Hello hello! Introducing myself to BYC whilst I am figuring out introducing my pullets to my chicke

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by OddballChicken, Nov 5, 2015.

  1. OddballChicken

    OddballChicken New Egg

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    Hello from PA! I have had some chickie-chicks for about a year and a half now and have loved spying on BYC for chicken info. My husband and I have a little coop in our suburban neighborhood. I have two ladies residing there as of now, a black Australorp, Khal Drogo and a Cuckoo Maran, Cadbury. My husband surprised me with some adorable and quirky Silkies a couple months ago! A black one, Biggles and a brown one with black fluff on its head, Quellik. This site has really helped out with my anxiety when it comes to steps in the chicken world I'm not familiar with! I have finally joined because in my searches I have yet to find an answer to this question, it's probably out there...but I am freaking out right now and overthinking everything when it comes to chicken introductions. I figured its time I joined BYC to plug in and add some input if I need it, and ask some questions I just can't seem to find. I have read all about chicken introduction, and am taking the intro slowly, but here is my question (apologies if its in the wrong spot! Don't chicken haze me! I'll learn!!;))

    When introducing pullets to hens, (in this case my 2 Silkies to my two lady hens) what is good/normal behavior from the chickens and what is concerning/aggressive behavior? I've gathered bits and pieced from multiple forums...but just haven't seen like a list anywhere yet. They can be real jerks to newbies! I would like to know what is normal jerk-chicken stuff they work out or what is like...spicy, horrible jerk-chicken behavior that I have to intervene in. Any input would be welcome...this whole season of chicken intros has me on high alert. The chickens I once viewed as sweethearts have become little monsters! Why can't they just be friends? ;)

    Here are the two ladies, free raging in our backyard
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    My two littles! They are a few weeks older now than here:) (PS. If anyone can throw a guess as to if they are actually both hens, or roos...that'd be great too!)
     
  2. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :) You have a lovely flock.
     
  3. OddballChicken

    OddballChicken New Egg

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    Thank you! I do love them[​IMG]
     
  4. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi :welcome

    Glad you could join the flock! What lovely birds you have there! I'm afraid chicken pecking orders can be quite a handful. Silkies are known for being at the bottom of the pecking order so you will probably find that your older hens will always be at the top of that order. Reading that your taking your time is great. Letting them get to know each other is the way to go. As for when to intervene, if the older hens have the younger ones pinned down amd are really going in for the kill then I would intervene. I've had this just recently with 2 pullets that I have added to one of my exsisting flocks. I had to jump in a couple of times but right now they are just about getting along. The older hens are in charge but the younger ones now recognise when they are coming for them amd get out if the way. Adding extra feed and water stations helps too so that no ones is bullied out of eating and drinking. Are your silkies fully grown? Adding them when they are fully grown is always best so they can defend themselves better.

    Good luck with your growing flock and enjoy BYC :frow
     
  5. OddballChicken

    OddballChicken New Egg

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    Thank you! I am enjoying BYC and learning a lot! I love my little ladies so much...even when they are being such jerksXD I didn't know much about Silkies when we got them, they are pretty special haha. I know my Khal Drogo just two months ago took over as head-due to a loss of my third lady, Figwit[​IMG]- and is determined to keep it! I have had the Silkies in a dog crate with water and food and a little make shift coop/hideaway in the older ladies run.

    I have done two supervised introductions, I've always been right there so nothing escalates too far. Cadbury my Maran just ignores them mostly, but Khal Drogo just stares at these strange little furry birds, crouches like a sneaky raptor and then goes at them. So far she has chased them until they hide and pecked at them a few times(I swear I heard her hiss towards them), but even the pecking she does doesn't seem too harsh. It's quick and tough enough my little Silkies holler and then run out of her way and she chases them until they hide, then goes and does her own thing until she decides they need to be chased again. I haven't any big feathers come out from her pecks either (Actually shes only got a feather once). Cadbury got in on the mean girl action a few days ago when they were out in their free range area for another introduction, she went after one and Khal Drogo went for the other (Mean girl teamwork!). I guess I'm just worried because it all seems so violent! But I haven't seen any pinnings or savage beatings...I just wanted to make sure the chasing and pecking I am seeing wasn't too harsh, which it seems like it must not be. I know some chasing and pecking needs too happen, just wanted to make sure what I was seeing wasn't horrible! Chickens live in a strange, mean, little world haha, I still love them though!

    My Silkies are 9-10 weeks, and I read that is still a bit too young after looking around and researching, so I have stopped physical introductions, it's just been face to face through the crate (I'm getting them used to outdoors as well before the weather gets cold). When is a Silkie full grown? Is it still okay to let them all together in their free range area while I'm right there? My husband and I are going on vacation Nov 20 until the 29th and I'd LOVE if they were buddies by then so our chicken sitter has less to worry about...but should I just call that a dream? If it comes to it I'll split the run and give my Silkies more room while they get used to each other. They are still growing a bit and the dog crate is getting a bit small. It just all seems so crazy!

    Thank you so much for the input! [​IMG]
     
  6. NickyKnack

    NickyKnack Love is Silkie soft!

    Hello!
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    Welcome to BYC and the coop! There's a lot of great peeps here! Feel free to ask lots of questions. But most of all, make yourself at home. I'm so glad you decided to joined the BYC family. I look forward to seeing you around BYC. Love the silkies! If you can't tell already. ;)
     
  7. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    The look but, don't touch method is generally best. Silkies are at a disadvantage because their crests and beards generally obscure their vision. it makes them sitting ducks for predators and bullying chickens. Generally if all breeds are raised together from young chicks they accept each other. Introducing new to old can be a headache no matter what breeds are added. If your hens want to play dirty - get pinless peepers for them (put that in search box and it will come up). They keep chickens from seeing straight ahead which throws them off target. Plus just putting anything on a chicken can distract them from their habits.

    Silkies are very difficult to sex before 4-5 mos. of age and sometimes not till they crow or lay eggs. You can also post photos of them at "what breed or gender is this," or on the "Silky thread," to get opinions from breeders.
     
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    PS can't see the combs in the pictures - so wouldn't even hazard a guess. Hope you have a pair, silkie hens are generally great broody mamas.
     
  9. OddballChicken

    OddballChicken New Egg

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    Thanks for the welcome NickyKnack! Silkies are super funny from what I've experienced so far!

    Drumstick Diva: I'll have to get some new pics and post em' at the gender forum them. I'm hoping they are hens as well! Our town doesn't allow roosters. They grow so fast! It's crazy what a week changes!

    The chicken world is a crazy place, I'm learning.[​IMG] In the future, I think growing chickens up together is going to be my only option considering how stressful this is! The look don't touch method is working well...my ladies weren't so much rushing at the cage today, just kind of staring and wanting to eat whatever the little ladies were eating (even though they have their own wonderful food, silly hens) . If it gets too bad I'll look into pinless peepers, they look hilarious on chickens from what my google search showed haha. I tried putting a chicken diaper on one of my hens before...she just kind of fell over lol, maybe just distracting her with the chicken diaper will make her not put all her spare time in trying to chase pullets!

    Thanks so much for the input! It is very helpful! [​IMG]
     
  10. trailrider330

    trailrider330 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome to the BYC flock! We are glad you joined us!

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