Henhouse sharing

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Inspektor, Nov 27, 2015.

  1. Inspektor

    Inspektor Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 27, 2015
    Hello all,
    I'm new to the chicken world. (6mos) we have 2 hen silkies and a rooster silkie which we raised from an egg. We acquired 4 RIR hens just over a year old a short time ago. We introduced all the chickens this passed Sunday to one another (after quarantine) however my silkies have shared the henhouse at night up until tonight. They have nested under the henhouse. And I'm worried the RIRs will not allow them back in. My question(s) is....
    Will this be a every night thing now?
    Will they eventually go in tonight? I don't want them to freeze as the months get colder....
    When will the pecking order finally take hold??

    Thanks in advance
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2015
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    What you have done is brought in intruders and the more docile breed, your silkies have decided they aren't going to defend the coop and have given it up. I personally would be afraid of introducing adult RIR to silkies, the RIR could severely hurt your silkies, the rooster will hopefully defend his girls from attacks. I'm not sure what to tell you except I would house them next to each other for a long time, keeping them separately, with mingling in the run or free ranging, it can take adult birds a long time to accept other adults, and I always advice against mixing bantam and large fowl, when they grow up together it can work sometimes.
     
  3. Inspektor

    Inspektor Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 27, 2015
    Thanks so much. So I'm a better off removing the RIR and introducing a bantam type of fowl? (Of course after the quarantine)
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    I personally would, and it's better to introduce younger birds if possible to increase the flock numbers, under three month, closer to two is always better, adults will almost always be intruders, where it normal for young ones to show up in a flock. I start by housing the new ones in a temporary pen for a week or two than under supervision I let them mingle, returning them to their pen until I feel everyone can coexist.

    I keep my bantam in a separate coop from my large fowl, they can free range in the same area, but the bantams can and do fall back to their run a lot. Larger breeds can be mean to bantam sometimes.
     
  5. turtlebutt

    turtlebutt Out Of The Brooder

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    I was wondering about this as well. I rescued a young dutch bantam hen... just started laying. I want a mixed flock, but am afraid larger breeds will pick on her. Is it okay to introduce younger larger breeds... like under 21 weeks? Or should I stick with bantam size breeds? I do want other colored eggs too.
     
  6. Mahlzeit

    Mahlzeit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In my experience and opinion as long as there are places the hens can hide and escape to for a while letting them co mingle is not a problem. Except for rare cases, it is really only until they establish a pecking order that they fight with each other. After that there may be a peck or two if they get to close to food that a higher ranking chicken is working on. I would place the silkies inside on the roost as night and let them begin to tolerate each other. Again unless in the case that the new hens are relentless in their abuse and the silkies can't escape it.
     
  7. Mahlzeit

    Mahlzeit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You never want to introduce just one bird to any flock. When new birds come in the established birds don't want to lose their place in the pecking order so they will go after that new bird. If it is just one bird you will have them all ganging up on her. If you introduce a number of birds then it is not just that one hen they are after.
     
  8. turtlebutt

    turtlebutt Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks. She's my only one. So do I get a couple of others young hens at a time to put in with her?
     
  9. Mahlzeit

    Mahlzeit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah that would work
     
  10. Inspektor

    Inspektor Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 27, 2015
    Welp I actually got rid of the RIR and swapped them with a local for 3 orpington pullets (3wks old) and a sussex pullet (5wks old)
     

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