Introducing silkie hens to young flock: HELP PLEASE!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mawnunda, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. mawnunda

    mawnunda New Egg

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    Mar 24, 2013
    We are new at raising chickens as of this Spring. I have a flock of four (all hens...jtherebwete five but i recently adopted out our frizzle roo) the flock now consists of 2RIRs, one Buff, and one Silkie. I have raised this flock from a couple of weeks old since Easter of 2013...(end of March). I now have three Silkies hens that are still in the brooder that I've been raising since Mother's Day of this year. I am trying to intro my three silkies into the existing flock, but they are obviously smaller than the RIRs and the Buff. I have tried to put the younger flock in the backyard for an hour or so at a time with the free ranging existing flock and all goes well at first, but then the lead hen of the existing backyard flock begins an all out showdown with my newer silkies and will chase and peck the "babies" until they hide. The poor silkies seem so scared and defenseless and its horrible to watch . I have read and read about introducing them to the coop at night, waiting until they're the same size, segregating them in another pen, etc. my worry is that Because the silkies are a smaller breed, they won't grow to a similar size as the RIRs and the buff. The three are cool with the existing silkie in the flock because they have been raised with her.
    I guess my question is...is is possible to integrate my three newer silkies into the existing flock at all?? (I've read that it may be impossible)...oh.,.and my existing outdoor flock has begun to lay, if that had and bearing at all.
    I love my sweet silkies and they actually act like I'm their mama...I certainly don't want to see them hurt by putting them into our coop...but, they're in a bin and I'm afraid they're going to begin to feel stress being crowded together in the house.
    Please help!!! Again, I'm a totally new chicken owner and Learning everyday. I am open to any helpful suggestions I can get,
    Thanks so much in advance for any input!!! I truly love my chickens, especially my sweet silkies and want them all to be happy and healthy!!!!
     
  2. jenifry

    jenifry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 26, 2012
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    Hi. I have a mixed flock, and have recently introduced 2 silkies. I have 13 RIR and they are inherently aggressive. You have to remember that no matter what there will be some pecking and fighting until the pecking order is established. (Although, I am considering butchering my oldest RIR hen because she is downright evil.) My silkies are taking well to the flock, but as you fear, they are being picked on by the older more dominant hens. It might take a little while, but I definitely suggest putting them into the coop at night and letting them adjust in the morning. I have had to go out and "mother hen" for some of my babies the first week or two during the adjustment period, especially while they were at the feeder, showing the more dominant hens that Only I am the top hen and those are MY babies.
     
  3. There are a few ways to do an intro the night way which u mentioned and creating a small fenced area (with roof) to put them in during the day so they can meet through wire. I had a similar problem recently, my 3 young roosters were getting beat up by Eddy my older boy. We just let them out of their coop (I have a Free - Range flock) when the older ones went in. I let them out for 3o minutes every night and watched them. The older chickens coop is wire. So the boys got to meet the other ones through the fence, we did that for about 2 weeks then we decided to let both flocks out one morning. They got along! So a wire pen is a good idea if u don't want to do the intro at night.
    Good luck!
     
  4. mawnunda

    mawnunda New Egg

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    Mar 24, 2013
    Thank you both SO much!! It is a complete relief that is may not be impossible to do this introduction. I remember the lady that I purchased the chickens from told me that the first thing I should not do is read too much about raising my chicks lol!! She joked that it was like diagnosing yourself using webMD...the more you read, the more things will scare you...so what did I do??? Sat up until 3am last night reading horrific stories about chickens attacking each other and how Silkies have a soft spot in their skull that when pecked by larger chickens, can cause brain damage and so on....scared the holy beJesus out of me about my three adorable babies!!!! So thank you more than you know for making me feel better about things. We will definitely try these methods...(I'm so scared! The first flock I did ok with, but these Silkies are like sending my own kids off to school for the first time!!!) hopefully in time, they can all free range together and be ok with each other. And funny that you mention an evil RIR...my one RIR hen has turned very domineering now that I have given away my rooster. She used to be pretty chill, but she has turned into such a queen bee! I would eventually LOVE to find two more frizzles, but probably not until next Spring...and then I shall go through this all over again : ( if its even possible to mix chickens that far apart in age?!?? Like I said...huge learning curve lol!! Thanks a ton again! Maybe I can sleep tonight!! : )
     
  5. jenifry

    jenifry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You will probably always have a dominant hen if you don't have a rooster. Someone needs to lead the flock. :) Good luck! and most of all, Have fun!!
     
  6. mawnunda

    mawnunda New Egg

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    Mar 24, 2013
    Thank you so so much!!!!!!!
     

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