When can my "old" chicks and "new" chicks get put together?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by nixchickens, May 23, 2017.

  1. nixchickens

    nixchickens Hatching

    May 23, 2017
    Hi there—newbie here with what may be a silly question.

    I've got two 3-week-old pullets (Barred Rock and an Easter Egger). We are getting our shipment of newly hatched chicks—two silkies—later this week. My question is, when and how can I go about putting them together?

    I know the babies will have more heat needs immediately, but does anyone have any experience with when it'd be appropriate to integrate them and how to safely do it?

    Thank you!
  2. gamebirdsonly

    gamebirdsonly Crowing

    Mar 5, 2007
    Every one has different opinion on this. Me I mix different ages all the time. I just make sure there is more of the younger ones then older ones in the mix so there less likely that older ones will pick on younger ones.
    I have 6 week olds mixed with three and 4 week olds. Just keep a eye on them for first couple days until they get use to each other.

    Good luck:)
  3. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Songster

    Oct 13, 2008
    Not a silly quedtion at all--its smart to give these things some consideration.

    I would wait till the shipped chicks recover and get oriented, at least. Once they are at home, I would introduce the older chicks into their brooder (not the other way round) at a time when you can be around to watch them for a bit. There may be some squabbling, but the little guys will have an advantage home-territory, so hopefully that should even out the pecking order by keeping the big guys on their toes enough till everyone adjusts. All birds or breeds can have different personalities--i've heard silkies can be easily bullied because they are both small and gentle, so thats something to watch. but that's how i would approach it and carefully see how it goes... The different heat requirements could be tricky too and may require some clever solving--an emvironment where they can self regulate the amiunt of heat is best. Heating plates are great for this because its only warm directly under the plate and chicks can come or go as they need to warm up or cool off.
  4. Phoenixsw

    Phoenixsw Chirping

    Mar 1, 2015
    Colorado Springs, CO
    When I got my first batch of 6 babies Salmon Faverolles, Speckled Sussex, Buff Orpington), it turned out 3 of them were cockerels. So I got 2 more (Welsummer, Easter Egger) to replace them. There was an age difference of 3 weeks. But the size difference was enough, we raised them separately until the second 2 were big enough to get away, even putting poultry fencing down the middle of the inside of the coop and run. When the younger ones were 8wks, we started letting them all out together in the yard. After about a week of that, we finally took the fencing down. They still scuffled a bit, but nothing serious. And that was 2 yrs ago and all is still well.

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