Preventing Bullying in my Future Flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Megan81159, Feb 27, 2015.

  1. Megan81159

    Megan81159 In the Brooder

    Feb 27, 2015
    A few months ago, my family ordered 6 chickens from MyPetChicken; they will arrive around April 20. This will be our first experience being backyard chicken owners. We ordered 5 silkie bantams: 2 white, a black, a blue, and a buff. We also ordered one Golden Laced Polish. Now, it occurred to me that, with the Polish being the odd one out, it might be bullied, so I'm thinking of replacing the blue silkie we ordered with a White Crested Polish. While I read that Polish chickens are especially prone to bullying, particularly if there is only one, I also read that silkies are especially good at getting along with other breeds. Should I order that White Crested Polish to prevent bullying, should I order more, or am I worrying over nothing?

    Note: Not sure how relevant this is, but all the chickens will be female.
  2. Odelia

    Odelia Songster

    Feb 20, 2014
    I have always had a mixed flock with very few problems. Though my girls all get along I have found that they do prefer the company of others of their own breed best. If you get your polish a friend it will prefer it's company. If you don't it should be fine. Silkies are a docile bantam breed.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Polish get picked because they can't see well with all those feathers over their eyes.......
    ......silkies can have that problem too and they are docile so don't fight back.

    For the most part birds that grew up together tend to stick together, tho some 'subflocking' will happen it's usually regardless of breed or appearance.
  4. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    You've actually chosen breeds that should get along well together. One of the main reasons Polish are picked on is because of the flamboyant head gear. Since Silkies have a similar "do", it won't present such a target as if there were only one with all the head feathers.

    Getting two Polish would definitely insure that one Polish won't stand out as different because it's "difference" that encourages bullying.

    It also helps, when planning your future run, to include "furniture". If you make the run as interesting as possible, it discourages boredom which encourages bullying. Tree stumps, lots of perches at varying heights, shelves, etc. add variety. If you can make the run a shape other than a simple rectangle, that helps a lot. Partitions are helpful, with gates to close off areas, and they can be quite useful when solving a temporary conflict.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I don’t have Silkies or Polish but with chickens in general I agree with the others. With them growing up together you should be fine, but it would not hurt switching one of the Silkies to a Polish. I personally think the “birds of a feather flocking together” is more of a personality thing than straight appearance but that’s just my opinion not something I know for a fact.

    It’s possible any of those chicks could be a bully. Chickens have different personalities just like people do. It doesn’t matter that they are all female. It can happen with any breed. There will be some pecking and scuffling just setting up the pecking order and one of those pullets will wind up being the dominant chicken, no telling which one. All this is normal and natural.

    A lot of what you see on here called bullying comes from more mature chickens outrank less mature chickens in the pecking order and are often not shy about enforcing those pecking order rights. That works itself out when the younger ones finally mature. Some people confuse normal cockerel behavior as bullying as they mature, but since yours are all female (we hope) you don’t have to worry about that. Still, you do occasionally get a chicken that is a bully, dangerously attacking other chickens.

    In my opinion the best ways to prevent bullying is to raise them all together and give them plenty of room. If they are crowded they can get bored and like bored little children, they can get in trouble.
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    I think your flock should do fine. You can swap a silkie for a Polish if you want, but I don't think you're going to have many issues either way with those breeds together. It's usually when you mix one of those breeds with dual purpose or non-ornamental breeds that you get issues. Toss a single Polish in a flock of Rocks or Reds and that bird may have a hard life. Toss a single Polish in a flock of silkies...not so much, probably.

    the most important thing for flock harmony is enough space. Be sure your birds aren't overcrowded (read Ridgerunner's link in his signature line above if you have questions) and you'll be well on your way to a harmonious flock.
  7. Megan81159

    Megan81159 In the Brooder

    Feb 27, 2015
    Thanks for all the help guys, I really appreciate it :) We have a relatively large yard, so I think I'll just leave my chicken order the way it is. With the large space and the fact that they'll grow up together, I think they'll be fine. Thanks again all!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: