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introducing new silkie to flock?????

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I have decided to get my 21 week old silkie hen a friend, since my silkie rooster is picking on her & she is all alone now. I also have two 16 week old barred rock hens. They have all been raised together & get along fine, but lately my rooster is trying to mate with the silkie and she has been acting weird & not going in the coop at night. So I called the lady who I bought them from and she said she has some 12 week old silkie hens if I wanted one. My question is, should I get one or two? I have room in my coop but only have 3 nesting boxes (right now I have 3 hens)
I'm a new chicken owner so I wanted some opinions.

post #2 of 8

I have limited experience but I will start by saying adding just one is VERY difficult.   It's like being the only strange girl  at a party of sorority sisters...they all pick on the new girl.  Also you don't want to be doing this again anytime soon, so if you think you want two you might as well go for it now!   From what everyone says here about quarantining I'm sure you should do that too.  And two together in Q would be better as well.

I added 7 to my flock of 5.   I started off my keeping the new girls in a dog kennel inside the coop where they could be seen but not touched.  When I let them loose they were getting picked on, not too badly but it was awful for me to watch.  We build a "chicken jail" with the bars close enough for the little ones to get through but not the big ladies, we put food and water inside so the girls could eat in peace away from the ladies.  Everyone  said 16 weeks was a good age but I started at 12.  I should have listened!   At 16 - 17 weeks it's going really well and the young ones are big enough to defend themselves now....I think starting earlier was a stress on them.    There's a great article on this very thing, but I don't know where to find it.  Maybe someone else will post the link for you.   I will if I can find it!   Good Luck.

post #3 of 8
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

ok, thank you! Do you think it's ok to only have 3 nesting boxes for 5 hens? (if i got two new ones)

post #5 of 8

Absolutely!   They recommend one box per 2 hens.  When my four just started laying they each had a favorite box, now that they are all laying....they all use the same box!!!
it takes 26-30 hours to process an egg through a hens body so they don't all lay at the same time anyway.

post #6 of 8

Great article- I wish I had stumbled across it before.  Thanks for posting! http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=2593-adding-to-your-flock

Two Weims, I siamese, 2 BSL 1 RSL, 1 Columbian rock1 old non laying silkie cross, 1 Frizzle Roo, 6 Khaki Campbell ducks and 7 chicks hatched from my deceased on March 12th.
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Two Weims, I siamese, 2 BSL 1 RSL, 1 Columbian rock1 old non laying silkie cross, 1 Frizzle Roo, 6 Khaki Campbell ducks and 7 chicks hatched from my deceased on March 12th.
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post #7 of 8

My best method so far is to slip the new one in "under the cover of darkness" and when they all wake up together it seems to be a little less squabbling. Of course the larger the established flock and smaller the space seems to have a bearing on the amount of abuse the new entries must endure. Just keep an eye on them for a while.

Mountain home to too many sheep, fainting goats, mini- donkeys, BFCM's, EE's and genuine Araucana's
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Mountain home to too many sheep, fainting goats, mini- donkeys, BFCM's, EE's and genuine Araucana's
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post #8 of 8

I have 1 nesting box per 3 hens, and that's more then enough for medium layers. I think the high volume birds need more laying boxes.

Its always GREAT to get more birds smile Just remember.... QUARENTINE QUARENTINE QUARENTINE! 30 DAYS!

Don't ever take anyone's word that the birds are just fine, find out for yourself safely.

When introducing them, I have a little kennel that fits in my coop. I put them in the kennel with food and water for a couple of days before I release them and the pecking order begins.

Edited: spelling wink


Edited by vfem - 1/9/11 at 5:44am

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Jams & Italian Biscotti BYC members get 10% off: code "BYC10" at checkout. http://BiscottiQueen.Etsy.com


Want to learn more about our garden and get help w/ recipes and garden advice. Visit us here:

 

http://FromSeed.blogspot.com

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