adding chickens - pullets or layers?

soenso

In the Brooder
Aug 7, 2019
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I am currently trying to build up my first flock to six birds (limit due to city ordinance). Right now I only have two: a 6 month old silkie hen and a 3 month old buff brahma pullet. I'm going to add chickens two at a time and I'm wondering what the ideal age is for the newcomers? Are they more likely to be accepted as pullets or hens?
 

Lizzy733

Songster
Nov 13, 2018
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New Zealand
You've got a silkie; she'll start going broody soon... let her go a few times until she's used to it and then give her some eggs to hatch or try popping chicks under her. You'll have a hard time not wanting to do this anyway once she sits no eggs for 5 weeks straight... I've just given mine 4 eggs to try. Just have a gameplan for the roosters or extras. In my experience here, local breeders are happy to take back their boys but your situation may differ.
 

soenso

In the Brooder
Aug 7, 2019
15
16
31
You've got a silkie; she'll start going broody soon... let her go a few times until she's used to it and then give her some eggs to hatch or try popping chicks under her. You'll have a hard time not wanting to do this anyway once she sits no eggs for 5 weeks straight... I've just given mine 4 eggs to try. Just have a gameplan for the roosters or extras. In my experience here, local breeders are happy to take back their boys but your situation may differ.
I don't have a rooster. Unfortunately we're not allowed to keep them in this town. Good to know what to expect from the silkie though!
 

Lizzy733

Songster
Nov 13, 2018
478
908
191
New Zealand
I don't have a rooster. Unfortunately we're not allowed to keep them in this town. Good to know what to expect from the silkie though!
She'll 'probably' take day old chicks once she's been broody for a bit and you can buy fertile eggs to put under her. I have my girl sitting two different breeds. She became really excited when I gave them to her.
 

soenso

In the Brooder
Aug 7, 2019
15
16
31
She'll 'probably' take day old chicks once she's been broody for a bit and you can buy fertile eggs to put under her. I have my girl sitting two different breeds. She became really excited when I gave them to her.
Ooh awesome! Thanks!
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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Nov 27, 2012
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Your silkie may go broody..and giving her eggs or chicks might be an option.
A broody can be a good way to integrate new birds.
Keep in mind tho that 50% of fertile eggs will be males, so you'll need a plan to get rid of them. Sexed chicks might work better, tho there can be errors(or deceptions) there too.

You're allowed to have 6, but do you have space for 6?
What did you end up doing for a coop and run?
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/prefab-options.1326539/

Integration takes extra space.

Here's some tips on.....
Integration Basics:
It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact.

In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best if mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

The more space, the better.
Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

Places for the new birds to hide 'out of line of sight'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.
 

chickens really

Crazy Mother of Goats
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I'd wait till the Silkie goes Broody and order sexed chicks. 9 times out of 10 Silkies will go Broody. :D
Just time the shipment so the Broody has been setting for at least two weeks before you give her Chicks. You can give her ceramic eggs or golf balls to set on till the Chicks arrive.
 

soenso

In the Brooder
Aug 7, 2019
15
16
31
I'd wait till the Silkie goes Broody and order sexed chicks. 9 times out of 10 Silkies will go Broody. :D
Just time the shipment so the Broody has been setting for at least two weeks before you give her Chicks. You can give her ceramic eggs or golf balls to set on till the Chicks arrive.
Great idea, thank you
 

MANNA-PRO

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