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Could my Silkies ever live with my standard flock?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Adri, Nov 7, 2008.

  1. Adri

    Adri Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 29, 2008
    My second son loves our chickens so much and was spending a lot of time in the coop and helping with the chicken-related chores. As a reward and encouragement, my husband bought him a pair of Silkies. It was sort of an impulse buy. They are absolute sweethearts. They are currently living in a stall that my son and I rigged up in the garage. My son takes them out every day after school for a walk in the yard and they follow him. When they walk past the chicken yard, the whole flock runs to the fence and starts squawking at them.

    When 2 of our hens were broody, we penned them in the garage next to the Silkies, with a screen between them. Once the hens settled down, I found that at night, one of the hens roosted, and the other one slept pressed against the screen with the Silkies doing the same on the other side. I am pretty sure that despite a bit of jostling, all of the hens would be fine with the Silkies, but that the roosters might be a threat.

    So that we only have to heat one chicken area, my husband has proposed building them a hutch that is off the ground in the regular coop. He was planning to staple chickenwire over the framing, it would be about 3ft by 4 ft in floorspace and the standard chickens would still be able to use the floorspace underneath (with about 3 feet of headspace). Should he put chicken wire as the flooring? Or should we just heat the garage for the whole winter and wait until DH builds a second coop in the spring? We are planning to build a second coop on the other side of the barn with 2 pens in it, one for breeding/isolation and one for brooding and raising babies, and allowing the Silkie to raise some babies for us.

    Could we ever hope to keep the Silkies with the rest of the flock? Having read a few of the questions here about Silkie-standard crosses, I am getting curious about what others have done to integrate their Silkies with the flocks.
     
  2. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

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    Feb 11, 2008
    Waterloo, Nebraska
    I suppose it depends on the individuals and how much room you have. My Silkies lived with my Jersy Giants and were fine (until the neighbor's dogs found them). Mine may have been an exception though because they were hatched and raised together, and JG's are kind of mellow birds.
     
  3. DottieMarie

    DottieMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 6, 2008
    South East MI
    I added a Silkie to our young flock (they were about 3 months)thinking the Silkie was a roo (do you think she'll get used to being
    called Lyle?) and although the Silkie is "tolerated", they're not buds. Lyle always has to watch over her shoulder and usually gets run off when I'm handing out treats. I make a point to put some treats away from the others so she gets some. I wish I could place her with some birds her own size but then she's have to go through the whole moving stress and introductions again. Not sure what's better for her.
    So, in our case, they get along somewhat and there has never been an actual fight.
     
  4. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

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    Feb 11, 2008
    Waterloo, Nebraska
    Quote:Your solution is easy. Change her name to Lyla and get more Silkies!
     
  5. KellyHM

    KellyHM Overrun With Chickens

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    Sep 10, 2008
    Lakeland, FL
    I have 3 Silkies (1 hen and 2 3-month-olds) who live happily with my EEs and RIRs. They stick to their own special side of the coop, but all hang out when they're free-ranging. The only thing I've had to do is put a saddle on the Silkie hen so that the EE roo's nails don't hurt her when he mates her. Other than that they're fine!
     
  6. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    Colorado
    I'm not sure if this will help since my Silkies were also raised with my Standard chickens. They all get along fine. I ended up with 2 Roos though (the Silkies) and have rehomed one. He didn't know he was smaller than the Standards and ruled his part of the coop/run.

    The other Silkie roo (that we kept) is certainly on the bottom of the pecking pole. Although I've never seen any of the other chickens chase him he does tend to stay by himself and out of the way.

    You can always try to integrate them and keep a close eye on things for a few days/week and be ready to pull them out if things get nasty.

    Make sure you read up on the integrating process so you give them the best chance of things working out.
     
  7. BayCityBabe

    BayCityBabe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 1, 2008
    I think Silkies CAN be integrated, but it never hurts to have a handy pen. We have an area in our coop that DD calls Silkie Land. It is a pallet style crate, enclosed with chicken wire; it's 3 1/2 ft. X 4 ft. and about 4 ft. tall. It rests right on the floor of the coop, so they have pine shavings to step in & clean up is a sweep of a broom. We installed a roost that is only about 8 inches off the ground. We used Silkie Land a few months ago when we acquired 2 new Silkies. It allowed the flock to get used to seeing them eye to eye. Those two are now out with the rest of the birds. Now - because Silkies are seriously addictive - we have 3 Silkies & 3 Showgirls in Silkie Land. They are only 2 mo. old. They will be in Silkie Land (unless supervised) for several more weeks. I want them to be big enough to have a chance against my Wild Wyandottes.
     
  8. kelliepulido

    kelliepulido Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2008
    st.john's mi
    I think silkie land is what I need too.I have a new batch of eggs in the bator and integrating them with the flock could be a challenge.Silkie land sounds good for any kind of integrating.
     
  9. Leah-yes I know I'm crazy

    Leah-yes I know I'm crazy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 24, 2008
    Skidway Lake, MI
    I have one Silkie and thirty plus other egg layers, one rir roo and one ee roo. The silkie has her own spot on the window sill that she likes...other than that no problem. I've seen the rir mount her and she deals with it the same as any other bird. The others don't harrass her at all. No pecking, and she is one of the first to the treats and can and will hold her own. The only reason I would concider seperating her at this point was if she became broody or if I was lucky enough to find a roo just for her in order to have more silkies.
     
  10. We have about 10 white silkies, 5 or so golden, 2 mink and 2 champain. They are completely intigrated into a flock of over 90 (including the silkies) chickens. They all roost in different areas. The really interesting thing is. When a "silkie pile" devolopes at nite nite time I have a few roos that find thier way into the middle of the pile. One of the roos is a German spangle and the other is a mutt. The fawn polish like to butt up with the silkies too. So I would say; yes they are not only well tolerated, they are in demand !!
     

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