Week old Chicks with 4 week old Chick?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by spiffwilkie, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. spiffwilkie

    spiffwilkie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2011
    Memphis, TN
    Is it wise to put week old chicks with a 4 week old? I was told by one friend that the older chick would likely peck the younger ones to death. Another friend experienced with poultry told me it shouldn't be an issue and that it might even be beneficial. I put the older one in with the others and observed for a while and she seemed to mostly ignore the others. She had a mini standoff with one and they pecked each other's beak for a second but that was the only mildly aggressive action that I saw.

    Any thoughts?

  2. Pele

    Pele Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2011
    Excellent question, I just had it myself a week ago, and got a bunch of conflicting info just like you. [​IMG]

    The answer is: It depends.

    Sorry not to be more clear, but you just have to mix them together and watch. Sometimes you can mix em, but sometimes the little ones get pecked, or kept from the food and water. If yours are mixing together just fine, congrats! If your 4 week olds start pecking the heck out of the babies, you'll have to brood seperately like I did.

    Hope that helps!
  3. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I mix chicks of that age difference pretty frequently. I just watch 'em for the first few hours (not hard to do with baby chicks!) and they generally do very well.

    Good luck!
  4. ralleia

    ralleia Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2011
    Omaha, NE
    You'll have to try it when you can be around to observe for a while and find out.

    I've read a lot about everything that someone says you CAN'T do with chickens--can't give mail-order chicks to a hen to be raised, can't mix a momma raising a brood with the general flock, can't allow a draft, etc., etc.

    In the end, it's all up to the chickens. They don't care what anyone said. [​IMG]

    So give it a shot and let us know how it works out!
  5. spiffwilkie

    spiffwilkie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2011
    Memphis, TN
    Thanks for the replies. I've got them together right now and everything seems fine so far. I thought the older one was attacking one of the younger ones but she was going at a tiny piece of poo stuck on her head. She gave up after a second. Now it's time to rinse the poo off of her so it doesn't happen again.
    This is like having kids all over again. [​IMG]
  6. renovationmom

    renovationmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2011
    Texas Hill Country
    Although my experience is limited, it is also very recent. I have 3 week old chics I purchased from a feed store, and I just hatched some baby chicks from my incubator, for the first time. I attempted to place the day olds with the 3 week olds. I watched them awhile, and they all seemed to get along, even laying together in the brooder. The only thing I did notice was the 3 week olds would not let the day olds near the food and water, so I went out and purchased another brooder, and seperated them. I have also been told, at any age, if there is a weak or sick chick, or chicken, the flock will pick on it to death to eliminate it. I have also seen my mother hens roll eggs out of the nest that were not going to hatch for one reason or another, and the hens also remove the fake eggs from the nest box.
  7. NanaLantana

    NanaLantana Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2011
    Lantana, Florida
    It seems like you're mixing ONE older chick with the younger ones. ONE lonely chick will happily make friends with younger kids - but if you have 4 older chicks, it doesn't work so well. I'm just now mixing my four 11 week olds with my three 8 week olds. In another month, they'll be a flock, I am guessing. Up until now, I had to raise them all separately. Next time, I'm getting more chicks than I really want, because chicken math happens, and having two age groups is double the work:rolleyes:
  8. jenesis536

    jenesis536 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 3, 2010
    I've been ok so far... this last batch we had 2 that were 4 weeks when we threw 5 that were 4 days old in with them. I just added 4 silkies that are a little over 4 weeks old and they are all doing great. We kept an eye on them for a few hours just in case, but it's been good so far.
  9. catchthewind

    catchthewind Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2011
    Vancouver Island
    I'm pretty much brand new at this, so take what I say with a grain of salt. [​IMG] It also may not be quite applicable to your situation since you only have the one older one. But I had 2 4-week-old babies and 2 8-week-old babies, and wanted to add two more 4 week olds. They were from the same hatch but it had been about a week and a half. When I put the new ones in, I noticed the two older ones were pecking at their feet and heads. I took the older ones out and let the rest mill around together for about an hour or two. When I put the two older ones back, they were fine. About a week later, I wanted to put two 2 1/2 week old babies in with the now 5 and 9 week olds and I did the same thing (pulled the older two out for a couple of hours), and there were no problems at all.
  10. spiffwilkie

    spiffwilkie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2011
    Memphis, TN
    Quote:That pretty much what happened. I took the older one out a little while ago and she went crazy trying to hop out of her box and craning to see the other chicks. I finally stuck her back in their brooder and she just walked over and nestled down right beside them.

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