouldn't think it a good idea to try and put older birds with these little chicks....possible disaster. Do you have the ability to put these older birds to the actual coop/run and keep the RIR's by themselves in their brooder?
 

Karenmschrader

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 26, 2014
4
0
9
Tampa, Florida
Thank you for the quick reply! The chicks are still in their brooder. Its an old large rabbit cage we had leftover and they are under a heat lamp. We would be getting a run and coop before bringing the older ones home. I believe the babies would be ok once they are large enough but I am just not sure what age that would be to safely mingle them. We have a large yard but not an unlimited budget to fence in two separate areas. Has anyone else had any luck mixing breeds???
 

Mountain Peeps

Jesus is my life
Premium member
5 Years
Apr 23, 2014
28,450
5,630
647
Colorado
My Coop
My Coop
I think mixing them should be fine just as long as you quarantine the new ones for a couple of weeks to insure they are healthy. (Even if they appear healthy they could still be sick so wait before adding them so all your chicks don't get sick!)
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
74,809
81,689
1,607
SW Michigan
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My Coop
The chicks need to be the same physical size before mixing with the adults.
Different breeds don't really matter, but size does.

Best to keep them side by side where they can see each other but not touch until the chicks are 3-4 months old.
Do some reading on integration, there's several ways to do it.

advanced search>titles only> integration

Medical quarantine is something you'll have to decide whether to worry about or not, but bringing adult chickens in could also bring disease or pests with them possibly putting your chicks at risk.
 

Karenmschrader

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 26, 2014
4
0
9
Tampa, Florida
Thank you everyone for your advice! We're not 100% sure what we're going to do. We just found the organic farmer with 5 month old Plymouth rock hens and thought it would give us a head start on our eggs rather than waiting the 7 months for our RIR's. We've started our own vegetable garden this year and are growing organic non-gmo and would love to have our own eggs as well. Thank you for the links also! I will read all that I can so that we are sure we're doing the right thing for our girls. Any other help or advice is truly appreciated!
 

AmericanMom

Songster
6 Years
Aug 10, 2013
2,842
305
231
Oregon
Thank you for the quick reply! The chicks are still in their brooder. Its an old large rabbit cage we had leftover and they are under a heat lamp. We would be getting a run and coop before bringing the older ones home. I believe the babies would be ok once they are large enough but I am just not sure what age that would be to safely mingle them. We have a large yard but not an unlimited budget to fence in two separate areas. Has anyone else had any luck mixing breeds???
Best thing you could do is when you buy/build you main coop to also build a chick run next to it.. Our set up is the main coop with an addition that runs the whole length of the coop, they are separated by chicken wire, the chicks also have their own yard space separate from the adults and covered with netting... That way the adults and babies can see each other and get used to each other for awhile before placing them together...at about 2.5 months we allow the younger ones to free range with the adults but they go back to their own coop at night...when they are about three months old we go in and move all the babies to the main coop and close of the chick run completely.. Never had an issue...
 
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