Wyandottes, Silkies, and Polishes Oh My!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by WalkerH, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. WalkerH

    WalkerH Chillin' With My Peeps

    Okay so here is the situation. I currently have a flock of ten hens, eight wyandottes and two leghorns, and a rooster. Then the two pekin drakes. My friend is getting out of breeding chickens, decided it wasn't for him. He has some show quality Polishes, Silkies, and Americuanas. Knowing I have chickens he asked if I wanted them, free of charge, sweet guy. I also plan on getting some kahki campbells or indian runners from his sister, but that is a different story.

    Anyways, he asked me and I said I would definitely be interested. But with an already established flock, I am wondering if this is a dumb move. I have read that some chickens will peck the feathers out of the polishes head until they bleed and are raw, and some goes with the silkies. How he has them now they free-range all together, until he is ready for breeding and then they are separated. I told him I would for sure take the Americuanas, as they are about the same age, if not a little older then my others. And I would like to hatch out some chicks from them. I will probably replace my Wyandotte rooster with his two Americauna roosters, as mine is getting a tad aggressive.

    I'm not super worried about keeping everything purebred, he told me to mark the ones with lipstick or food dye when I want to breed, if I even get to that any time soon. Anyways, totally getting off track now. So what are your all's thoughts. Around Spring I should be able to get some chicken tractors, as they are on his property now and winter makes everyone lazy...So that may work I suppose in separating all of them, but they would still meet eachother free-ranging.
     
  2. RedIII

    RedIII Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Free ranging your birds will definitely help cut down on any aggression they may feel toward the new birds. Silkies are a very tame breed, so I would be a little worried about them getting picked on, especially if they happen to go broody and won't leave the nest. If you're very concerned about the new birds being picked at, you might try keeping them in a separate coop, if that's an option for you.

    I'm guessing you already know that by introducing new birds to the flock, there will be some stress, anyway, as it will throw their pecking order awry and they'll need to re-establish it. However, if you have enough space and resources for them, I would say go ahead and try it, just keep an eye on how everyone is feeling [​IMG] Let us know how it goes!
     
  3. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 6, 2011
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    Merging 2 Flocks Together

    There is a specific way to introduce them to each other for sure. Ages have a lot to do with it also? Pecking order has a lot to do with it? Over crowding is a big consideration. Feeding is the most competitive situation there is and the food is all about pecking order and regarding who gets first dibs and bragging rights. Is the Polish an older flock than the ones you have? If they are you stand a better chance at integration.

    Here is what I would do. #1 isolate (quarantine) the new birds to make sure of illnesses first for at least a week if not more. This allows you to get familiar with the new girls. #2 inspect them over the week or so to make sure there is no injuries already. Check the entire body for scraps scratches or any infection stuff. #4 Ask the old owner who is the first girl in the pecking order and next and so on so you knows who is the boss. #3 make time throughout the week or so to inspect each birds stool to see if its runny, bug infested, solid or if there is blood in any of the birds. #4 find out what are the new kids favorite foods so you can bribe them to you. #5 they need to know and understand where is there new home so they need to be not only locked in the new coop/run/brooder during the day all day while the regular hens are around. #6 build a chicken divider from the furthest place in the coop right up to the door of the coop and put the new on one side and the old on the other side but at night you need to carry the new girls to a temp sleeper so the old girls can go to their own coop/run/sleeper. You do not want them being disturbed daily cycle wise. #7 put coop food/water exactly opposite the other sides food/water so they see each other every day after the first week or so quarantine time while eating. Why, food is the most competitive time and the survival of the fittest comes into play and they will hurt and pull feathers and peck to the point of hurting and drawing blood maintain the pecking order that is in place. #8 week 3 after a max 2 week lock down in the temp side you will let them in the run together supervised and in the run as the referee between the 2 or 3 or even 4 top of the pecking order birds. You may just want to put the lower of the old group in the temp side of the coop supervised to see if they will be confrontational if not let them run around in the run but to bribe them and come back in the coop with bribes of favorite foods like mill worms or whatever if they will be good girls. #9 start letting them in the 3 week time or 4th week start interacting together without you and your have done your part and great job. Its not always easy but look for fights or disputes but your really done merging 2 flocks safely. Best of luck to you. [​IMG]
     

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