Can a Silkie be kept with bigger birds?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by sunny & the 5 egg layers, Apr 16, 2011.

  1. sunny & the 5 egg layers

    sunny & the 5 egg layers Overrun With Chickens

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    Hello, If my pullet turns out to be a cockeral I was thinking I will sell it and buy a silkie.Only one. And I have 5 other birds that are bigger. 2 black australorps, 2 dark brahmas and 2 production reds (1 production red if the other turns out to be a rooster. But I was wondering, would this be ok? I mean, will the silkie get picked on by the other birds?
     
  2. BooBear

    BooBear Chicken Cuddler

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    It really depends on how your flock reacts to the Silkies. Silkies are very different looking and can throw off the other birds.
    I have 5 Silkies in the main coop with my Blue Wyandottes. The Wyandottes and Silkies pretty much stick to their own groups. The Silkies are at the lower end of the pecking order. I also have 4 mixed young roosters that will soon be going to the bachlor pen.

    There was some chasing and pecking when introducing the groups but nothing serious. The wyandotte girls love throwing their weight around but never pecked hard or showed bullish behavior. Once they were satisfied everyone knew their place things settled. Lester who is my big wyandotte rooster let the girls handle the sorting. He only stepped in to keep things civil. Other than that he pretty much ignored the Silkies. Lester is the flock sheriff so to speak and does a good job at it.

    It is neat watching how the flock dynamics work out and wonderful when everything clicks in away that everyone is content and happy in the flock.
    Now I do have to admit that the Wyandotte girls are a bit piggy when food is involved and do forget their manners. A Silkie can get pecked if she gets between the big girls and their treats. The Silkies just back down and wait for the big girls to finish their share. (I always toss extra treats in different places so everyone gets some)

    Each flock is different in its dynamics so you will need to be prepared for the what if it does not go the way you planned it. Also, it is always better to introduce new birds in pairs atleast. I definitely would recommend 2 to 3 Silkies instead of just one. This way they have their support group going in and it keeps the resident birds from singling out the only one for bulling.
     
  3. ginormous chicken

    ginormous chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My adult flock is a flock of 7. 1 BCM 1 Delaware 2 EE (one is a poor quality wheaton amerucana) 1OEGB 1 D'uccle and 1 silkie. The black silkie does fine. She is the peacemaker of the bunch and is by no way the lowest in the pecking order. She holds her own. I think silkies do fine, but I don't have any roo roos either. I have one that is 6 weeks this week and is a true blue d'uccle. I think the pair will be penned separately. So.... still no roo roos. If you throw a rooster in the mix, it might be more difficult.
     
  4. shchinchillas

    shchinchillas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have about 15 silkies in a flock of 60ish... The silkies do fine. They are also able to go out and free range (however they are hatchery stock, not show stock so they can see whats coming). I will say I like my silkie hens... however the silkie roosters are little devils and do NOT treat the hens they've claimed nearly as nicely as the other roosters do.
     
  5. crtrlovr

    crtrlovr Still chillin' with my peeps

    I wouldn't get just one -- that would really make him/her the target of the others. Get two or more -- that way if the others do shun it, at least it will have another buddy to hang out with.
     
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Raised together, yes - introduced as an adult into an existing flock, more likely a chance for attack and abuse.
     
  7. breezy

    breezy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sourland is exactly right. I will be putting in a separate run and small coop for the 2 silkies I was hoping to add to the 3 BO and 1 Jersey Giant I already had. While the 4 large birds haven't seriously harmed the silkies they are bullied enough to make me feel that they need to be separated. I bought a nice doghouse online and once we add a door to it it will be a perfect silkie house. Im lucky in that I have a nice little corner of the yard that will make a perfect silkie yard. Silkies really are quirky little birds and I think they are different enough in looks and behaviour that my other birds see them as outsiders and wont stop the bullying.
     

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