Will silkies be bullied???

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by EllaM, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. EllaM

    EllaM Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 11, 2013
    Hi all
    So we are thinking of buying silkie chicks to raise but are worried they will be bullied by the other chickens.
    Obviously we would raise them in a brooder for a couple of months and then in a separate
    (but in sight) pen to the others, but we have done this before with the same
    breed (to the original girls) chicken (but they were new and rescued from the battery so a little timid and scragglier.)
    The bulliers are 2 lohmann browns and one black australorp. They will definitely
    get better the longer they are with the newbies, but even now with the ex-battery girls they tend to peck and
    the battery girls will refuse to eat with them (they used to but got pecked so much they avoid it now.)
    Are there any methods to bond chickens better? Or would it just be easier to let them out at separate times
    or fence off areas they should separately roam in??? (they are let out most of the day)
    All suggestions are welcome!! Also does anyone know the average eggs/year rate for silkies and what age
    they start laying???

    Thank you!!
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I would recommend getting your silkies with the expectation that they may need a separate coop and run. It depends on the personalities of the chickens involved (they are individuals like people). I have had success with my silkies being with some chickens but not others. Silkies can be prone to wry neck if pecked on the head (see the let's talk wry neck thread if interested).

    Right now I have two silkies in with about 30 large fowl layers and they are not bullied, but I got rid of the ones who were previously bullying them. So I could say sure no problem, as you see. I have a separate young flock of bantams right now, including 18 silkies, and of course they are doing fine- oh and there are two large fowl in there too.

    Silkies I would say lay maybe 100 eggs a year but they are broody VERY frequently, and thus in my opinion it is better to view them as pets with egglaying as a secondary consideration. I keep layers for eggs and silkies for fun! [​IMG]

    You can also put pinless peepers on the bullies as a last resort...they work for some people.

    Definitely I'd consider not integrating your new silkies until 16 weeks of age, which is the optimal time to integrate anyway.

    I hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2013
  3. EllaM

    EllaM Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 11, 2013
    Great advice!
    We do have a two pens with separate runs disconnected easily because it is a very small hole that connects the two which is what we
    usually do for chicks. Also we don't let out the chicks until they know the yard (it's quite big) and are at least acquainted with the other girls
    and big enough to deal with them (although silkies are pretty small!!) . I'll check out the thread for sure!

    Thank-you!!!
     

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