Should I? Chicken Math Conundrum

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Aunt Angus, Feb 20, 2019.

  1. Aunt Angus

    Aunt Angus Crowing

    Jul 16, 2018
    Sacramento County, CA
    My Coop
    Considering ordering 3 silkies. They are in my online cart. But should I?

    In a perfect world, one of my current 4 pullets would go broody, and I'd order these chicks and stick em under her. But that can't be predicted (obviously). I could raise them in the brooder in the coop (separated from the flock, of course). But then what? Could they be integrated? And silkies often sell out quickly. I will have to order soon if I want sexed pullets from MPC.

    I have a BPR, a BO, a white Cochin, and a buff Brahma. They were raised together and are about 6 months old. They aren't very aggressive, but the BO has gone after my dog before. And a squirrel. And my Brahma doesn't care for wild birds. I have lots of space, and my flock free ranges for several hours every day. I recently added on to my coop to account for chicken math, and I built a separate "pen" in my coop for this purpose.

    I really really really want silkies. But I also really really really don't want to set up any silkies for failure. They are smaller. They look different. They have soft spots that make them vulnerable.

    I've read that mixed flocks are possible. I've read that birds that in flocks with a variety of colors and sizes sometimes don't mind weirdos. I've read that silkies often and up at the top of the packing order.

    Chick-N-Fun likes this.
  2. 123RedBeard

    123RedBeard Crowing

    Oct 20, 2014
    Will the silkies be the only new addition?
    Chick-N-Fun likes this.
  3. cottontail farm

    cottontail farm Songster

    Dec 26, 2014
    Rural NW Pa
    if you logged onto this website expecting someone to tell you NOT to buy more chickens, you've come to the wrong place. :lau
    I've only had silkies once (impulse buy at TSC) and may get a couple more this year. I didn't have any problem integrating them. I think it will help that you're getting them as chicks and not adding grown pullets.
  4. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Songster

    Apr 1, 2014
    Longville, La
    Absolutely! The answer is almost always yes, get more chickens!
    Right now you have a pretty small flock, so as long as you have the room for them, get more. You’ve got the separate pen already, so integration shouldn’t be a problem. Free ranging will also help because there is less competition for resources.
    I have a huge flock (70+), mixed with everything from Brahmas to banty hens, even a dozen guineas, all in one large coop. They free range all day but sleep together at night. When you first start out there is going to be some pecking to establish dominance. That happens no matter what you do. Normally it doesn’t get too bad and the new additions learn their place quickly.
    It has been my experience that all breeds can live together in relative harmony if given enough care.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Then yes!
    You know all the risks, but you have separate housing to manage it if necessary.
  6. Aunt Angus

    Aunt Angus Crowing

    Jul 16, 2018
    Sacramento County, CA
    My Coop
    At this point, yes. 7 birds isn't many in comparison to others, but it'll be a lot for me (and my poor, deer-in-the-headlights husband).

    The other issue is that I'd really love to see my girls raise chicks. But I can't have roosters. I'd totally do hatching eggs or (as I said before) stick day olds under a broody should one ever go broody, but I worry I'd not be able to regime any cockerels. And ordering silkies is tough to do because MPC is the only place that has them sexed.

    UGH. I'm torn. Order the silkies, or wait until my girls go broody?
    trumpeting_angel and Chick-N-Fun like this.
  7. Aunt Angus

    Aunt Angus Crowing

    Jul 16, 2018
    Sacramento County, CA
    My Coop
    I would just hate for them to be separate forever, ya know? Decisions, decisions...
    trumpeting_angel and Chick-N-Fun like this.
  8. Acre4Me

    Acre4Me Crowing

    Nov 12, 2017
    Western Ohio
    Well, a male chicken isn’t a rooster till 1 year. Some communities have restrictions after chickens are a certain age, like 6 months (I’ve seen some BYCers note this exception), and some communities allow exceptions for 4-H projecto. But, you could hatch eggs, and the males won’t crow for some time. You can hatch eggs, and give away/sell the chicks. Etc. Just have a plan for those males. I’m considering hatching some chicken eggs with my tween. We’ve hatched quail eggs and it’s very interesting to candle a couple of times, watch the hatch, and dissect/open the ones that failed to hatch.

    We got rid of unwanted 4 month old males at a livestock auction, but not sure if you would have one near to you. We found it by googling “livestock auction” on the maps. Others use CL, fb, or posting notice at feed store.

    Good luck!
    Chick-N-Fun and Aunt Angus like this.
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    The reason you get so many different stories is because different people have different results. Sometimes people have problems integrating new BO's into a flock of BO's. Some people mix about anything with no problems whatsoever. I don't know which one you are. There are so many different variables, some you can control and some you cannot.

    If you want them that badly, get them. Then deal with whatever happens. It may work out great, with your set-up it sounds likely. You may need to get rid of them (or your others), you may bury them, or you may need to keep them separated forever. Life does not come with guarantees, it comes with opportunities. Sometimes those opportunities have issues. That's just the way life works. How badly do you really want them?
  10. Chick-N-Fun

    Chick-N-Fun Almy Acres Farm

    Jun 26, 2014
    Corning, NY
    Ain’t that the truth! :lau

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