Mixing chicksgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
Whenever I've brooded chicks in the past I've always bought them all at the same time and raised them all together as one age group, except for adding the rare adult bird to an adult flock.
My local feed stores are starting to get their chicks in now and I've decided that I'd like to add some Rhode Island Reds and maybe some Australorps (if they have any) to the chicks I received on Monday. There will probably be a six to seven day difference in age between the ones I already have on hand and the new ones I hope to buy. Probably a slight, not pronounced, size difference as well.
Does anyone forsee a problem in combining them in the brooder? It's always something of a delicate task to introduce new birds into an adult flock which is making me wonder if this would be a problem in young chicks? Opinions?
-- Alan (email@example.com), February 08, 2002
The older chicks will pick on the day olds. You are better off keeping them seperate till they feather out then introduce.
-- tracy (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 08, 2002.
I agree. Unless you are going to be able to observe them 24/7, you'll have lots of little ones killed or injured. The older ones will hurt them, so it's better to keep them seperated.
-- Wendy A (email@example.com), February 08, 2002.
Alan, If there is not much of a size difference, you shouldn't have any trouble. I have raised bantams with heavy breed chicks with no problems. Just make sure they have plenty of room. Best wishes!
-- cowgirlone in OK (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 08, 2002.
you will be surprised at the difference a week makes..it always surprises me the difference in the early hatchers and the late in the same clutch!! My vote is to seperate!
-- Bee White (email@example.com), February 08, 2002.
What kind of a brooder do you have? If it is just a box, then you can add the older ones to a new box with the babies already in it and it will work better than if you did it the other way around. That much age difference is pretty little compared to some that I have put together. Just make sure that you have plenty of room for them all. If they don't have to compete for space, food and water, you shouldn't have trouble. Just watch them to see what they will do for a little bit. At the feedstore hubby sometimes gets another shipment before the older ones are gone. He puts them all together with no problem.
-- Nan (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 08, 2002.
OK, after considering the responses I collected here and from another forum I also posted the question to I stopped by the farm supply and bought five Rhodies. The other supply store that had the Australorps last weekend didn't reorder any more so they were out. They did have Delawares, a breed I don't presently have, but could not recall enough about them to decide if they were worthwhile so I passed. Took them home and just to ratchet my anxiety up some more put them in the brooder with the week old chicks while some visiting relatives looked on. We stood there and watched for about twenty minutes and... .
...nothing happened. Went back out every hour the rest of the afternoon and evening and they're doing fine. In fact, the Rhodies act like they've been in there all along! This gives me now: 10 Plymouth Barred Rocks
5 Buff Orpingtons
5 Silver Laced Wyandottes
5 black New Jersey Giants
5 New Hampshire Reds
5 Rhode Island Reds
And three extras that came from McMurray. One is my "mystery chick" and the other two I think they must have included in case that one or two died en route. Near as I can tell they're all three Buff Orpingtons but being little fuzz balls it's hard to tell. The older chicks are about 15% larger than the new chicks so I don't think I'd have tried to combine them like this if the older ones had been three weeks old or more. I'll wait until next time for the Australorps. I'll probably get them, some California Greys, White Faced Spanish, and some Barnevelders. In another year or so I'll have nine or ten different breeds decorating the place. Those silver laced wyandottes are some cool looking little chicks with their racing stripes! The way they all run around their 4ft x 8ft brooder you'd think they were road runners or ostriches. .........Alan.
-- Alan (email@example.com), February 08, 2002.
Sounds so pretty. We just have Reds at the moment but are thinking about some Barred Rock.
-- EBethH (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 10, 2002.
Thanks for the update, Alan. Sounds like FUN!
-- cowgirlone in OK (email@example.com), February 10, 2002.
Between Rhode Island Reds and Plymouth Barred Rocks you'd have two of the most popular brown egg laying breeds in the country. This batch will be my first time with RIR's but I've always had Barred Rocks and have been well pleased with them. Local folklore says that hawks and owls have a hard time seeing them due to the salt and pepper barring and in truth, I've never lost one to a predatory bird. They're also calm, fairly well mannered birds. I haven't had one go broody on me in years which may or may not be a good thing depending on what you want out of your poultry.
-- Alan (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 11, 2002.