To add or not to add

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by babsi, Apr 24, 2017.

  1. babsi

    babsi Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 28, 2016
    Beautiful NW
    I have two Easter eggers, one Barnevelder and one silkie. The silkie is everyone's favorite punching bag. Right now she's broody so when I take her out she gets picked on. So far no blood and since they free range she usually scratches around by herself and sometimes they are all together in peace. I was thinking of adding two more chickens. I think two regular chickens would be two extra pecks in the head for the little one. What if I add two more silkies? Has anyone tried this? Are silkies pecking just as much on each other?
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hopefully those with experience of keeping silkies will chime in, but I have read that some keep silkies separate because of bullying and others seem not to have an issue. I'd say that getting another couple of silkies would be good for your existing girl, as she is somewhat ostracised and maybe keeping them separate might be the most appropriate thing to do (or at least be prepared to do that).
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    OhBoy...that is often the question...and can be hard to answer.
    'Beware the chicken math'!

    First off, do you have space for more birds?
    Crowding can make the pecking order more brutal.

    Integrating new birds is best accomplished with extra space.
    More silkies might be a good choice,
    but remember that any newcomers will not really be 'welcome'
    and often the low bird in the existing flock can be the most brutal to new birds.

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading, tho some info is outdated IMO:
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I’m not sure what you mean by “take her out”? Do you have her on fertile eggs isolated away from the flock? Is she in a broody buster? Could you please expand on how you are managing her a bit?

    Is this only happening when she is broody or has it been going on for a while?

    I agree with Aart, this does not have a clear-cut answer. If you have a lot of room, adding a couple more could be the answer. If they are picking on her because she is a Silkie it could end badly for the new ones too. Is it just one hen that is the brute toward her? If it is one hen and not the others, the subtraction part of chicken math may be the best answer. When I have one specific chicken disturbing the peace and harmony of my flock, I get rid of it whether that chicken is male or female. There are too many good chickens out there to put up with a bad one.

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