BHM Forum      
Subscribe to Backwoods Home Magazine print or Kindle editions
Office Hours Momday - Friday  8 am - 5 pm Pacific 1-800-835-2418

Facebook   YouTube   Twitter
Follow Us!



 
Backwoods Home Magazine, self-reliance, homesteading, off-grid

Features
 Home Page
 Current Issue
 Article Index
 Author Index
 Previous Issues
 Newsletter
 Letters
 Humor
 Free Stuff
 Recipes
 Print Classifieds

General Store
 Ordering Info
 Subscriptions
 Kindle Subscriptions
 ePublications
 Anthologies
 Books
 Back Issues
 Help Yourself
 All Specials
 Classified Ad

Advertise
 Web Site Ads
 Magazine Ads

BHM Blogs
 Ask Jackie Clay
 Massad Ayoob
 Claire Wolfe
 James Kash
 Where We Live
 Behind The Scenes
 Dave on Twitter
Retired Blogs
 Oliver Del Signore
 David Lee
 Energy Questions
 Bramblestitches

Quick Links
 Home Energy Info
 Jackie Clay
 Ask Jackie Online
 Dave Duffy
 Massad Ayoob
 John Silveira
 Claire Wolfe

Forum / Chat
 Forum/Chat Info
 Enter Forum
 Lost Password

More Features
 Meet The Staff
 Contact Us/
 Change of Address
 Write For BHM
 Privacy Policy

Retired Features
 Country Moments
 Feedback
 Links
 Radio Show





  
 

BHM's Homesteading & Self-Reliance Forum
Posting requires Registration and the use of Cookies-enabled browser.

   

Go Back   BHM Forum > Homesteading > Animals

Notices

Animals Creatures and issues without a dedicated board.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-11-2011, 08:50 PM
Equilibrium's Avatar
Equilibrium Equilibrium is offline
Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 695
Default Mixing chicks of different ages...

Can anyone think of any reason why I couldn't/shouldn't mix say 1 week old chicks with 3 week old chicks in the same stock tank or 2 week old chicks with 4 week old chicks in another stock tank? I'm not finding this to be taboo when checking for info online.
--
I really need to start condensing if possible. Half the rooms in this house chirp and peep when we walk in them. They're all going outside at 6 weeks of age anyway. Should be warm enough by then for them to stay outside 24/7.
__________________
"Just living is not enough," said the butterfly, "one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower."
-Hans Christian Anderson
Reply With Quote

  #2  
Old 06-11-2011, 09:11 PM
JarDude Male JarDude is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: WI
Posts: 1,410
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Equilibrium View Post
Can anyone think of any reason why I couldn't/shouldn't mix say 1 week old chicks with 3 week old chicks in the same stock tank or 2 week old chicks with 4 week old chicks in another stock tank? I'm not finding this to be taboo when checking for info online.
--
I really need to start condensing if possible. Half the rooms in this house chirp and peep when we walk in them. They're all going outside at 6 weeks of age anyway. Should be warm enough by then for them to stay outside 24/7.
Why are they not outside yet?

My FIL has 50 4 week olds right know and see no reason why they can't be outside. I can't imagine having them in my house.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-11-2011, 09:22 PM
karlamaria's Avatar
karlamaria Female karlamaria is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Montana
Posts: 210
Default

If it's warm out they need to be in there coop, but watch carefully, I have heard bigger chicks will peck to death the smaller chicks. What I would do is put them in the coop and separate them by some fencing. This way no more chicks in the house, if it gets cool at night put a heat lamp on them in the coop
__________________
Psalm 34:1
I will bless the LORD at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-11-2011, 09:24 PM
AlchemyAcres AlchemyAcres is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 3,245
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Equilibrium View Post
Can anyone think of any reason why I couldn't/shouldn't mix say 1 week old chicks with 3 week old chicks in the same stock tank or 2 week old chicks with 4 week old chicks in another stock tank?
The potential risk in mixing different age livestock is the big ones get bigger and the small ones get smaller. There's also a risk of bullying.

