Very terratorial RIR's attacking my new silkies

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by weesy68, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. weesy68

    weesy68 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2009
    Stratford CT
    We first had 2 NJ giants, then introduced 2 RIR's about three months ago, all hens. This week we brought home 2 seventeen week old silkies. We had them in a separate pen at first, and the RIR's were going bananas trying to get at them. When we finally let them out in the garden (under supervision) the RIR's went nuts attacking them. They lost interest after I shooed them away repeatedly, as soon as I walked away for a moment they were back at it.

    Should I keep them separated for longer? The silkies will be in a run within the area the RIR's free range, so they'll be able to see each other. Or should I just let them get on with it and establish their own pecking order? I'm concerned the larger hens are actually going to cause injury to the poor little ones, they weigh around a pound each. The New Jersey giants couldn't care less either way, as long as they are fed and can lay in their dust bath all day.
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    You'll have to be the judge of that. As long as there is no blood drawn, they are establishing pecking order, but what you describe sounds like you might have two bullying hens. You can certainly try to let them run together while you are around to keep it from getting out of hand.

    I think I would separate them a bit longer, but throw treats where both groups eat next to each other but are protected by the fence. It may help introduce them to each other. I still think there will be some heavy pecking, but it might help.
  3. destiny_56085

    destiny_56085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2009
    Sleepy Eye, MN
    In my opinion, I have never had luck mixing silkies with any other breed. Sometimes you can raise them together, but other breeds eventually will rip the crests out and sometimes kill them. Most of the silkies now have vaulted hard peck to that will leave them with crookneck or dead. Not to mention the fact that they can't fly, can't run very fast, and have a harder time seeing where they are going. Doesn't sound like they will be winning battles to me. If I were you, keep them separate or get rid of one of the breeds.

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