Can we all get along?


11 Years
Mar 25, 2012
I am trying to add two 5 month old silkies to my flock of 6 coronation sussex hens. We've been at it for 1 week. The two silkies travel as a duo around the run and are getting picked on equally by all 6 big girls. The silkies offer no challenge and pretty much head for the nearest hiding spot and try to cover. I do not leave them unattended. When i'm not out there i put the silkies in a large wire dog crate that sits in the middle of the run so they will be protected. The Sussex are not really being AGGRESSIVE just a little bullyish. QUESTION is.... can i hope that the big girls will ever just leave the silkies alone? OR should i plan to build another coop and run just for my silkies? And if that's the answer could i please have a volunteer to tell my DH that we're gonna need to build another coop.
Hens are individuals. I have had silkies that wouldn't take anything from any large fowl. Also some that cowered. I kept some separate and some together with large fowl over a period of time.

Since yours are on the docile side, if you want them to be happy it might be wise to put them in their own setup. Silkies should also be protected from bullying since they have a hole in the head like a baby (soft spot)- especially those with larger crests:
Click on the article title on the left "silkie skull" if you wish to see graphic pics of the hole in the skull of silkies

Also there is a crookneck (wry neck) article there that is good- if pecked on the head in the wrong place they can be injured neurologically.
Also since I have been there and done that with many coops and runs, my advice to you is to buy an automatic coop door opener and put them in a shed. You can divide it to house both breeds, one auto coop door opener at each end to let both flocks out and you only have to go out there once a day to get eggs, not at night or early morning if you don't want to.

Just a thought. I have two sheds and two auto coop door openers now, and am completely happy. Oh the joy of not having to go out in the spooky night to close up the coops or being late to get home and worried sick that they haven't been closed up. One year I even left a family gathering to go home 10 miles away to close up the chickens and drove back to the gathering.

The other advantage to a shed coop is that if you decide later to just keep one breed, you have a nice shed to use for your lawnmower or rakes.

Also I forgot to mention that if you really need them to all be housed together you can just keep trying to integrate them. It may work out eventually. Don't put yourself or your family out if it is too much trouble. Family comes first, I always say.
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Thank you so much Golden feather for your reply... They seem to be co mingling more peacefully...they slept in the coop together last night for the first time..but we were out there very early to check on them and let them out just to make sure everything was ok...I am aware of the "hole in the head" issue... for goodness sake... i should invent little tiny silkie helmets...

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