Putting silkie with babies


In the Brooder
6 Years
Jun 1, 2013
Raleigh, North Carolina
I need help guys. So all my other chickens have been seriously beating up my little silkie. I am getting chicks next Monday and I was thinking that to protect her from further injury just putting her in the brooder with the babies. Is this a good idea? I know it's hard to discipline chickens but she's my favorite and she looks really sparse right now.
Short answer: no.

Long answer: It totally depends on her temperament. I will not say never, as I have integrated silkie hens in with babies before but after a brief time where the brooder was separated but they could see each other, and the chicks were older (about three weeks old). I couldn't recommend this though as silkie hens can quite easily kill chicks, and I was just fortunate. I was also desperate, as I needed to get the chicks out of the other coop. So I had to combine housing and then found one of the silkie hens had made her way over to the baby side somehow and had turned mama to them. She adopted them!!!

So that adoptive mom looked after the chicks and I think that is why the other hens left them alone. So it was a special situation.

I would NOT put brand new chicks in with a hen, even a meek hen. I did that once before and lost two chicks. They were squashed. I thought they would be OK in with her since she was not feeling well and injured. She had been beat up by the others.

So the optimal time to integrate chicks in with older hens is about 16 weeks- just keep that in mind.

If you do it beforehand, it is a toss-up, depending on the personality of the older hens. Baby chicks really don't stand up for themselves and are at the mercy of the hen. So my answer would be no.
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What if I put her in when she was broody? She's a wimp and she's tiny, tiny. I feel terrible because she hides under the feeder and hisses at everyone. They pulled out her top black feathers and now she has gray under fluff left and barely a tail. I just hate to see her getting beat up.
Like so many things with animals, you can just try it and see how it goes. I would say do it when you're right there and monitoring closely and can pull her out ASAP if she has problems with them. Might work, might not...impossible to say for sure.

My question is, though, what are you going to do with her after these chicks are grown?
Well the babies are bantams like her so I was hoping that when there are more banties with her they might calm down. However is there anyway to stop this bullying?
You can separate the bully if there is only one in a dog crate for a week or two...that will take her down in the pecking order (probably only temporarily though). Some people put pinless peepers on their chickens and some people say they work- some say they don't work. They are chicken blinders. I have never used them.

My approach is to get rid of bully hens or keep bantams in their own pen if there is a problem. That is twice the work, though- dealing with two coops.

I hope this helps.

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