Suddenly torturing the Silkie

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by CowgirlPenny, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. CowgirlPenny

    CowgirlPenny Chillin' With My Peeps

    733
    1
    131
    Feb 17, 2011
    South East TN
    I've got one Silkie in with my others. A white one. It's always been extremely docile and gentle. We just recently (5 days ago) combined our hens and pullets and everything was going well. Had to remove an aggressive Porcelain rooster because he would not let anyone eat. Other than that, no issues.

    Then today all of a sudden 5 or 6 of the hens have decided they want to spend every waking second torturing the silkie. I noticed that it did not come out to eat this morning. We have two coops that are side by side, one for nestboxes, waterer and feeders, the other is just their sand floor and roost bars. The silkie was in the nestbox house all day. I finally went out a few minutes ago to see what it was doing and it was hiding in between two nestboxes (there is like a 4 inch space) when I pulled it out immediately the larger ones ran in, chased it into a nestbox and 4 of them were poking and pecking the silkie's face. I did not see any blood but considering the size difference (EE, Australorp,etc) they could easily hurt the silkie just by standing on it. I put it in with the banished bantam rooster in a large rabbit cage for a while. They are not bothering any of the other pullets, just her.

    I'd really like to have one flock, not separate but I would never forgive myself if I go out there one day and the little silkie is in the corner dead or badly injured. Should I just stick her back in and hope they stop?
     
  2. chi-rn

    chi-rn Chillin' With My Peeps

    874
    0
    99
    Jun 11, 2011
    You're going to have to keep her separate. Chickens recognize differences in pattern & color of feathers. A lone Silkie is very likely to get attacked by smooth-feathered birds, particularly in a confined space (coop & run).
     
  3. mulewagon

    mulewagon Chillin' With My Peeps

    691
    5
    128
    Nov 13, 2010
    Alabama
    My Buff Orpington hens recently ganged up on one of their number - they were chasing her in a mob, dragging her out of the nest box, etc. I grabbed the one in front of the mob and removed her - things were instantly quieter. She was evidently the ringleader, and the others aren't persecuting the outcast nearly so badly now.
     
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    63,232
    7,616
    726
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Big chickens pick on little or different looking chickens. This makes the docile silky a perfect target. The chicken heirarchy/pecking order is not a petty thing.
     
  5. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    Please do not put her back in with them..........you will find her dead.


    Can she live with your banished bantam roo? Maybe make them their own little run for the day and put them back into the rabbit hutch at night?
     
  6. Fussy8

    Fussy8 Chillin' With My Peeps

    251
    5
    108
    Aug 4, 2011
    Utah
    We had troubles with the dominant hen( Americana) in our flock at the first of the summer. I took her out because she was pecking at my buff and polish and pulling feathers from their heads!! I kept her out for a week in a small dog kennel and brought her out with me in the yard. After I put her back in the coop/run, the pecking order was put back in place and she now shares the dominance with our Silver lace hen. That worked for me [​IMG]...maybe it will help you? GOOD LUCK!!!![​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by