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When can I merge my bantams and standards?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Stephanie-n-Hayden, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. Stephanie-n-Hayden

    Stephanie-n-Hayden Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 15, 2009
    This is a long story but I will try to keep it short.

    I originally had two bantam pullets, a Silky and a GLW. Very sweet birds. Rescued a RIR hen. Not so sweet. She doesn't trust people. Anyway, GLW ended up hatching out 5 eggs. Great! But, RIR killed one of the chicks and kept trying for the others. By the time I realized there was a problem, the RIR had spent a couple of days pecking the comb off of GLW trying to get to the chicks underneath her. NOT GOOD! I freaked, pulled GLW and her chicks out and housed them in a brooder in the garage. RIR becomes aggressive towards me. Starts looking like she wants to challenge me when I enter the coop. Perhaps she thinks that those were her chicks? She had laid eggs under the GLW, but I took them away, knowing they were not fertile. Does she know that? Anyway, after about 2 months, we try to put GLW and chicks back into coop with other two. Silky does fine, bows and allows GLW to squawk and peck a bit at her (showing her who is boss). But RIR immedialty tries to get at chicks. Back to the drawing board. Take GLW and chicks back out and to the garage. Now what. Get rid of RIR. Thought about it. But do enjoy those big brown eggs. So, we decide to modify the coop instead. Put chicken wire wall across the middle, separating it (8x8) into two sections (each 4x8). Each side has it's own set of nesting boxes, food and water, "people door", and "chicken door" leading into two separate fenced yards. When the two groups are outside they cannot see each other. Silky and RIR on one side of coop, and GLW family on other side. But inside, they are separated by wire and can see each other. It's been about a month or so now and things are alright. At first RIR spent every waking moment trying to figure out how to get to the other side, but eventually gave up.

    So here is the big question......Will I ever be able to house them all together again? The chicks will be batams, mom is and dad was (he passed away soon after the fertilization). This is my first experience with chickens and hatching eggs.

    Another question...4 chicks = 2 pullets + 2 roos I will probably have to separate the roos this spring when they are old enough to start getting "manly". I wonder if I will be able to put one of them into the other side with RIR and Silky without RIR attacking him. Surely he'll be big enough to take her down a notch, right. I mean, they won't stay chicks forever.

    GLW is still taking really good care of them, even though they are about 3 months old now. How long will she care for them?
     
  2. tazcat70

    tazcat70 I must be crazy!

    They will always fight some to establish the "pecking order."

    If they have more room for the submissives to get farther away it might go more smoothly, but mine have been together for a LONG time and there are still times that they will grab each other.

    Good luck!
     
  3. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    No the RIR has no clue the eggs were hers and she doesn't want to take the chicks. She wants to kill the chicks because they are strange. It's common and many adult hens will kill chicks if they aren't currently broody. Even then some broodies won't accept chicks they haven't hatched. If mom can't protect them you have to seperate them from the flock.

    RIR are one of the more agressive breeds. For chickens like that you do have to seperate any hens and chicks and when you put a chicken back or a new chicken put them in a pen or somehow seperated by mesh, bars, or wire until the other chickens get used to them. Standard introduction procedure. You can try it again once the chicks are no longer staying with mom and around the age they are fully feathered so they are bigger and have a better chance of escape. They will get pecked though while the RIR establishes being the boss again and there is always a chance though that having one larger more agressive bird with smaller submissive ones will never work.
     
  4. Chickenmaven

    Chickenmaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2009
    Michigan
    My thought is RIR ----> Craigslist.

    Get new GLWs in the Spring. This is too much work for you.
     
  5. Stephanie-n-Hayden

    Stephanie-n-Hayden Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I don't really think that I could give them enough room for RIR to leave them alone. I could let them have the free range of the entire 12 acres and RIR would STILL bother them. She's just mean. Thanks for your advise though:) [​IMG]
     
  6. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

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    yup Craigslist or stew pot---I have yet to deal with a hen trying to kill chicks-unless I had another place to house her indefinately I wouldnt try to put her with chicks again-
     
  7. Stephanie-n-Hayden

    Stephanie-n-Hayden Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:About a month ago RIR did seem to go broody a bit. Not for long, though, and not severe. She starting sitting on her eggs much of the day. She acts as if she gets really upset when we go in there and take her eggs. We actually have to lock her out of the coop while we go in there for fear that she will try to attack us. She hasn't actually pecked at us yet, but boy she looks like she want to. I thought she may have thought that those chicks were suppose to be hers because she kept laying her eggs in GLW's nest for her to sit on. I feel bad for RIR (a bit) and wonder if I should get her some fertile eggs to sit on in the spring and see if she would be happier with some chicks of her own. I went in there and took eggs yesterday and when I let her back in the coop, she ran in, looked at me with hate in her eyes (or so it seemed) and then walked over to the nest boxes and stretched her neck up to see if her eggs were still in there. When she saw that they were gone, she gave me a "go to he--" look.

    I had no idea that RIR's were so aggressive, or I would not have "rescued" her. She is in with my Silky and they seem to get along just fine. Things were so peaceful before I brought her into the mix. But, at the time our one and only Bantam Roo was the king of the coop and kept everyone in line, including her. GLW went broody about a week or two before he died (darn chicken hawks) so that is why I let her hatch the eggs. Then, all went crazy. I guess I'll just have to keep them separated as they are until at least spring and then re-evaluate the situation. It would be okay to put one of the bantam roos (chicks) in with her come spring wouldn't it?
     
  8. Stephanie-n-Hayden

    Stephanie-n-Hayden Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I was going to give her away to a friend of mine. She had quite a few chickens this summer, but they all free-ranged and they were all eaten by preditors and she has none left. But, I know that the Silky would be very lonely without her. RIR has been Silky's only comapnion since the chicks were born. I hate to leave Silky by herself. Her and GLW have always gotten along, but now that GLW has "children" to care for, she doesn't want Silky around. I would like to get a Silky roo and hatch more silkies, the one I have is GREAT! But, geez, I don't know if RIR would ever be okay with having chicks around. I may have to end up getting rid of her. No more RIR's for me, that is for sure!
     
  9. Stephanie-n-Hayden

    Stephanie-n-Hayden Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I am not one to "give up" easily on an animal. However...this is just rediculous! I wonder if she would even try to kill her own chicks. What type of hens do you have? And you say they are fine with others who have babies? Do you keep them together during the process? I just want a happy home again![​IMG]
     
  10. mboreham1

    mboreham1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 14, 2009
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    Hey Stephanie

    I have 3 RIR's and 1 Booted Bantam, they all get on like a house on fire. I have a 9x4 coop so there is plenty of space for them, In terms of introduction, i built a 2ft wide, 4ft deep and 1ft high mesh box for the first week of introducing the bantam to the RIR's. I put their food and water feeders either side of wire mesh so they ate and drank seeing and smelling each other. It slept on the ground for a few days while the other birds slept on their perch. I let them roam (I am only on .22 of an acre) during the day and the free ranging seemed to help them get along. Yes there was some pecking but the bantam just legged it in her waddle, crazed faced kind of way! After a week i left them over night, i came out in the morning, found the bantam chilling in a nesting box and the RIR's ready to come out for the morning. The bantam learned that she was 4th in the pecking order and when the RIR's are grumpy she gives them a wide berth!

    So long explanation short, build an enclosure within your coop if possible, make sure the food and water are near each other when the RIR accepts the chicks eating and drinking in her vicinity i think they may start to get along.
     

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