Not As Easy As I Thought (long rambling post)

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Enchanted Sunrise Farms, Sep 14, 2007.

  1. When i hatched silkie eggs for the first time this summer i thought that i would just keep the six or so girls i liked, then find homes for the others and any roosters. It all felt very simple at the time. i also ordered some sexed female silkies from mypetchicken. At this point, i have adopted out about 14 kids. But now i'm down to a core group of chicks i really like. i have 9 nine-week-olds and 3 eight-week-olds. Out of those, i think i have four that are looking roo-ish.

    One big problem i'm having is integrating the 3 younger ones into the group. Two of them are very submissive and just put their heads down when approached. One of them tries to fight back, and has taken to pulling the wings on my favorite little grey girls (hey!). i have tried putting them all together several times, but the screams eventually get to me and i put the 3 younger ones in a hutch inside the pen. At night i have tried mixing them up - first everyone in the same hutch to sleep. Then as i see anyone doing too much head-pecking, they get put in the chick-n-barn to sleep. i've identified the five notorious head-peckers as mainly the ones i think are roos, and then one feisty girl (if i can even tell at this stage of the game). They all sleep fine together, but upon light of day, the head-peckers start pecking each other and i need to switch them out.

    i also have two almost-adult EEs who get to come out several times a day and are kept separate from the silkies, and then three teeny seven-week-old frizzle/silkie/mille fleur (they are in a cage inside the pen). i guess i'm just writing this to vent. i think i took on too much. Having four separate groups is not what i imagined. i am fine with keeping the silkies away from the EEs for another two months until they are larger and better able to handle that introduction. But i'm not doing well emotionally with trying to integrate the two groups of silkies. i just hate to hear the screams of pain (or fear). i can't even imagine how i'll integrate those teeny weeny mille fleur mixes. Have thought about giving them away, but my husband thinks they're pretty.

    Okay, last thing to mope about are ones who will be roosters. i would love to find them all great homes. My fallback position on that has been to take them to the local feed store, who will accept chickens, then keep them in their coop and sell them. But i was in there the other day, and they had two big Silkie roosters - they were both gorgeous! One was a chocolate brown (i have never seen that color). He was so pretty, with his big gnarly mulberry comb and long flappy wattles. And although the coop was perfectly nice and clean and roomy, i felt so bad that he had to be in there, waiting for someone to come adopt him. The idea of one of my birds sitting in there, wondering what he did wrong, is so sad.

    i suppose if i had to do it all over again, i would have stuck with just ordering from (except that one of the silkies i did order from them, Lulu, is turning into a RooRoo). So, that's it. i'm done complaining for the week. Maybe i'll go back out to the coop and see if i can negotiate peace.
  2. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Being such a softee, I would've snagged the roos! If I had a dream, it would be to have a place where I could be hip deep in roos to live out their lives in peace and love...
  3. Me too, SpottedCrow. Next house we buy has to have some acreage.

    By the way, i decided to put all the chicks together again. After some initial scuffling, they quieted down. Just went out to check and everyone is peacefully minding their own business. i guess i just need to let them all be together to work it out. Now to see what happens at bedtime . . .
  4. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    That's the hardest part of being a mommy, chicken or human...letting them settle things themselves...glad they worked it out.
    Obelisk despised Penny at first sight, sort of like what is this little pipsqueak that's in my domain? How dare you! They're getting along now, but it took alot longer than I thought, because she, Slifer and Jerry were fine all together from the first. [​IMG] Depends on your birdie's personalities.
  5. AtRendeAcres

    AtRendeAcres Songster

    May 23, 2007
    Clarion County
    I hear you!

    I have:

    4 in the back of the coop (15&16wk)
    2 in the front (13wk)
    3 in dog crate (6wk)
    15 in the tub (3wks)

    ((I actually split the coop in 2)) my EE were terrible to my banties after a month of a few hours a day outside together!!! [​IMG]

    I wish someone would have told me to get them all at one time if they are brooded together they seem fine regular size or banty!
  6. lurky

    lurky Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
    It seems we all do it. I have 3 coops. 1 for big birds......1 for bantams and 1 for the silkies. If all the silkies are girls, i would love to turn the 2 small coops into a big one for all the little ones, but i am glad i dont have to. Its nice to hear they are working it out. Caring about them really takes alot outta ya [​IMG]
  7. homecatmom

    homecatmom Songster

    Hi Airheart, I'm glad to hear the group is trying to get along today. We went to the L.A. Fair and I rushed over to the barns to see all the chickens! What a letdown...[​IMG] There was a total of probably 10 hens and 12 roos. Nobody there could tell me what kind of chickens they were, how old, nothing. They had a nursery area where there were 5 or 8 eggs in an incubator, I asked the girl, who turns the eggs? (they werent on a tilting table) and she said "nobody, they don't need turned". Hmmm...I'm very inexperienced, but I thought they were supposed to be. All in all I was disappointed in the trip. I hope you and your husband enjoy it if you go this weekend.
  8. It is exhausting, caring about certain timid ones getting pecked. i wish i could scoop up the gentle ones and let them live in the house with me.

    Tonight i gave everyone a treat and added some play sand and organic potting soil to their pens, then tucked mealworms underneath so they had to scratch for them. There were skirmishes, but i guess not too horrible. At bedtime the older group settled into the small rabbit hutch and the three younger ones went into the chick-n-barn (thank goodness someone is using it after spending over $300 on it!). i guess things will work out. If i can get these two groups to get along, then i feel like i can wait another 4-5 months or so for the roos to really make themselves known.

    RChicks and lurky, your set ups sound as complicated as mine. i totally agree that the very best idea is to get all your chicks at the same time, so they work out their skirmishes at an early age.

    It's just such an emotional drain! i love these guys, all of them, even Lulu the RooRoo! She is actually a fairly benevolent leader. She never over-pecks, just one peck and everyone falls into line, then she happily hangs out with whomever she happens to be standing next to. i watched her hang out in a corner with the younger ones yesterday. i don't know why they were all standing in the corner, like they were waiting for a bus. But she was in line there, in case the rapid transit showed up. They were all worried and scared, but she just snugged in and stood there with them.

    Hours of entertainment here.
  9. Cathy,

    Dang, the fair was a bust? My husband and i were planning on going Sunday. i saw a news clip where they showed a pretty buff polish. Only 22 chickens? And if someone is not turning the eggs and they need to, i will be happy to educate them. i get really irritated with educational exhibits that don't respect the animals. i remember seeing a butterfly hatching exhibit one time in a mall near where i worked. The butterflies were hatching and there was nothing for them to eat, so they were dying. Not a pretty sight for kids to see. So i let the folks know what i thought, in no uncertain terms.

    Dang! i'll let you know what i see when we go. Sorry it was not worth it for you. Hopefully you found other areas that made up for it. i see they have a wine appreciation area. [​IMG]

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