A Few Questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by rainwolfeh, Mar 4, 2016.

  1. rainwolfeh

    rainwolfeh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello!! This will be my second year raising chicks, and I am very excited. I have a few questions before the new babies get here, though, so I can be ready. It will still be a bit until I order them/pick them up, but still.

    First off, I am planning on ordering mainly bantams this year - I am hoping for a couple of silkies, a polish, and maybe even a sultan bantam (or full size), as well as a standard size EE and MAYBE a marans, leghorn or mypetchicken's blue egg layer, but I don't want to crowd the coop/run too much, so we'll see.

    Only two of these birds (red star and JG) were raised from chicks (got bad luck with straight run last year, LOL), the others were taken in later and are much more aloof.

    I currently only have standard birds - a Red Star, Jersey Giant, Buff Brahma, Delaware, and EE. Their coop is about 5' x 4' or so, with a 20ft long run. I am also working on a small tractor like expansion for them to forage/browse.

    Is there anything I will need to do once my bantams are ready to go into the coop, like an area only they can get into/a mini coop? I am planning on higher-up perches for the flying bantams so they can get away from the others if they'd like, but I can't really do that for the silkies. For the crested breeds, what special care advice do you have for them, or do you just treat them as you would a standard chicken? I haven't read that they need that much special care, but I want to check with those who have kept them.

    Is there a special way to introduce the bantams to keep them safer from the larger birds? Or any advice you'd give for a first-time bantam keeper? This will also be my first time introducing young birds to older birds, so I'm a little nervous.
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Your current coop is only large enough for 4 birds.
     
  3. Jmay402

    Jmay402 Out Of The Brooder

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    I would definitely try to slowly introduce them to each other. If you can, put the new chicks in a separate run, but right next to the other run. This is supposed to let the chickens get familiar with each other without allowing the bullying. Also, give them somewhere to kind of hide from the older chickens. I did not have a way to do this last year. When I introduced my new bantams, they got pecked for a minute but then everybody settled down. I thought everything was good. When I came home from work the next day, I found my smallest bantam dead.
     
  4. rainwolfeh

    rainwolfeh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is absolutely massive, unfortunately I am very bad at approximating so I checked with my mom who built it, apologies for the misinformation.

    Total size with run is 24' x 8'.

    The coop is more like 8' x 4' or so.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2016
  5. rainwolfeh

    rainwolfeh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you, I will be extra careful. We originally started introducing our chicks last year to the outdoors in a large wire dog crate (with small enough spaces of course for no danger). Would putting that (supervised, of course) next to the run work to first introduce? I was thinking about building something for them with just a big enough space for the little ones to go in. We have an area beneath the coop that I could always temporarily close off except to the bantams, maybe?

    I'm so sorry about your little bantam : (

    We're working on adding higher perches for the flying ones to be able to get away as well.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2016
  6. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Silkies, crested breeds and bantams are going to be picked on by large fowl hens. Planning on roosts for small chickens to use to get away from larger, mean chickens is just asking for trouble. Small breeds, young chickens and your crested breeds will hang out on the roost and not get enough to eat or drink.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2016
  7. rainwolfeh

    rainwolfeh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Alright, so what do you suggest?
     
  8. Gnarled Carrots

    Gnarled Carrots Out Of The Brooder

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    I would keep them separate, but next to one another for a couple weeks. That way they would be able to see and smell one another and get used to each other before you fully integrate them. It would also keep the larger chickens from pecking them or keeping them from food and water. Like a lot of other animals, chickens form close bonds with one another and treat new chickens as outsiders invading their territory. They will especially pick on smaller chickens that look different from them. You could try trimming the top feathers from the Polish or Sultan to make them look more "normal" until they get used to one another. It's not impossible to add new chickens to an existing flock, but it's definitely difficult and time consuming! You'll have to supervise their interactions for quite a while before they hopefully accept one another. The easiest thing to do is to shove eggs or newborn chicks under a hen that's already broody. Oftentimes she'll think that the chicks are hers and protect them from the rest of the flock. However, that requires waiting for a hen to go broody, a tendency that a lot of hatcheries try to breed out of chickens.

    Good luck! Let us know what you end up doing and whether it works.
     
  9. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    I avoid a lot of integration issues by raising any new chicks out in the run or coop from the start. My chicks are fully integrated with the flock by 4 weeks and I haven't lost a chick yet. The keys are familiarity and multiple feeding/watering stations.

    This article might help you decide. I have eggs being shipped mid-month, and my chicks will go from the incubator to the outdoor pen as soon as I know they are eating, drinking, and know that their "cave" is where they warm up or hide.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/yes-you-certainly-can-brood-chicks-outdoors
     
  10. rainwolfeh

    rainwolfeh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you very much!!
     

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