How do I introduce silkie chicks to a flock of RIRs?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by oconnorfamily25, Oct 15, 2010.

  1. oconnorfamily25

    oconnorfamily25 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 19, 2010
    The problem, is winter is closing in, and we want our living room back!! we have 5 baby silkies, two roos and three hens, and we need to introduce them into a flock of RIRs, all hens. The girls have just begun to lay and are quite big. All the sites I have looked on have said that you should slip the new additions in at night, on the roost, but our silkies CAN'T FLY. Also, they say that you should wait until the are the same size as your existing flock members. But they are BANTAMS!!!
     
  2. Bat Cave Silkies

    Bat Cave Silkies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 11, 2010
    Bat Cave, NC
    I know there will be many who disagree with me, but I don't mix Silkies with ANY other poultry.
    Silkies are just too vulnerable, in my opinion. If they're vaulted, their brain is vulnerable to pecking injuries. If their crests are large, they can't see the enemy approaching.....also, they can't run away from the enemy very well without running into something. They can't fly to get away from a bully.

    There will always be a big size difference between your Silkies and your RIR's.
     
  3. Chook-A-Holic

    Chook-A-Holic Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2009
    Central, N.C.
    RIR hens can be brutal to newcomers, I wouldn't do it. Especially Silkies...
     
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote:I agree wholeheartedly with the above. I know others do sometimes combine other breeds with silkies.

    I separated my silkies (11 of them) into their own flock and yard. They are much happier and secure feeling- I can see it with my own eyes. Another thing is : RIR. I just have in my mind, correct me if I'm wrong someone, that they are aggressive hens to smaller chickens. I have read stories on craigslist that their RIR hens wouldn't accept the newcomers so they had to give away or sell the hens.

    I have Golden Sex Links, which are a cross between RIR and RI white. They are aggressive to my bantams and I tried OVER and OVER to integrate without success- they were going for the kill, ganging up on them in groups. So I keep them and my BOs (who all grew up together in a separate flock from my other 50 birds (not including the silkies).

    Here is a graphic pic of a silkie skull - it has a soft spot like a baby:
    http://www.browneggblueegg.com/Article/HoleInHead.html

    If they are pecked in the right spot on the head hard enough, it can kill them or leave them brain damaged.

    Here is info. on silkies:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=92702
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=99105

    And, silkies like to sleep in a pile on the shavings, not roost (usually). They are sweet and adorable.

    If you just aren't set up to maintain two flocks, you can still house them together at night. Just put a dog crate in the coop or separate quarters where they won't get killed in the morning when everyone wakes up.

    Then you can just put a 4 foot high fence up with some netting over it for their separate run if you are not free ranging your RIRs (just make sure that you protect them from neighbor dogs).

    What I have done is just separate my silkies by putting them in a rabbit hutch at night in the garden. They have a fence that keeps out the other chickens and netting on top. I let them out (when I am there) to grass using TWO foot high chicken wire. They don't like to wander far, and grow tired of eating grass pretty quickly, then back to safety they go. When the roo sees a hawk, he sends everyone back in.

    They are easy to keep happy. They other chickens constantly want to wander around and free range. Silkies seem content just to be safe and eat some grass for a little while. I have read other people's accounts of how silkies really don't want to free range.

    You can make them happy a lot easier than other chickens, in other words.
     
  5. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    I agree, it is probably best not to put them together.

    However ..... I will tell you what I have here. [​IMG]

    I have a Splash Silkie roo that insists he is king of the coop. He absolutely runs this place (I have 150 chickens). He runs all over the place, and does not stay with the Silkies. No one bothers him, they wouldn't dare! He sleeps in the pen with the Barred Rocks. He does roost, as do my other Silkies. I have roosts that are varying heights, beginning about 1 foot up from the floor.

    By the way, my RIRs do not bother any of my Silkies, and they all free range. They just all go their separate ways. [​IMG] If they were all in the same coop or pen, I am not sure how that would be.

    I know ..... I am no help at all. Sorry.

    What size is your coop? Is there any way to divide it in half?
     

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