Introducing a very small chicken!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Rachey62, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. Rachey62

    Rachey62 Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm in need of some advice. We have an existing flock of 4 ex-bats and 2 silkie/sussex bantam cross, we also have 4 19 week old "chicks" including 1 cockerel. 3 of the chicks are now pretty much the same size as the big girls but the silver laced wyandotte is TINY!!! Half the size of the other chicks! We really want to integrate the two flocks, we've done it before when we added more ex-bats so the introduction itself doesn't worry us but I'm terrified that the tiny wyandotte will be ripped to shreds! The two bantams we have are definately at the bottom of the pecking order and she's much smaller than them. Would the cockerel she's grown up with protect her?!?! Help!
     
  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

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    I would say just be cautious and take the normal precautions. I have an Old English Game Bantam named Kiwi in with my flock. She's the only bantam and if you don't know the breed, she's only 20 ounces and never getting any bigger. She's actually smack dab in the middle of the pecking order that consists of breeds that are MUCH bigger than her. It's not always just about size - it's also about attitude! When I introduced a new full grown Buff Orpington hen to the group, Kiwi very quickly established dominance over her. She puffed right up and got her hackles going, and boy did the new hen learn to respect her quickly.

    I would say just watch when you do finally turn them all loose together and if it looks like anyone is giving her a particularly hard time, take the trouble maker out for a while for a 'time out' and then reintroduce her later. Roosters also tend to settle fights quickly so your cockerel might help keep the order during the process. Good luck!
     
  3. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I have several bantam breeds in my very nixed flock. Everybody's fine together. My little Silver Sebright hen Alice has a lot more status than most of the hens, including the large fowl ladies. And boy can she dish it out!
     
  4. Rachey62

    Rachey62 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you! Feeling a little less nervous now, the introductions begin tomorrow... We'll see how it goes...
     
  5. LeJeune1

    LeJeune1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Rachey62, we have a mixed flock with bantams and LF. We are blessed with a pretty good flock that gets along pretty well. I would have them near the others for a while Before truning them loose. Maybe in a crate or small sevtioned-off area in teh pen. And when I transition, I usually do it at night when everyones asleep, then the newbies wake up with the others. . then I go check on the early and several times during the day. Good Luck
     
  6. Rachey62

    Rachey62 Out Of The Brooder

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    We've had them free ranging together for a couple of days now snd everything seems ti be going well, we'll move onto phase 2 on Sunday!
     
  7. Pele

    Pele Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In my experience, the cockerels that are raised with a set of girls will protect them religiously. I once had a boy that stalwartly protected a group of 'his girls' at only 8 weeks of age. And that was against my standard sized laying girls! He had them on the run, let me tell you.

    If I had been able to keep a rooster, I would have been able to keep the bantams. But unfortunately without him around, my big girls terrorized the little girls like crazy. I ended up rehoming them with a friend, and they're very happy.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2013

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