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Need advice on introducing small silkieX roo to big RIR hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by 4birdsathome, Dec 23, 2013.

  1. 4birdsathome

    4birdsathome New Egg

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    Dec 23, 2013
    Sherborn, MA
    We are new to chicken farming and acquired 3 RIR chicks in May (on Mother's Day!) who have grown into very robust hens. We recently acquired a 5-month old silkie cross roo whom we have fallen in love with. We kept him isolated for a couple of days and then (against protocol) tried to introduce him to the hens first thing in the morning, who promptly set upon him. He is younger than the hens by 2 months and much smaller & he was terrified. We put him back in isolation and then I did the research I ought to have done initially, and we put him back in the pen again this morning, inside of a dog crate, so that the hens can see him and he can see them but hopefully he will be protected. He was terrified, however, although the hens seemed more interested in their scratch than in him. Our plan is to do this for several days and then put him in the coop at night, after the hens have fallen asleep. Any advice/thoughts on what else we can do would be terrific. I am so afraid that if we put him in at night we will come out at daybreak to find him ripped to shreds inside......has anyone else gone through this???
     
  2. GreenSahara

    GreenSahara Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 8, 2013
    VA
    That sounds like an excellent plan. I am confident that your rooster will be fine. We recently introduced several 3 month old hens into our old laying hens and they got along fine.
     
  3. Roymann

    Roymann New Egg

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    Dec 22, 2013
    I introduced two 5 month old silkies into my hen house at night several months ago. I had 10 large 2 year old hens, a variety of breeds, in the coop. The next morning the large hens acted intimidated by the new birds, that didn't last long and for a short period of time would peck at and chase them away. This also didn't last long and in no time they all got along. A couple of months later 1 of the 2 white silkies died. We always heard to at least have a pair of silkies so we found two 7 month old buff silkies to keep the white one company. The white silkie and all the large hens were very mean to the new birds. What solved the problem ( both times ) was letting them all free range together. After a few days of free ranging together a few hours a day they all started getting along. The silkies now will even take food from the bigger hens when they get a chance. On another note, my remaining white silkie started crowing a couple of months ago, turns out he's a rooster. He is very tiny even smaller then the other silkies. He has fought hard for his rooster respect, he will grab the large hens rear feathers and hold on while they run around pulling him squawking. At least the other silkies although a little larger are manageable for him and the 3 are now very close. I believe free ranging will solve the problem, you might need to catch the silkies at first and carry them outside near the other birds.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2013
  4. 4birdsathome

    4birdsathome New Egg

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    Dec 23, 2013
    Sherborn, MA
    Hmmm...having more than 1 silkie does make sense. There were no hens available but there was another silkie cross rooster. This guy was very docile as we were transporting him home and made very little noise. We wondered if he would crow and, sure enough, at daylight the next morning, he did. He is tiny but has a very strong crow!
     

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