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Questions about adding to a flock

post #1 of 2
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Okay, so currently I have three silkie hens and a roo, and three bantam hens and a roo. They all get along fine, even the roos. But, in the spring I would like to get some bigger girls, since medium eggs just aren't cutting it, and I'd like more eggs in general. We're going to upgrade our current coop to 4x10ft, and I'm not sure how big the run will be, but probably 20x20ft at a minimum. My questions are: 

 

1) Has anyone had issues adding chicks to an existing group with silkies? I've read about people not being able to add silkies to an existing group because they'll get picked on, but does it work the same the other way around? 

 

2) If I get rid of my silkie and bantam roosters, will I have issues with a new rooster trying to mate with the smaller girls? I'd like to get a buff orphington rooster, because I've been told they're very calm. At this point, I don't plan on hatching any of the silkie or bantam eggs (they're mixed breeds anyway, nobody would want the chicks), but my roosters are just so nice I don't want them to be dinner just yet. But with the bigger girls, I'd like to hatch some of their eggs eventually.

 

3)  Or, alternatively, has anyone had issues with having three different sized roosters in a flock? The silkie and bantam roos are buddies, with no issues at all. 

post #2 of 2
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Originally Posted by alisnwonderland View Post
 

Okay, so currently I have three silkie hens and a roo, and three bantam hens and a roo. They all get along fine, even the roos. But, in the spring I would like to get some bigger girls, since medium eggs just aren't cutting it, and I'd like more eggs in general. We're going to upgrade our current coop to 4x10ft, and I'm not sure how big the run will be, but probably 20x20ft at a minimum. My questions are: 

 

1) Has anyone had issues adding chicks to an existing group with silkies? I've read about people not being able to add silkies to an existing group because they'll get picked on, but does it work the same the other way around? 

 

2) If I get rid of my silkie and bantam roosters, will I have issues with a new rooster trying to mate with the smaller girls? I'd like to get a buff orphington rooster, because I've been told they're very calm. At this point, I don't plan on hatching any of the silkie or bantam eggs (they're mixed breeds anyway, nobody would want the chicks), but my roosters are just so nice I don't want them to be dinner just yet. But with the bigger girls, I'd like to hatch some of their eggs eventually.

 

3)  Or, alternatively, has anyone had issues with having three different sized roosters in a flock? The silkie and bantam roos are buddies, with no issues at all. 

Thankfully all my chickens including the roosters get along and they are all different sizes.  Initially I was working from several coops and runs but with the frigid weather and snow, everyone has been moved to the main coop and runs for more warmth and easier care. 

    I think that some of the things that help is that I have lots of space (They free range when the weather is nice.) and there are enough hens. 

    I do add to my flock at times, either hatching my own or purchasing day olds (In that case I get pullets.) so the babies are raised here.  I have grow out pens around my main coop and runs so the birds get to see each other early on then I let them free range together although initially the go back to their own coops at night.  During the day when doors are open, they may be in and out of each other's pens, feeders and nesting boxes.

   That way they learn to get along with minimal fuss.

     I've had no problems with young roosters raised here and coming up through the flock but I don't think I would add an adult rooster to an existing flock with roosters.

   They do have an order, but they do get along.

     Added:  We really haven't had a problem with the big roosters and bantam hens, but it may depend on the individual birds.  The big roosters are happy with their hens, although I have one bantam who solicits them...oh, well.

    We did get rid of one young cockerel who wouldn't let the bantam hens alone, and they didn't like him  We separated him but he would grab their combs and drag them so he lost his ticket to stay.

    Just yesterday with all the snow I made up a plate of warm French toast and took it out to the chickens and they all dived right in.  The little bantam hens couldn't make it up to the dish.  I was going to pull some out for them when I noticed the small bantam roosters going under the big hens and making their way to the bowl.  They pulled strips of the toast out and carried it back to their hens and shared it with them.  They really look out for their hens.

    I certainly would think twice about getting rid of any of the small roosters.


Edited by dekel18042 - 2/13/16 at 8:05am
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