New chicken to the coop

RhodeIslandGuy

In the Brooder
May 2, 2015
13
1
24
Hey guys. I was thinking of getting a silkie as a new edition for the coop. I'm afraid that my RIR (I have four) might peck him to death. What do you think about the matter?
Ps: my chicken are very friendly towards me and each other. They eat out of my hand and they love being pet.
 

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
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Hey guys. I was thinking of getting a silkie as a new edition for the coop. I'm afraid that my RIR (I have four) might peck him to death. What do you think about the matter?
Ps: my chicken are very friendly towards me and each other. They eat out of my hand and they love being pet.

Silkies are easy targets for bullying, and adding just one bird to a group of more than one is going to make any bullying that does occur worse, so your concern has some legs -- what age and gender are your RIR and how much space do they have? Unfortunately, there is no way to know for sure whether you will be happy or heartbroken if you add to the flock until/unless you take the leap. I would be hesitant.
 

RhodeIslandGuy

In the Brooder
May 2, 2015
13
1
24
Thanks for the advice :)
They are all female and are pretty young (they still can't lay eggs). I've never noticed any bullying they all get along. They live on a 220 on 220 on 220 coop (meters). I let them roam every day for about 2 hours.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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Integrating one chicken is that hardest integration of all......it's all about territoriality, not 'friendliness'.
That one chicken will be seen and an intruder and will be attacked.

Also your 'open air' coop is not really enough protection for hardy birds let alone a silkie.



Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.......
......take what applies or might help and ignore the rest.
See if any of them, or the links provided at the bottom, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:

Integration of new chickens into flock.


Consider medical quarantine:
BYC Medical Quarantine Article
Poultry Biosecurity
BYC 'medical quarantine' search

Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

For smaller chicks I used a large wire dog crate right in the coop for the smallers. I removed the crate door and put up a piece of wire fencing over the opening and bent up one corner just enough for the smallers to fit thru but the biggers could not. Feed and water inside the crate for the smallers. Make sure the smallers know how to get in and out of the crate opening before exposing them to the olders. this worked out great for me, by the time the crate was too small for the them to roost in there(about 3 weeks), they had pretty much integrated themselves to the olders.

If you have too many smallers to fit in a crate you can partition off part of the coop with a wire wall and make the same openings for smallers escape.


The more space, the better. Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

Places for the new birds to hide out of line of sight and/or up and away from any bully birds.

Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
This is good place to start reading:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
 

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