Newbie from south Florida

Chaylan

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 30, 2014
5
0
7
Naples, FL
Hi everyone!

I have been lurking on BYC for a couple months and finally just officially joined. I am new to raising chickens - I've always been more of a city girl, but recently bought a nice house on a beautiful 2+ acres in south Florida. My boyfriend grew up with chickens in his early childhood, and really got this whole thing started with a few well-placed suggestions. So now we are the brand new parents of a flock of 15 little chicks who are currently almost 3 weeks old.

I tried to do some research on BYC and other places before ordering our chicks. We were especially interested in friendly, quiet and heat tolerant breeds. It's not unusual for us to have 90+ degree days for 5-6 months out of the year, so we really wanted to make sure we got breeds that wouldn't suffer in the high heat and humidity. We wanted chickens for egg-laying, and don't really intend on eating them at this point. We ended up with 6 EEs, 9 Polish (3 white, 3 buff laced, & 3 golden), and 1 mystery chicken that I am certain is a salmon faverolle. One of the white Polish chicks died after the first week (so sad!!), but she had been sickly since she first arrived from the hatchery. The others all seem to be doing well.

I had hoped that by getting so many Polish that we wouldn't have as much of a problem with them being picked on, but a couple of the EEs absolutely insist on yanking out the feathers of the white Polish. They go around pulling on feathers from everyone, but they are especially forceful with the 2 white Polish, I assume because their pinkish skin beneath their white feathers are more easily visible? They don't do much with the golden Polish or the other EEs. They actually avoid the Faverolle for some reason. I had read that that breed was so docile it was prone to bullying, but the one I have just gives the EEs the old hairy eyeball and they decide against picking on him/her.

The 2 bully EEs are currently confined to their own pen for the good of the rest of the flock.I have the 2 injured white Polish coated with Rooster Booster to cover up the scabs/red areas, and this seems to protect them from the rest. They have a decent-sized brooder area while the main coop is being built, so I don't think they're overcrowded. I've tried to give them things to do include a sand box and a mirror, so I'm not sure if they're still bored or just overly aggressive.

Despite the bloody feathers and some minor drama, I just adore the chicks. I've never laughed so hard as the first time I witnessed a game of "chicken rugby" when one chick got a leaf and a game of chase ensued all around the brooder!!

Looking forward to this great learning/life experience!
 

Mountain Peeps

Jesus is my life
Premium member
5 Years
Apr 23, 2014
28,450
5,626
647
Colorado
My Coop
My Coop
Welcome, welcome, welcome!!! Good luck raising chickens! It sure is an adventure!! We are here to help if you have any questions or just want someone to talk chickens with;)
 

TwoCrows

A Native Raven
Staff member
Premium member
9 Years
Mar 21, 2011
40,841
61,056
1,492
New Mexico, USA
My Coop
My Coop
Hello there and welcome to BYC!

Yes, sometimes these Polish can picked on and mainly because of all the feathers they have on their heads. You should probably raise your Polish in a separate coop and run to keep them happy and healthy.

Enjoy your flock and welcome to our flock!
 

Kelsie2290

Free Ranging
Premium member
8 Years
Feb 18, 2011
36,683
4,863
556
Ohio
Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! Ya. Polish can be a challenge in a mixed flock, with chicks it seems to be more because the crests are different, and if they are at all bored something fun to do, a source of entertainment... hopefully it will stop when you get them in the coop, otherwise you may look at putting pinless peepers on the EEs eventually.
 

cavemanrich

Enabler
5 Years
Apr 6, 2014
12,676
34,595
1,127
Melrose Park Illinois
A mixed flock is very colorful. That is what I have and want. I only keep hens and NO ROOSTERS. And where I live roosters are ILL EAGLES, Well you get the idea. I had polish and she was not picked on at all. Occasionally the chickens would git into little confrontations, but that is in order to establish the pecking order. When they know where they stand then they take their turns , especially at food. PLEASANT WISHES WITH YOUR FLOCK.
 

Chaylan

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 30, 2014
5
0
7
Naples, FL
I had never heard of pinless peepers before. I did a search here on BYC and got the biggest laugh so far in my chicken experience, looking at some goggle-eyed contraptions!! Hopefully my EEs will settle down soon and it won't be necessary, but thank you for mentioning it.


I can understand their need to establish and enforce a pecking order, but these EEs are yanking out and breaking feathers, causing a lot of bleeding on my white Polish. This then causes everyone else to start pecking. Not good...
For some reason, they mostly only pick on the whites. The golden ones are pretty safe. The buff ones occasionally get picked on.

Hopefully the main coop should be done in another week and a half, they should be a bit happier then!
 

drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium member
10 Years
Aug 26, 2009
125,261
175,005
1,857
Out to pasture
It's not unusual for Polish or silkies to be picked on often. Their 'different' appearance and sometimes their passivity , ,makes them a major target. Also their crests can obscure their vision which prevents them from fighting back.

Sometimes trimming the crest back ends the bullying.
 

Chaylan

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 30, 2014
5
0
7
Naples, FL
I have heard about the crest & eyesight problem and do plan on trimming them so they can see better. They should at least be able to see their tormentors, right?

It's not a problem yet, as they are still very young. Only one of them has even started getting crest feathers yet. I think I just have racist chickens, picking on the whites...
 

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