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Hens attacking silkies

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
So I maybe haven't waited enough time, but I have gradually introduced 3 silkie hens into the coop/ run with my 4 ISA brown laying hens, and 2 Cochin x hens. They have now been together for 4 days. The brown hens seem to relentlessly chase and peck at the silkies, some times more than one ganging up on one and pecking and jumping on it. I'm feeling really bad for these poor silkies, they don't even fight back. I'm really hoping they can all get along. The run and coop are definitely large enough for the 9 hens. I have no rooster. Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
post #2 of 6

:welcome  Bigger birds pick on smaller birds, and members of an established flock pick on newcomers.  The pecking order is frequently brutal.  Because of their smaller size and easy going temperaments introducing silkies to a large fowl flock can be difficult.  Mixed flocks are more successful when they are raised together.  Try to provide the silkies with an area to which they can retreat complete with feed and water, but the large fowl can not enter (think wire size restricting their entrance)  and closely monitor.  It is not beyond the realm of possibility that the large hens might kill the silkies.  Good luck.

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There are no coincidences- only providences.
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Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
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post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Oh gosh that's not what I wanted to hear. Okay thanks. I am keeping a close eye on them and will try set up a separate area for them.
post #4 of 6

We have one Cochin/Bantam that we added to our flock of Isa Brown/Ranger Red hens and a Rooster a while ago and the same thing happened. All the big chickens beat her up. One of the things that we tried was to add her in at night because chickens can't see very well when it's dark. They wake up in the morning and won't realize that she is new.;)  I don't know if that would work for you, now that they have been together for awhile, but you never know! 

 

Our chickens eventually stopped picking on the Bantam and everything is going well. We never had to separate her, and she never got pecked to death, not that that isn't possible. Another thing I've noticed is that our Buff Orpington Rooster, although he pick's on the Bantam to a certain degree, will also sort of keep the peace in the barnyard by not letting the hens really beat her up. I would keep an eye on the Silkies while they are in with the layers, and just watch. If there is blood that's when I would step in, but if not then it's okay.  Like you said, you might not have waited long enough for them to get used to each other. 

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thank you!
post #6 of 6

Isas tend do be tough girls, and Silkies are small and fragile.  Maybe things will work out, but be ready to separate them before real injuries occur.  Lots of space, two or more food and water stations, and time may do the trick, or not.  Mary

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