how many can I add?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by fishnet1971, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. so i have a group of 11 birds. 1 RSL rooseter and 10 girls. full size. I have an 8 X 10 coop (TajMahal) and a huge run free range yard.

    question is, I know i have room for 1 or 2 full size new hens. BUT, will that equate to 4 - 6 Bantams in stead? I dont have any and am considering a few. only TSC only sells them in 6's. If i get 3 from the hatchery, (Bantam) will they be ok with my full size flock? Will my roo try to mate with them?
  2. beefmaster

    beefmaster Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 17, 2012
    yes you can add a few banty hens no your big girls may pick on them because of their size.
  3. devora

    devora Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yup and yup. Your current girls might not pick on them b/c of size; a new pecking order will be established.

    And yeah, your roo is gonna mate w/ them.
  4. sounds kind of dumb, but will my 'Bird hurt the new girls? Am reallllllyyyyy wanting a few Silkies and dont want to have them getting hurt by him.
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Potentially a large rooster mating smaller hens can cause physical damage. Bantams, especially silkies, being introduced into an ESTABLISHED standard flock carries the possibility of severe bullying and even death. Bantams and standards raised together allows a flock with minimal problems. The introduction of bantams to a standard flock is fraught with problems.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2012
  6. that's exactly what i wanted to know. Maybe i will hold off anther year or so. Last year i was able to add the 2 Cochins, and EE and a GLW no problem to my existing flock (except your normal pecking order stuff) Took the normal time of letting them get to know each other, temporary pen inside their pen to get to know each other for a few months, separate sleeping quarters within my coop, etc. I just dont want to risk bringing in two Silkies only to have them be destroyed by my current flock of 11. It would break my heart.
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    A lot of this depends on how hard you want to work and your set-up. There are risks when you integrate new chickens. Some of us have greater risks than others. Your space gives yo a big advantage over a lot if people to try it.

    I'd approach it one of two different ways. In either case, set up a seaparate coop for the small ones and any full size ones you want to start with them. I'm assuming chicks. Keep them separate from the others until you are ready to free range them. Then you could try just letting them go during the day but let them sleep in their own coop at night. There is a fair chance they would be able to merge without huge problems, but they will remain two different flocks until the young ones fully mature.

    The other option is to keep them separate and gradually introduce the old flock to them. Take one or two of the milder birds in your existing flock and lock them with the new birds when you think they are old enough. When things settle, introduce a few more. Eventually, you should get them all merged.

    I'm not going tio guarantee either way will work, but I think you have a reasonable shot at it.

    When a hen mates with a rooster, she squats. This spreads her on the ground and distributes the roosters's weight. If she tries to stay on her legs, she is much more likely to get hurt. Think of it as a car tire rolling over a wide flat rock versus a car tire rolling over a sharp nail. One way is a lot more likely to cause damage than the other.

    This is not to say that there won't ever be problems, but a larger rooster mating a smaller hen is often not as risky as you would think, especially if the hen does her part and squats.

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