If you do it, watch them very closely.


~Martin
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-11-2011, 10:40 PM
krapgame's Avatar
krapgame krapgame is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Right here
Posts: 1,069
Default

I've hatched and raised a dozen or so batches of chicks in the past 2 years. I'm not an expert by any means, but here's my experiences.

I wouldn't mix birds of more than 1 week difference in age, unless you give them a LOT of room. What Martin said is spot on in my experience. Lots of bullying when you get too much difference in size, and 3 week old birds will grow faster in a week than 1 week olds will.

The way I harden off chicks is to start them their first week at 95 degrees and decrease the temp 5 degrees per week until they get to 6-7 weeks. If your outside temps are sufficient to accommodate this schedule, you can get them away from artificial heat sooner, but make sure they have a warm place to go to when they need it, especially at night. If the temps don't drop too much, say 10-15 degrees below where they need to be according to the formula I mentioned, AND you have at least 15-20 or more birds of the same size, they should be able to huddle together at night and be fine in a draft free coop. If it gets much colder than that, you risk them smothering some of the birds.

Adult birds especially will pick on smaller birds when they're mixed together, especially in tight quarters. Unfortunately, once they single one out, they'll usually have it killed pretty quickly unless it has a place to get away or you happen to catch it immediately. I'm talking less than an hour.

I've got (18) 2 week olds right here in my office now. Kind of relaxing listening to them chirp and peep while I'm working. It also makes for interesting conversations when I'm on the phone with someone and they hear them in the background. Ah, city folks...
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-12-2011, 02:53 AM
sbemt456 Female sbemt456 is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Eastern Kentucky
Posts: 1,190
Default

If you must put birds of different ages together, ( I would not put together birds more than 2 weeks in difference) in the same "house". Try putting the older birds in with the younger ones in the house that has been the house of the younger birds. Sometimes this works, sometimes not. But the older ones will be the invaders and not as apt to bully the lil fellers. Watch them closely for a few hours and most times they will adjust nicely. Last time I had to put 2 different age groups together the older birds (3 weeks) were terrified of the lil ones(3dayold). The lil ones saw bigger birds and thougth "ah ha! momma" and would race toward the older ones till the itty bitty chicks had these 3 week old giants in the corner and they got along fine after that. Total lack of space made me do that as I normally would not put them together with that great an age difference.

Have a great day!

stella
__________________
www.mcguirehomestead.blogspot.com
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-12-2011, 07:35 AM
Equilibrium's Avatar
Equilibrium Equilibrium is offline
Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 695
Default

