What's your opinion on mixing different ages of chicks?

Chickiepoo87

Songster
Nov 12, 2018
75
163
111
Brooksville, FL
We have had our babies mixed since day 1. They ranged from 2-4 days old all the way up to 3 weeks. Because we didnt know any better at that time, we added a few more in that were brand new, as well as 4 week old about a weekater. We know now that we are lucky to have had so much success. We are still new to raising chicks and we currently have 25 chicks (yes we are obsessed) 4 of them are getting ready to go out with the adults though.. (which means room for more babies?!? Right) So I guess my question is, what's everyone else's outtake on this based on their experience? I've read so much but never heard it from my BYC peeps
 
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WVduckchick

🐓🦆 For the Birds! 🦆🐓
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Feb 9, 2015
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I let broody hens raise babies right in with their groups. Momma usually keep the others from messing with her babies. I had several broodies in one bantam cochin pen this year, so I had babies hatching almost weekly! They all learn their place with very little fighting. If I have to separate a broody (arguments over eggs lol), I try to put her back with her original group within a week or so after the babies hatch.

Introducing older groups is harder in my experience. I have a 16-week old quad separated now that will eventually move into another pen, but I’ll move them all together, so they will have each other for protection, from the group that they were not raised with.

The key is giving the younger less aggressive ones a safe place to hideout or run to, things to hide behind, under, etc. Multiple feed stations help too.

Flock dynamics makes a huge difference, I think many folks experience things differently, so just giving my view.

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Chickiepoo87

Songster
Nov 12, 2018
75
163
111
Brooksville, FL
I let broody hens raise babies right in with their groups. Momma usually keep the others from messing with her babies. I had several broodies in one bantam cochin pen this year, so I had babies hatching almost weekly! They all learn their place with very little fighting. If I have to separate a broody (arguments over eggs lol), I try to put her back with her original group within a week or so after the babies hatch.

Introducing older groups is harder in my experience. I have a 16-week old quad separated now that will eventually move into another pen, but I’ll move them all together, so they will have each other for protection, from the group that they were not raised with.

The key is giving the younger less aggressive ones a safe place to hideout or run to, things to hide behind, under, etc. Multiple feed stations help too.

Flock dynamics makes a huge difference, I think many folks experience things differently, so just giving my view.

View attachment 1593889
Great advice!! Thank you so much :)
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
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southern Michigan
I'd introduce the whole group at once, when the youngest can go out there. It would be best to have them out there, separated by hardware cloth, with heat in one corner for any not yet feathered out, soonest. This gets part of the transition over sooner, and eases it very much. Your young group is now 'family' and will want to be together.
Mary
 

animalyodelers

Songster
Oct 21, 2018
187
512
136
Olympia, WA, USA
I'm interested in hearing others experiences as well. Last week we purchased 6 chicks- four were 2-3 days old and 2 were 2 weeks old. I was prepared to have 2 brooders if necessary, but we started them together. We have been watching them closely and have had zero problems. They have a large mama heating pad and several food dishes. There has been no fighting, no pecking each other. The older 2 actually panic if they can't see the younger ones. At this point I plan to keep them all together and introduce them to my existing flock together (not for awhile of course).
 

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