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When does "pecking order" begin?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by coop-er, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. simplyseren

    simplyseren Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 18, 2013
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    im having a hard time getting my RIR to get along with my Silkies. i have 6 RIR and 3 silkies. they are all about the same age. ( about 3-4 wks old) I have read the pros and cons of mixing large with small breeds of chickens. I was hoping that i would not have a problem. but i have 1 RIR that is high on the order and does not let the silkies anywhere near the food or water. I have sectioned off the silkies for a few days, but i dont want them to get beat up, but i dont find it fair to "punish" them for the darn RIR. I have 2 RIR in a large dog crate right now the ones that are picking on the silkies. the other 4 RIR do not bother the silkies and let them do whatever. once i put the crate in the coop, the 4 RIR are now laying around the crate, and the silkies are balled up in a corner of the coop. I am at the point where Im about to get rid of the two RIR that are causing the issues and pray that everyone else gets along.
     
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    It's unrealistic to expect larger much more aggressive birds to 'play nice' with smaller fragile breeds. Some individuals will be better, some worse, aside from their breed type. More space always helps! Separating the Silkies and Polish from the bigger birds sounds like a good idea; they may be able to free range together, but be cooped separately. I've got Belgian d'Uccles and big birds, but no RIRs or other very tough breeds. Mary
     
  3. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Your welcome belatedly. At the roost is one of if not the most serious times in a under chicks life. There are many opportunities then for pecking order disorder to rear its ugly head. One of the largest squabbles is who gets the most preferred roost in the coop. If your bantams are unable to compete for prime roosting berths a second coop is a good alternative.
     
  4. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    All getting rid of the two uber RLRs will likely accomplish is to promote the two underling RLRs into first and second place. While they may not be as bossy as the two current top chicken, there is no guarantee of that.
     
  5. JadedPhoenix

    JadedPhoenix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am surprised to see so many having problems with their mixed flocks. I have ten bantams with seventeen large fowls and I have to say the pecking order really hasn't been an issue. My oldest chickens are the ones that obviously hold their ground and chase off the others the most. As for the ones who are younger, some of the bantams are actually right up there in the order for right now. It may help that the oldest bantams are about two months older than the majority of the other chickens. So maybe it isn't just the size that owners should worry about but the ages as well.

    Oh, and by the way, I got my first bantams to be flock mates to large fowl chicks so they wouldn't be lonely and of that group, the bantams are at the top of that sub-flock. So not all bantams are punching bags. Especially if you have plenty of room for your flocks.
     
  6. simplyseren

    simplyseren Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 18, 2013
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    Thank you all, I kept the two RIR culprits in the large dog kennel inside the coop all night, and when i went back out this morning, everyone seemed to be getting along without the two in the mix. even the Silkies were walking about without worry.
    I turned our old shed into a coop. so it is fairly large and they have plenty of room. making an alternative coop for the silkies only is not an option. I do not have the money nore the matierials for another coop. we already spent over $600 getting the old shed up to date and fixed up.
    I have wanted Silkies for a few years now, and the only reason i got RIR is that they are decent egg layers, and thats what was available at the time. Fingers crossed they get along now, I am going out of town in a week,and dont want to come back to dead Silkies.
     
  7. JadedPhoenix

    JadedPhoenix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If the RIRs are your trouble makers, it would likely be best to just take them out of the equation. Those two may just be "bad" hens but there are lots of easy going breeds that lay well. It would be cheaper to replace those two than build up a coop you can't afford. Plus your flock will be much happier as a whole.
     
  8. simplyseren

    simplyseren Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 18, 2013
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    I was able to get rid of the two RIR, and since then the other 4 of them are getting along very well with the 3 silkies. so far so good!
     
  9. trompystompfarm

    trompystompfarm Out Of The Brooder

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    May 4, 2014
    I had the same problem with my mixed flock, separating the antagonists for a few days and reintegrating worked wonders.
     
  10. freelancedance

    freelancedance Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have 10 chicks that we got the week after Easter. We have 1 rooster, named Bandit. We have 4 Australorps and 6 GSL. They have just now started the pecking order. One of my girls, Tiny, a GSL, is the wiliest and fastest one we have. But Lady, Faith, and Dawn have started to fluff out their "scuff" and flap their wings angrily. Anything to help?
     

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