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Considering adding 3 silkies to my Isa Brown flock

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hi! We are new to backyard chickens, we purchased 12 baby Isa Browns (they are currently 7 days old) (3 belong to my neighbor, she will be taking them home with her flock in about a month or so) and we would like to add 3 silkies at some point. Curious if its best to add now while they are all little OR being that we are beginners, should we wait until next spring before taking on more chickens, OR is it a bad idea all together? I have fallen in love with our little isa browns and heard silkies would make another excellent family chicken but I do not want to cause any issues when we are so new to the game. ;) Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!! 

post #2 of 6

if you want to add them try to get them  now that way you don't have too much of an integration problem, I have a bantam in with my regular chicks, it does just fine.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

I was kind of thinking the same thing, my husband had a friend that told him that the silkies would get "beat up" by the other chickens because they won't defend themselves. I guess that was my biggest fear. 

post #4 of 6
Sex links can be bullies sometimes, and silkies can be picked on a lot. I personally wouldn't mix them, especially at that ratio. You could set up a smaller coop or area for them, to keep them separately and to give the silkies a place to retreat to. Bantam often act a bit different than the large breeds and can draw attention to themselves.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
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Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #5 of 6

:welcome

 

Your husband's friend has a legitimate concern. Sex links are a more assertive breed, and silkies can be docile to the point of not defending themselves against other birds. I"m not saying it can't be done, I'm saying you'll need to realize things could go south sometime and you'll need to make management decisions. 

 

First, you'll need more than average space. The silkies will need to be able to get away from the more aggressive production birds. You're looking at a dozen birds total. I'd say your coop space would need to have about 6 square feet per bird, and the run literally as large as you can make it. 150 square feet would be about the minimum I'd try to run those breeds together. I'd also have hiding places for the silkies to get away from the larger birds. 

 

Things would also go better if they're all raised together. Add the silkies as soon as you can to the sex links in the brooder. Again, you'll need enough space for everyone. Growing up together minimizes the chances of any specific bird getting picked on excessively. 

 

Something else to think of is having a separate coop for the silkies. 

 

If you're going to go with silkies, I'd advise to educate yourself about broody hens and how to manage them. Silkies have a strong maternal drive and can be a challenge if you don't want to raise chicks. 

Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

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Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

Reply
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thank you all so much!! I think we will hold off until we could add a second coop, maybe if we had ever raised chickens before it wouldn't be so difficult to make a decision but we are so new, I just don't think it would be a wise decision for us. It would break my heart if something happened to a single one of the little sweethearts! Thank you again!! 

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