Why can't everybody just get along!?!?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by OhmTurtle, Jul 28, 2016.

  1. OhmTurtle

    OhmTurtle New Egg

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    Jul 28, 2016
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    My first post ever and I am hoping that some of you may be able to shed some light on my current chicken situation. This is our first year with chickens, and we started with two chicks (one polish and one silkie, raised inside because it was winter). They were within two weeks apart in age (now almost 6mo.), and grew up together. They follow each other around like lost puppy chickens. Our polish is a hen, and it's looking like we have a silkie roo(which we JUST found out). We then added some laying hens to our flock (currently have 6 hens...3 Bantam Wyandotte, 2 Americaunas and 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte.). The hens were outside as the little ones grew. Eventually we made the two youngsters their own coop/run, next to the hens within sight for exposure...as I have heard that's a good way to start introducing new chickens. We let the chicks hang in the yard with the hens for short periods of time and as you probably already know.... My silkie is getting picked on by almost all the hens. And they are still young (in my mind) and I can't help but break it up. So we continue to keep them seperated from the "adults". However as of lately, we've found that now the polish, (who grew up with the silkie) is bullying the silkie a little too. Obviously not bullied bad enough, because when we separate them... They are constantly trying to get to each other! After a little research, we decided to try to add another silkie (creating a trio, 2silks and one polish) to try and create a silkie alliance! Now the polish is picking on the new silkie, so we put her with the hens. And that seemed to go well actually. Aside from the polish being loud and trying to crawl through the fence to her old home. While I was at work today my boyfriend put our oldest silkie with the hens as well because he said she was also beginning to bully the new silk. I believe all the hens, oldest silkie and polish had free range of the yard during this time, and I'm guessing that's why it wasn't a problem. But when I put them all back into the run together, three of our hens went at our oldest silkie... Bad... So I put her back with new silk.
    So that's what's happening! Any advice/input is appreciated! Also, wondering if I can ever get them to live together peacefully?
     
  2. BackyardFlock17

    BackyardFlock17 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 7, 2016
    It is most likley the age gap.
     
  3. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    How much space do they have? Exact dimensions of coops and runs, please.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Peeps61

    Peeps61 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't have much experience with silkies and I only have a polish roo, so..... Here's my two cents worth if you want to read it.

    The different ages have a lot to do with the pecking order. Younger birds are always lower than the older birds, and they will hang with the flock in their own subgroups. I have four flocks within a flock because I have a multi-generational flock. Right now, my chicks are with their mother and range with the rest of the main flock. My 13 week old pullets hang together and if they get in the way of the older birds, will get a peck to remind them of their place in the order of things.

    Roosting at night is the same. The older birds get the space they want, lower birds get what is left or get the top of the crate, or other areas. All are locked up and safe, but may not all be where they would like in the world of roosts!

    Silkies can be mild mannered which makes them easy to bully. You may have to keep them separate, at least until they are closer to full grown and the other birds have established the pecking order for themselves and the polish. You may be able to let the range together, but have the silkies in their own coop/run for the evening. My lower birds tend to go to the small coop and run while the rest go to the big coop and run.

    Junebuggena gives great advice! Tell her how big your coop and run are and she can give you some great suggestions.
     
  5. rockymountain

    rockymountain Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 14, 2016
    I have different age groups all working well now with each other. My two silkies where approx. six weeks old. My other chickens were around two months to three months old. I put them in a dog cage inside the coop for a couple of weeks. We had just picked up a australop a week prior, that happened to be a rooster. Very mean to all the chickens. I did try to introduce the silkies and all the chickens were so upset with the rooster they really picked on the silkies. I switched the rooster for a pellet and all the chickens calmed down. So I waited another week using dog cage. I read on this site to put boards up for them to run in just incase they need to escape. I put board leaning against fence and same in coop, just to allow the silkies in but not the bigger pellets. I took cage out and let them out. Watched for a while and the pellets didn't pick on at all. They seemed happy to have them around and all get along very well. I think when they were unhappy with the rooster attaching them they were to stressed to accept the silkies the first time around. Hopefully this helps.
     
  6. OhmTurtle

    OhmTurtle New Egg

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    Jul 28, 2016
    Minnesota
    I will get dimensions in the morning! Thank you!
     
  7. MCArt20

    MCArt20 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 22, 2016
    Hello, I'm new to this site and to chicken ownership. I have two, one bared rock and one Rhode Island Red, that came from two different flocks, (kind of a default situation) anyway
    The rock is pecking at the RI red, not to the point of blood, but mostly at the neck although the other day I saw her peck at red's face......friend said they will work it out, but here 1.5 monthes later, they haven't. The rock often prevents the red from eating, (I have multiple food dishes around). There a few missing feathers, (chest area) not bad at all, but it stresses me out. Currently the red is in her own pen because she's broody, so I have her in a separate pen, send she's been eating like crazy. Please help! I love my chickens but hate what they do.
     

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