Aggressive young silkies

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Freya, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. Freya

    Freya Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 26, 2011
    Granville
    I just got 6 young silkies the other day!!! 4 of them are 4 week old lil ones and 2 are about 10 weeks old or so. Since they are the same size/age as my other young chickens, I put them in the run together to see how they would get along. At first they were great and were all eating together, then one of the silkies started attacking my other chickens. Jumping at them with it's claws and grabbing them by the neck ripping out feathers. I grabbed the silkie and took it out of the run, then my other chickens started attacking the other silkie, so I had to take it out as well. Is this normal behavior? I'm sure like horses, they have to build their pecking order, but I was concerned they were gonna really hurt each other.

    Later, I put in the lil baby chicks with my other chickens but stood right there just incase and one of my chickens (EE) flew at the chicks with it's neck feathers sprauled out like one of those lizards, so out came the chicks immediately.

    I've never seen my other chickens act aggressively before other than lil pecks on their heads, but on the other hand, theyve been together since little chicks.

    Any suggestions? I didn't really plan on leaving the lil one out in the coop until they are older, but what should I do about the bigger ones? They are fine with the lil ones as they were raised together, but the bigger ones really need to move out into the coop with the rest of them.
     
  2. Mommy 2 Wee Ones

    Mommy 2 Wee Ones Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 19, 2011
    North Texas
    Because my older hens & roo are bigger stronger & a bit on the bossy side, I am building my 2 silkies their own coop & run, right beside the big chicken's run. Out of my 15 chickens, they are two separate flocks, the older 10 & the younger 5, has been this way since we got them. My older 10 would chase the younger 5 around or if they got too close to the food. So I have always had food & water in the coop & the same outside. Even when they free range in the back yard, they are two separate groups.

    I would say if you have pecking issues, so that your silkies do not get hurt, provide them their own coop run area. I am making my coop out of wood pallets, and wood shipping crates, all free off of craigs list. Just have to buy the posts (only need 5 since I am tying into the main run) for their run, which will be a 10 x 10 ft run, since I only have two right now. My budget is about $50.00, $10 for the 5 posts, another 2 rolls of netting for the run $23.00, and another box of deck screws $8.00. Spent $7 on the 4 cinder blocks.
     
  3. Freya

    Freya Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 26, 2011
    Granville
    Ugh... I was hoping not to need two separate coops. The rabbit cage the silkies are in I put in the run with the other chickens so they can get used to each other that way. At night, I bring them in the garage to keep warm and out of the night elements and then in the morning I let them run loose in the run for a while and then put them back in the cage before I let the others out of the coop, but the bigger ones really need to get out of there. Before having to build a new coop, is there a time period I should give them to develop that pecking order? Is it normal for them to act like that at first? I know horses bite and kick at each other to win being the top of the herd, I thought maybe chickens might do that too, but wanted advice before I put them together again.
     
  4. silkielover5

    silkielover5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 11, 2011
    Hudson WI
    you dont need to seperate silkies i have a silkie hen with my 30 standard and bantam mixed flock 13 of those are roosters. wait til their older before to add them to your flock all chickens act that way to younger ones and may kill them. the reason your flock may not be attacking your other young ones was if they were raised by their mom in the flock they are used to each other and have a established pecking order
     
  5. silkielover5

    silkielover5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 11, 2011
    Hudson WI
    you dont need to seperate silkies i have a silkie hen with my 30 standard and bantam mixed flock 13 of those are roosters. wait til their older before to add them to your flock all chickens act that way to younger ones and may kill them. the reason your flock may not be attacking your other young ones was if they were raised by their mom in the flock they are used to each other and have a established pecking order
     
  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    It's always a challenge to integrate new chickens into an existing flock. When bantams are introduced to an existing LF flock, it's even harder. Many keep their bantams separate, but others have found ways to make it work. It helps if you free range or have a HUGE run. Pecking and chasing are pretty normal "working out pecking order" actions. Yanking feathers out is overly aggressive, and I'd be concerned about bloodshed.
    Can you wire off part of the run for older silkies so that they have their own area away from your LF birds? That might help, but it could still take MANY weeks - my birds have taken months to accept newbies before. Free ranging together helps speed up the process, because they are exposed to one another, but have tons of places to run to to stay out of one another's way. I would only attempt integration when you are there to supervise (so a weekend is good). It is possible that you may have to keep a separate coop for your bantams.
     
  7. NovaAman

    NovaAman Overrun With Chickens

    First off, Welcome to BYC.

    Second, DO NOT PUT NEW CHICKS IN WITH EXISTING FLOCK! That being said, heres what you need to do... Keep the silkies away from the other chickens for a few weeks just for health reasons. Always quarantine new birds. No matter how healthy they look.

    Third, after quarantine period, slowly introduce. Heres what I did so I wouldn't have to build another coop. I took a few totes, took a large tote, put a medium tote inside sideways, then took another tote and put that in the medium tote so there would be like a secret cuby area for the silkies to hide in, and then took hardware cloth and cut it to cover the opening and held it in place with a bungee cord, and got temporary fencing to put around. Put it in the middle of the yard where the other chickens are. I did put the tote house up on another box and up against a wall so it'd be stable. But anyway, as soon as the other chickens were getting used to the little ones in the pen, I removed the pen and let them all free together. The littles would go back to there tote coop at night, and as soon as the big coop was ready, both groups went into the big coop. The whole process from quarantine to integration took about a 5 weeks.

    I have a silkie now that I am integrating. He's getting on ok now with the other birds, but he showed some serious aggression at first. He's in the coop with the other birds now, from the temp coop, but he sleeps in a cat carrier for now. Just cuz they are silkies doesn't mean they are all sweet and adorable. They can be mean little suckers. I have 2 hens that are terrors to the larger girls. It actually kinda funny, cuz the big girls could kick their fuzzy little butts but don't. SO all together I have 4 silkies now (had 7) and 12 LF and they are all together.
     
  8. Freya

    Freya Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 26, 2011
    Granville
    They are all bantams. My current flock is a crested polish, an Easter egged or americauna and an adorable Cochin. The two older silkies are the same age as my other chickens. I just went out and let the two out with the others supervised, but one at a time to see how they react to each. It seems that my EE starts it, but then the silkie doesn't give in nor does the EE. Once the EE starts a fight, then the silkie starts picking fights back. The other silkie tries to mind it's own business and tries to hide when the EE starts attacking it but because the silkie doesn't fight back, it's short lived, but then the EE comes back for more later. I'm not sure of any of their sexes yet but I'm thinking the EE is a roo because we heard crowing from one of them and the EE acts like a roo and has the pointy tail feathers.
     
  9. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Post in the breed/gender/sex section for help: Take good side shots (especially neck area and tail area). You'll probably get quick verification of sex of any you're considering except perhaps the silkies, because they're just so daggone hard to sex early on...
     
  10. Freya

    Freya Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 26, 2011
    Granville
    Quote:Yea, sounds like a good idea. I'm going to keep them all away from now on for the quarantine. Then I'll do the pen idea. I'm actually only going to keep a couple of them and my friend is taking the rest, so after the quarantine during the penning time, I'll watch to see which would be best to stay at our coop. I don't have a huge coop and don't want to have to build more if I don't need to which is why some are going to a friend.

    Thanks for all the advice. As for the little ones, what is a good age to start introducing to the rest of the flock?
     

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