Possible to merge little silkies to flock of normal size chickens?

sylviechick

Chirping
6 Years
May 4, 2013
11
1
77
Nor Cal
My 2 little silkies are 9 weeks and I'm starting to prepare their transition to the coop with my 2 big girls. We have a full grown welsummer and a wyandotte. The silkies are small and as I'm reading about combining chickens, everything says not to add smaller birds to a flock of bigger ones. I'm getting nervous. Can it be done? Or are they going to be separate for life? I'd appreciate any advice. I let them free range together for about an hour recently, but it's a big space and the chickens didn't even notice the chicks. I am going to move the chicks' enclosure next to the chickens' coop so they can adjust a bit that way.
 

Robert G

Songster
Jan 23, 2018
420
626
197
South Texas
I just introduced 4 Silkies that just turned 8 weeks to my large flock which consists of 12 large breeds and another 15 bantams without any issues. My red cochin raised them and she was ready to leave them. So they have been running around with the entire flock. Of course they are a bit scared but have plenty of room to run around.
 

sylviechick

Chirping
6 Years
May 4, 2013
11
1
77
Nor Cal
Thanks for your reply! It's good to hear a success story :)

I just introduced 4 Silkies that just turned 8 weeks to my large flock which consists of 12 large breeds and another 15 bantams without any issues. My red cochin raised them and she was ready to leave them. So they have been running around with the entire flock. Of course they are a bit scared but have plenty of room to run around.
 

feathermaid

Egg Obsessed
Feb 5, 2018
3,126
23,293
942
Northwest Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
I haven't had silkies, but I've successfully integrated chicks in small quantities before... 3 chicks with 2 adults and 2 chicks with 4 adults. I started when they were very small (only 2 weeks) in the coop brooder and free range time together so they could all get used to each other safely. By 4-5 weeks, my babies were peacefully mingling with the big girls, no bullying at all, just slight pecking order stuff over time.
brooder-integration6-18 2 2.jpg integration.jpg
I don't see why your silkies would be any different if you take the time to introduce properly. It's important to start with See But Don’t Touch, have lots of space to escape or hide, and multiple food and water stations.
Many people have silkies in mixed flocks.
you-can.gif
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,850
21,993
907
Southeast Louisiana
Is it possible? Yes, others have done it. Can I guarantee that you will not have issues? No, you don't get guarantees with stuff like this. Some people have serious issues trying to integrate chicks or chickens of the same size and breed, it's not just with bantams or strange feathered birds. Silkies can be hard to sex, if one or both are cockerels that can add complications.

I don't know enough about your situation, size and number of coops, how your main coop is laid out, size and configuration of any runs, or your free ranging practices so it's hard to get too definite. Since you have so few chickens I have some concerns on how bit your main coop is. That may be your biggest hurdle. Silkies can't fly either so that might introduce some complications.

I suggest you follow the basics of integration. House them side by side so they get used to each other as you plan. If they can free range together you are way ahead of the game, let them. Provide separate eating and watering stations so there is no competition. Give them as much room as you can. Improve the quality of what room you have by giving them something they can hide under, behind, or over.

I prefer to not force them to get along. If the Silkies want to sleep separately at night, let them for at least a month and maybe more. Do not lock them in a tight space where they can't get away. As much as you can, let them decide how much they want to mingle. Don't be surprised if you have two separate flocks at least until the Silkies start to lay. Mine typically don't mingle that much and these are pullets hatched from the flock.

My situation is different from yours. My brooder is in the coop so my chicks basically grow up with the flock. When mine hit 5 weeks old I open the brooder door and let them mingle if I have plenty of room in the main coop. When the main coop is getting pretty crowded I move at least some to my grow-out coop where I keep them until they learn to sleep there, then let them roam with the flock during the day. After they have roamed together for a month I often move the pullets to the main coop but may leave the cockerels in the grow-out coop at night. It depends on how many I have compared to the room available. I have at least three and often four widely spaced separate feeding and watering locations. Sometimes I have over 50 chickens total, mostly young ones growing to butcher age.

I don't know if you can get anything out of this to help you. The main thing is to give hem as much room as you can and be patient. Good luck!
 

Robert G

Songster
Jan 23, 2018
420
626
197
South Texas
Did the mama integrate them with the flock?

The first day she did. She pretty much showed them around and the next day she went back with her roo and they wondered alone. They of course run into each other and they hang around her but then keep on wondering alone. They however sleep alone in their nest because they can't fly up to the roost yet .
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
99,179
138,626
1,807
SW Michigan
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My Coop
The first day she did. She pretty much showed them around and the next day she went back with her roo and they wondered alone. They of course run into each other and they hang around her but then keep on wondering alone. They however sleep alone in their nest because they can't fly up to the roost yet .
I guess I should have specified 'as young chicks'.
Most put their broodies and chicks in with the flock after about a week after hatch if they brooded separate from flock...or right from hatch if they brooded within the flock.
I think you got lucky.
 

chickens really

Crazy Mother of Goats
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Sep 8, 2015
62,663
109,134
1,657
The Funny Farm....Alberta, Canada
My Silkie raised 11 Speckled Sussex chicks. I was keeping 3 Pullets in with my Silkies, Rosecomb and Sebright. All was good till I bought more Silkie, Rosecomb, and Cochin Pullets. SS wouldn’t accept the new Pullets so I separated and sold the SS. Now my new Bantam Pullets are totally accepted in with the other Bantams.
 

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