Broilers in the silkie pen?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Debs55, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. Debs55

    Debs55 Chillin' With My Peeps

    So it's getting close to chick season and my dad and brother in law want to do some broilers this year ( I want to try it too). I have 2 chicken pens. One is 20x30 and houses all my layers (17 plus a barred rock rooster) and I will be adding chickens to it this year too. The other is 20x20 and houses 3 silkies and 1 silkie rooster. I also have two smaller pens which I have extra silkie roosters in that I am trying to get rid of. So my question is could I raise the broilers in the silkie pen or would that not work? We are turning our old greenhouse into a brooder and so I figured I could keep all the chicks in there (broilers and layers) for several weeks and then move them all to the silkie pen as kind of a grow out pen because they will still be fairly small. Then move the layers into the layer pen and leave the broilers with the silkies. I can imagine there will be problems seperating food and stuff but this is the only idea I can come up with. Any suggestions? Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  2. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    As far as food, you could just put everyone on flock raiser, silkies too, and it should be OK.

    However--broiler chicks are big and gross. They don't act like other chickens, and don't feel like other chickens when you pick them up--a layer is a bird, but a broiler is clearly made of meat. They grow super fast, so that they have bald patches where they outgrow their feathers. They stink. The are horrid poop machines, and the poo is grosser than any other chicken poo. They lie in the food dish and gorge themselves, even when they are allowed to free range.

    I'm not telling you that to stop you from getting broilers. You only have to keep them eight weeks, and they are tasty. And they are soooo gross that you don't feel bad eating them. I just want you to realize what your poor silkies will have to contend with for eight weeks! I personally think it can work with a lot of management, and a lot of pen cleaning. Your 20x20' space should be big enough.

    My biggest worry is having adult chickens in with the chicks. Adult chickens can be super aggressive with chicks and kill them fairly easily, so if there's some way to segregate the adults until the chicks have gotten a lot bigger, that would be best.

    I also recommend you run you plan past the people on the Meat Birds, Etc. board. They might have more insight.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  3. Debs55

    Debs55 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you for replying :). I'm not too worried about moving chicks in with the adults because i've added chicks (at around 8 to 10 weeks old) before and my chickens seem to be real laid back towards them. Even the rooster. I was mostly worried about the broilers bullying the silkies once they outgrow them. Also I thought you had to put broilers on higher protien feed or something so that they would grow faster?
     
  4. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Flock Raiser is a higher protein feed. It's very commonly used in mixed flocks, and won't hurt your silkies.

    I do not remember what level of calcium is if Flock Raiser, so you might need to check and see if you need additional calcium for the layers.

    Also, remember, your broilers should be processed and gone between 8-10 weeks, so they won't be around too long. I don't remember my broilers as being particularly aggressive, but we did have them in a pen by themselves once they got so much bigger than the layer pullets.

    I'd watch carefully, and have an emergency place to put the silkies just in case.
     
  5. Debs55

    Debs55 Chillin' With My Peeps

    ok great that will work out great with my silkies then cause I am already feeding them flock raiser. and I guess if need be the silkies could gointo a smaller pen until the broilers are gone
     
  6. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    I think it will work for you.

    If this is your first time with broilers, I'd head over to the Meat Birds, Etc forum and read for awhile. It was amazingly helpful to me, and the people are super nice (just like the rest of us BYCers).
     
  7. Debs55

    Debs55 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Alright I will! Thanks so much for your help!
     

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