Mixing chickens and bantams together?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mark22, Feb 22, 2015.

  1. mark22

    mark22 New Egg

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    Jun 22, 2014
    Suffolk, England
    So, I have 4 fully established adult hens in my chicken run with their own coop who all get along perfectly fine. Last spring/summer I decided to have a go at hatching some bantams which was a little hit and miss but I managed to raise a few. However a few of them did turn out to be cockerels and unfortunately I had to take them to a local farm as they were a little on the noisy side! Anyway, I was left with 1 feathered footed female bantam which I had outside with her own coop in the same run as my chickens but it was separated by plastic mesh fencing so the chickens could see the bantam but not get to her. However, as her male companions had now departed she was left alone so I decide to get a couple of more female bantams to keep her company so I got a dutch bantam and a sebright. The first couple of days together there was a little bit of tension between them as they were establishing the pecking order but since then they have all got on fine. I still keep the bantams and chickens apart but they can see each other but how long am I supposed to keep them this way until I can let them all integrate together, or do I have to keep them apart permanently? I always thought that chickens and bantams would get along fine together but I have heard that they need to be kept apart. Is that true? I don't want to risk taking down the plastic mesh screen that currently keeps them apart, only to find that the large hens attack the small bantams, especially when it comes to throwing down treats for them as I did experience a time when I did that with the one bantam I had, the adult hens attacked her and she was left lying still on the ground with her beak bleeding. That scared me as I thought they had killed her but luckily she was OK and made a quick recovery after keeping her apart again. So what do I do, should I try introducing them all together again or carry on keeping them apart?
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    When raised together from chicks, bantams and large fowl tend to do OK given enough space. Any birds integrated into an established flock (your 4 adult hens) will initially be picked on. Due to their small size this can be dangerous for bantams especially very small birds. I'd be very cautious about merging the flocks.
     
  3. whittychick

    whittychick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I merged my flocks together after 8-9 weeks. I had several new bantams and they imtergration went wonderful! I mean, the normal pecking order happened but no bullying. I made sure I added fun things to keep them occupied; food/treats and free ranging was helpful as well. Now they all snuggle together roosting. I hope all goes well.
     
  4. Sonya9

    Sonya9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have four very small OEG Bantams that live with a couple of adult standard laying hens. Never had a problem but they do have a large outdoor run. Make sure there are things for the birds to hide behind (or fly on top of) to help if someone is picked on during integration. Also I put out 2-3 feeding dishes so no one can bogart the feed.

    The bantams will intimidate/push around younger standard size birds that are much larger than them, but they respect the adult standard hens. The pecking order seems to have more to do with age/maturity than with size.
     
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  5. whittychick

    whittychick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes I agree defaintly put out a few watering dishes and food containers!
     

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