JarDude> "Why are they not outside yet?" Minor set back on the chicken coop.... my husband ripped a bicep and separated a tendon. We're pretty much at a stand still for a few more weeks.
--
KM> "I have heard bigger chicks will peck to death the smaller chicks. What I would do is put them in the coop and separate them by some fencing. This way no more chicks in the house, if it gets cool at night put a heat lamp on them in the coop" That WAS the game plan.
--
Alchemy> "If you do it, watch them very closely." I tossed 16 1-week olds in with 5 3-week olds. My husband wasn't too happy about all the "excitement" in the family room and well.... he asked nicely if there was something we could do to cut down on what he's referring to as "Green Acres" in suburbia. The 3-week olds aren't too happy.... they've been trying to stick together but they keep getting "infiltrated" by the youngers pushing their way in. It's been pretty funny watching actually. I think I might ultimately be ok with this mix... only because the number of youngers is triple the number of olders. I don't think this mix woulda worked if say.... I'd had 5 1-week olds and 16 3-week olds. Something tells me the bigger ones woulda gotten a LOT bigger really fast. Right now.... the olders are outnumbered. I've got a bad feeling about mixing 10 2-week olds with 11 4-week olds so I didn't do it.... I was worried about bullying that you and krapgame brought up.
--
krapgame> I read a chickens book and as much as I could online and ran with pretty much exactly what you outlined. I started with 95° but I've been maintaining that temp for the 1st 2 weeks before raising up the heat lamp to drop the temps to 90° since the heat in our house is set to the low 60's. I've been using camera tri-pods to clamp on the light fixtures and those are adjustable via the legs. Higher up by a few inches drops the temps.
--
I'm too new to this to try pushing limits so decided they could hang out inside big stock tanks until they were 3 weeks old. Some are over 3 weeks old but.... our chicken coop isn't draft free yet and our weather hasn't exactly been ideal either. We had a few 90°+ days in a row followed by a 48° day then a few days in the 50's with the next coupla days that will be in the 60's. I think I'm stuck this year using the stock tanks inside my house where there's no drafts and the temps are more consistent. There's no supplemental heat in the chicken coop. For sure the coop will be draft free next year when I'll be able to move everything over 3 weeks of age into it under lamps. Actually.... that's what I'd planned on doing this year but... coop completion stalled.
--
The 3 adult birds I had when my old chicken coop collapsed are at a neighbor's house. I've never brought them back and probably won't. He got attached to them. The oldest chickens I have here are the chicks I picked up from farm and fleet. There's 6 of them and they're huge at almost 3 months of age. I could see them doing damage to younger birds so they'll be separate from the other chicks.
--
Kinda cool you can keep chicks at your work.
--
sbemt> So far.... the olders aren't adjusting all that well. Maybe I need to give it a coupla days. No sooner do they try to rest in their little huddle away from the youngers then the little ones come along pushing their way into the middle of them. I watched a few of the little ones flap their wings to attain a little lift to pile in. Once a few piled in... they all started piling in so the olders tried to move. They were boxed in though and didn't get far. We'll see how it goes I guess. Right now my husband is a happy camper.... no more stock tank in the family room.
__________________
"Just living is not enough," said the butterfly, "one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower."
-Hans Christian Anderson
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-13-2011, 01:19 AM
krapgame's Avatar
krapgame krapgame is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Right here
Posts: 1,069
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Equilibrium View Post
Kinda cool you can keep chicks at your work.
Well, in the spirit of fairness, I do mostly work from home, which is where the chicks are. Although, at the actual business location, we have a network ops data room that is kept extremely cool and it has been known to have a wild turkey or two hanging in it through the day. That's for when the hunters in the crew come to work directly from the woods.

We've got a couple of really big plastic totes that we keep birds in for the first 2-3 weeks, usually in the house. We've had as many as 30 or so in each of those. After that, I built a 4' x 4' "cage" out in the barn that we keep them in until they're ready to face the real world. That was built from scrap materials.

Chicks are kinda like kids in that they can get away from the heat and play in the cold as they desire, so long as they have a warm place to get back to when they need to. Unlike kids, they do have sense enough to know when they need to come in out of the cold. Think about how nature works; mamma hen doesn't stay on the chicks constantly for 6 weeks, but she's always there when they need her. That's essentially what you're trying to replicate. Birds are generally pretty hardy. Up to a point, you almost have to try to kill them off to achieve failure. If you give them anything close to what they need, they'll do fine, at least in my limited experience.

Also, do yourself a favor and buy or build an incubator. Setting and hatching your own is, IMO, the most enjoyable part of the process. Hearing eggs chirp and then start moving around is nothing but neat in the first magnitude! Not to mention, will save you a ton of money over buying birds.

I like your idea about the adjustable tripods. I always just hung a wire from the ceiling.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-13-2011, 04:04 PM
Equilibrium's Avatar
Equilibrium Equilibrium is offline
Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 695
Default

Yes!!! We bought an incubator. That's where some of our chicks came from. It was a blast.... even though quite a few eggs didn't hatch.... I guess the PO x-rayed some of our eggs.
--
The tripods I found to be more stable is all. I was a little nervous about hanging the light fixture... I had these visions of our house going up in smoke if the fixture ever fell down into the shavings.
__________________
"Just living is not enough," said the butterfly, "one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower."
-Hans Christian Anderson
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -2. The time now is 10:13 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 1996 to Present. Backwoods Home Magazine, Inc.