Adding silkies and other new chicks to existing flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by RMo2, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. RMo2

    RMo2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2012
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    Hello!
    I have a small flock that consists of two production reds, two easter eggers and a partridge plymouth rock. I am getting a few new chicks this spring, and am wondering if the silkies will be compatible? The new breeds I would like to add lavender and chocolate orps and then 2 silkies. Any concerns?

    Thanks!
     
  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes, major concerns. I'm not sure where you'll be getting your Silkies (talking quality here), but if you get good BQ/SQ birds they probably won't be able to see very well (take a look at the girl in my avatar, she can't even see well enough to navigate the ramp to put herself to bed at night, so I put her in. Every. Single. Night)- which usually sets them up to be at the bottom of the pecking order and they'll get picked on. Your PReds, EEs, PR and Orps are going to be MUCH bigger than the Silkies which will allow them to inflict quite a bit of damage if they are so inclined. Also, Silkies have a soft spot on top of their heads, like a human baby, and if they take a peck there it can cause all sorts of problems (star gazing, wobbles, tucking head between legs, backflips, even death). If you're really set on getting them, they'd probably do best in their own little coop away from the danger of bigger birds. I don't know if you free range or not, but they aren't a great choice for that (again, bc of those lovely crests). I keep mine penned all of the time, they have access to the ground, but they stay inside their fence. My Silkies are always the first to be lost to predation. I'm sure thats probably not what you're wanting to hear, but it is my honest opinion. You should go and check out the Silkie thread in the Breeds, Genetics & Showing section, there is a wealth of great information there. Good luck!
    Nikki
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  3. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    I have no experience with Silkies, all I can say is that integrating new birds into any flock can be difficult. And if the new birds look a lot different, i.e. silkies, it's even harder. I personally would probably keep the silkies in a separate coop/run.
     
  4. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    My silkies hold their own against the other girls.. it's the boys that I have issues with. My silkie roosters are at the very bottom of the rooster pecking order, and get picked on a lot.

    It would be easiest if one of your hens went broody and you gave her silkie chicks. She would integrate them into the flock no problem. That's the easiest way to do it.
     
  5. RMo2

    RMo2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2012
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    Thank you so much for the advice!!
     
  6. lizakn

    lizakn Out Of The Brooder

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    I am kinda having the same concern. I have 3 RIR's (had 12, but lost 9 this winter due to extreme cold temps)
    I want to add a couple Silkies because I know they are good sitters. But I had concerns on how my 3 RIR would react. We have a hobby farm, and I want to add many different breeds to our flock, but my biggest concern was the Silkies.
    Would it be better to add them in as chick's (keeping the closed brooder in the coop so at least they can have some sort of interactions) or should I just add them in as juvenile hens?
     
  7. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    In my current flock my RIR hens are the most aggressive when it comes to adding new birds. If you want to continue to add to your flock over time and want to make integrations much easier I would highly suggest building a separate coop/run as a grow out pen alongside your existing coop/run. That is how I handle integrating new young birds, it works really well and really lessens the pecking on the new birds. Chicks go from the brooder to their coop at about 5 weeks of age. For their safety I don't allow them to mingle with the older birds until they are nearly adult size. So the older birds have about 10 weeks of getting used to seeing the new youngsters in the grow out pen which shares a fenceline. By the time they all get out to free range together the pecking order scuffles are very, very minor.
     
  8. cembry1

    cembry1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 22, 2013
    I have silkie chicks on order , could only get them straight run, I am going to house them separate from my other chickens but my concern is if I get more than one silkie rooster will they be ok together, I have read silkies are more docile, I am concerned when they mature they may fight??
     

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