Integration Woes - Someone killed my white silkie

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by PurpleChicken, Aug 30, 2008.

  1. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    Apr 6, 2007
    A few nights ago I integrated my Silkie flock (2 roos & 3 hens) into my layer
    flock along with 3 Spitzhaubens and 5 mutts. They all free ranged together
    already and there wasn't a problem.

    Last night I caught a large RIR/BR hen attacking my silkies. She spent the
    night in my house as chew toy for my dogs. (No worries people, she survived).

    A while later we found Snowflake, our small white silkie, on her back in the
    run. There were a couple feathers taken out of her neck but no other
    damage. I put her in the brooder with the quail babies. She seemed to improve
    a little.

    My wife found her dead this morning. She must have had internal injuries
    or the shock killed her. My wife is very sad and buried her in our garden.

    Integration can be tough and I tend to do it very early and often. I also
    use it as an opportunity to eliminate the more aggressive birds.
    The hens on top of the pecking order never seem to bother them. It's
    only the low ranking birds who get vicious, especially the EE's and RIR/BR
  2. Jennyhaschicks

    Jennyhaschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2008
    Tell your wife I'm sorry. I know how she feels.

    I have 4 silkies now and they aren't ready to go out with the older birds yet. I think they will have a tough time.
  3. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    My BR and Marans hens are mean mean mean bullies. [​IMG] They also lay gorgeous big brown eggs every single day. [​IMG]
  4. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    PC... one thing you have to realize with silkies... every now and then you will have the occasional bird which are often referred to as "house chickens" ... by this I mean that even if you have a group of ONLY silkies there will be the occasional bird that the "group" just for some reason doesnt like and once given a chance they will insist on attachng themselves to you instead of the other birds and as a result often are taken in as "house " chickens by us nuttie silkie ppl. If your little white silkie was one of those and added to that equation was a bird that regularly picks on the silkies.... you might find this a regular occurance. Just something to think on.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2008
  5. LittleChickenRacingTeam

    LittleChickenRacingTeam On vacation

    Jan 11, 2007
    Ontario, CANADA
    I let the rest of the flock see the new additions for 2 to 3 weeks in a seperate cage. Then I closely supervise the first few times they are in the same run.

    Fights will happen, it's part of the pecking order. I break up the fights & let the attacker know that the new additions are part of my flock, by making a fuss of them. I also use a water gun to reinforce that I am serious about protecting the new chooks.
  6. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    I just had a near fatal similar occurance. Someone gave me a nice white silky trio and I did not take enough time to integrate them properly. Well, the new roo was bloodied by the older hens, and one new hen was near death. I must not have seen her the prior feeding, because the next evening at chores, she was badly dehydrated hiding in a house, head pecked bloody, both eyes swollen shut. I took her into my bedroom and just put her in a bucket of shavings with a blanket tent to cut stimulus and made some mush for her by soaking some crumbles and dipped her beak in it made fresh several times a day. It took four days until her eyes opened back up and she started clucking a little. Then I let her "free range" in an extra large wire dog crate until I was certain she was eating and drinking well. I had separated the old silkies from the new silkies already, but when I went to add the beat up girl to her original trio, both birds started to beat her up right away, so I put her in a small dog crate inside their little run for several days, then did supervised outings. The other hen accepted her, but the roo kept wanting to beat her up, so then I put the roo in the little dog crate for a few days and let the two hens act normal, then let the roo out, and all has been fine for a few days. (knock on wood) I am not going to try to blend the two silkie groups, because the three older girls are very mediocre and are just for brooding and eggs anyhow. They lay pretty good sized eggs, almost store bought size. They are tough enough to hold their own with a flock of Copper Black Marans, so I think I will not try to mix them with the gentler, prettier silkies for several reasons. Maybe the trio will be able to multiply and some day I will have a nice flock of decent white silkie broodies.
  7. Marlinchaser

    Marlinchaser Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2007
    My white silke is running with a gang of Guineas, I could send her your way. Her and her FRIENDS could teach that RIR/BR a lesson in respect if you want.
  8. Henrietta23

    Henrietta23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 20, 2007
    Eastern CT
    Sorry PC, Mrs. PC. and Drum. [​IMG]
    I think I met Snowflake at Moosehill's maybe?
    Now I'm afraid to get George any silkie girlfriends like I wanted to unless they're penned separately. None of my other chickens like George at all. He's my only silkie.
  9. Blisschick

    Blisschick not rusty

    Feb 20, 2007
    Shepherd, Texas
    Quote:Guineas are the barnyard mobsters. I had to get rid of mine because they kept beating up everyone. [​IMG]

    Sorry to hear about your silkie, PC. I've had a few integration losses in the past myself, so I totally feel for you. I try to do like you and introduce them when they are still relatively small so they don't do much damage. It's tough sometimes to integrate the older birds.
  10. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    Apr 6, 2007
    Thanks for the kind words and thoughts all.

    Snowflake was full grown and almost ready to lay. Our flock of 5 silkies
    ranged daily with the standards but were seperated in the coop.
    She was smaller than the others and tended to lag behind them. She
    ended up outside in the run alone and something happened. There wasn't
    any external damage other than a few picked neck feathers. My wife
    insists she had a fractured neck. A few hard pecks by a 7 pound hen
    could have done it, I guess.

    We have always had silkies mixed in with our layers. This was our first
    silkie loss. Me have had smaller standards ripped apart.

    Evil chickens. [​IMG]

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