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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 2:58 pm 
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Hatchling
Hatchling

Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:58 pm
Posts: 5
Apologies in advance - I'm still learning about keeping chickens and hence the following probably silly questions, but I want to get it right!

So, I had planned to have only 3 chickens - an isa brown, a Plymouth Rock and a silky bantam. However, a friend has told me that this will not work and the silky will be picked on and will end up being killed by the other two!! The silky would primarily be a pet for my daughter so this would be an absolute disaster!! Is this true?? Also they told me that I need to get 6 chickens of the same breed and age all at once as if any did end up dying then it would be impossible to add one or two to the group later on... true??

Lastly, if the idea of 3 chickens as I originally planned would work, what size coop would I require? They would only be able to free range now and again when I am at home as we have foxes around where we live. I thought it was minimum 1sqm per chook, but again have been told this is incorrect and They need much more than this.

Can someone please tell me if this is correct information or if I been led astray, what is the right info??

Thank you


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 3:14 pm 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:06 pm
Posts: 187
Location: One Tree Hill, South Australia
Hi there.
Most of that is complete rubbish!
I've had silkies with my regular chickens, both hens and roosters and they get along fine. I have introduced new chickens to the flock 4 times also. I only had a little trouble with the first time because they were too young.
I have just introduced 4 baby ducks to my 40+ chickens and they get along great all day.
You should be completely fine with 3 chickens. If they are only just meeting then definitely monitor their behaviour in case you need to separate them on and off for the first couple of days.
Ivr even managed to introduce adult roosters to the flock with only minimal issue during the first few days. They all seen to get used to each other and then go about their business of eating.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 3:54 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:15 pm
Posts: 5899
Location: ACT area
Hello feathered flock and welcome to BYP
The only possible problem that I can fore see is might be the ISA. They are notorious for being aggressive to new additions to the flock, however they do prefer to work in gangs so a single bird may be less risky.
Plymouth Rocks, despite their size, tend to be friendly, non aggressive birds.
The other ISA concern is they are unlikely to be as long lived as your pure breed choices. ISA and other commercial laying hybrids have an initially very high egg output. This puts enormous strain on their bodies an in their second season they often develop reproductive issues. They are also a very friendly bird so your daughter will also bond with the ISA - sad if it doesn't live long.
The best advice when establishing a new flock is to start with birds all of about the same age and at the same time and a minimum of 3 so if something happens to one, you do not have a 'lonely only'.
As Benen said, the rest is not accurate. If introducing new birds to a flock it is always better not to bring in a single bird and if there are problems we can help with strategies to over come them.
1 m square/bird is adequate but more is nicer for them, especially if one bird is very dominant. You can increase the available space in a small area by providing vertical layers (perches, swings, tree stumps and biscuits of lucerne for entertainment/activity etc) Management will be much easier for you if you are able to stand upright.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 5:03 pm 
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Hatchling
Hatchling

Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:58 pm
Posts: 5
Thank you so much for answering my questions and giving me the information I wanted to hear!!

I was looking at Isa Brown as I heard they were best for egg laying, and also good with children but I didn't know about the short lifespan. Is there a better option I should consider to get instead?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 7:48 pm 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:06 pm
Posts: 187
Location: One Tree Hill, South Australia
Sue definitely has a huge amount of knowledge. From my (limited) experience, the time you spend with them has a greater effect than the breed. When we first got chickens we were in a different place and didn't spend much time with them. We then moved to a larger place and the chickens are a much bigger part of our lifestyle. They are much friendlier and eagerly come running to us when we arrive home rather than running away.

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