Hen bullying silkie

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by babsi, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. babsi

    babsi Out Of The Brooder

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    I have two EE, one Barnevelder and one Silkie. The B has decided to chase and bully the little silkie. There is no blood yet, but she does pull feathers. When they are out and about the silkie keeps to herself. In the run, which is big for four chickens, the B will run over to the silkie just to attack her. There is plenty of water. How many feeders should I put out there? I think it may be food related.
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Generally silkies get picked on because they look different and often act differently than most chickens. I don't recommend keeping them with large breeds which can seriously hurt a silkie or even kill it. I recommend separating out the silkie and either get some more for it for company or find it a new home.
     
  3. babsi

    babsi Out Of The Brooder

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    I asked if that would be a problem at the hatchery where I got them all as chicks and they said no. :( everyone was fine until the Barnevelder got bigger than everyone. The head hen EE seems to still be in charge and the silkie was her best friend. It all shifted about a week ago.
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    That's too bad. I always thought it was general knowledge about silkies, and bantams in general. They are more gentle, and can go broody often.

    Barnevelder and EE are both vigorous breeds. Once birds reach sexual maturity they don't always get along the same anymore because they become more concerned about reproduction and making sure their offspring will have the best chance of survival, whether they have them or not. Can't really blame the birds, they are just following their instincts and hormones.
     
  5. babsi

    babsi Out Of The Brooder

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    It's my first flock. I really really like how sweet the silkie is. I don't have the area to have two flocks (one reg and the other silkies). If I just keep the silkie is there a way to get more about the same age (8 months) and introduce them peacefully?
     
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Silkies generally don't get as vicious as other breeds so it should be easier to integrate a few more. It might go smoother if the new ones are slightly younger than your existing hen. Generally you need to pen them side by side for a bit, but others just put them all together and let them work it out. I think it's a good route for you to go. I'm a big fan of my bantam cochins who are similar in behaviors, and size to silkies. They are a much calmer sweeter bird.
     
  7. babsi

    babsi Out Of The Brooder

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    I thought this would be much easier. The big hens are acting like a bunch of teenage girls. The silkie just enjoys her life. Of course they all also have their own personalities. I have to think about this one!!
     
  8. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    If they recently began laying they sometimes get a bit pushy for a month or two than they calm down. Spring brings a surge hormones that could bring out more aggression which goes away as summer approaches.

    Definitely take some time to think about it. Good luck in whatever you decide.
     
  9. babsi

    babsi Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you! I appreciate the advice!!
     
  10. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    How big is their coop and run? Could it just be that the Barnevelder is feeling a bit crowded? Are the places for the Silkie to get out of sight of the Barnevelder? Do you give them anything to keep them busy/distracted? Another feeder may help, but only if it's not within sight of the current feeder.
     

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