Integrating silkies

May 28, 2020
525
677
206
Bonney Lake, Washington
Hi all, I know this is a very standard question but happy for any input!

I have 2 silkie pullets (about 10 weeks old right now) that are still indoors. 3/5 hens are happy with them, 2/5 are a bit mean (lowest on pecking order). They spend several hours a day outside together but stay very separate in their "cliques."

I may wait a week or 2 more to put the new girls outside, but a couple of main questions:

- Should I close them off in their small run (usually they have more space) together first, or have them spend the night in the coop first?
- Food - assuming I should put the grower food out and just give oyster shells for the bigger girls?
 

PoultryCQ

Songster
Jul 13, 2021
563
882
166
CA
Hi all, I know this is a very standard question but happy for any input!

I have 2 silkie pullets (about 10 weeks old right now) that are still indoors. 3/5 hens are happy with them, 2/5 are a bit mean (lowest on pecking order). They spend several hours a day outside together but stay very separate in their "cliques."

I may wait a week or 2 more to put the new girls outside, but a couple of main questions:

- Should I close them off in their small run (usually they have more space) together first, or have them spend the night in the coop first?
- Food - assuming I should put the grower food out and just give oyster shells for the bigger girls?
Okay, so for a normal breed, I would have recommended just to add them into the flock since they have been spending time together already, BUT silkies have a vaulted skull, so its important to integrate them slowly. Usually, all goes well, but I recommend first seperating the silkies in a "see not touch" set up in their coop for a few days, and introducing them without barriers when they are free ranging, so theres more space to escape. Also make sure to put several feeders out as well as waterers so that they can all eat and drink.
 

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