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dislaney

Bantams & hybrids together - a good idea?

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Have had some mixed advice about this so would really welcome forum member views - how advisable would it be to introduce 2 bantam hens to an established flock of 4 hybrids?

 

One of my hybrids is being bullied by the others (see other forum post about poor Claire and her twisted neck!), so she has her own separate accommodation that the bantams could share, and they could be introduced gradually in their own 'viewing pen' for a week or so.

 

Our overall set up is an Eglu Cube with 4m run and an Eglu Classic without run, in a large free range wired enclosure in the corner of our garden, approx. 40 sq.m. total space.

 

All advice gratefully received - thank you! :)

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Do they have access to the free-ranging all the time? If so I think it would be doable... You'd need to be able to take it really slowly, but with them not being confined it would be ok eventually. The more space they have to escape the better. You'd also want to make sure that the new girls were old/brave enough before you start mixing them and I wouldn't recommend mixing anything that is too fancy (polands/silkies etc) that might have diminished sight/movement with hybrids as they can be pretty brutal.

 

Get extra feed/drinking stations and be prepared to go back to them being separate if it doesn't go to plan.

 

Good luck!

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Some people have managed this, but there have been tragedies. So if you are thinking of it, you'll need to take things very slowly. I keep mine separately.

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I've been having an interesting time with this....3 weeks ago I bought 2 lovely bantams at the Reading show. The plan was for them to occupy the !gored! while my 3 hybrid ladies enjoyed the space of the (cube blue)....After they'd settled down I allowed them some supervised FRing - which went peacefully....but I had no thought of them living together til the banties took the law into their own wings and put themselves to bed in the cube last weekend.

Everyone sleeps together very happily, but there is a bit of bullying in the daytime if they are all in the cube run together, and as I wasn't sure that the big girls were letting the babies get any food I've tried to keep them apart if they have to be confined.

Tonight, though, when it came to bedtime I found the Prudence & Patience, the bantams, plus Margot, the black star, tucked up in the cube while Brigid and Barbara are in the go....

Not sure what to do for the best at this point....I could return all 3 hybrids to the go and invest in some Pekins at top speed...or go on letting them play musical beds....or......

what would YOU do?

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Get the pekins :wink:

 

I have a very mixed flock, ex batts, hybrids, lf pure breeds and bantams... They all live very happily together. I had one disaster when I went for full integration with 2 I was adding at the first one being ready, which meant the 2nd was bullied. I separated her, added 2 sisters and slowly re-introduced her with the other two.

 

My last bantam intro was one of the quickest intros I have ever done :) after 10 days and an early combined free ranging session, the pekins decided they were moving in the big run :lol: In fact they are higher up the pecking order than my large fowl Wyandotte who is about 5 times their size :lol:

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Latest update....Tonight the hybrids all went to bed in the go and the two tiny bantams are rattling about in the cube all on their own.

Clearly this must cease! Think I'm going to stop at Mini Meadows on my way back from seeing my son in Cambridge next Saturday...I WAS planning to get my faverolles there but perhaps they will have to wait. Honestly, though, I do feel a bit frustrated at being bested by 5 chickens...and it's nutty that the big girls are in the relative confines of the go....but if that's what they want...I guess.... :roll:

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I'd close the Go so they have to go to bed together. If its just chasing and the odd peck I'd carry on. Most of the attacks when I've been introducing has been over as soon as it starts.

 

Have obstacles in the run that are just far enough from the side of the run for the bantams to shoot behind and the girls not follow and perches for them to jump up to but nowhere they can get trapped. I've found bantams are pretty quick at getting out of the way except my silly buff orp bantam who crouches when pecked, but as I said it's over as soon as it starts so no one gets hurt.

 

Another key point is to wait until they have their character change around the time of laying then they are a bit more feisty and won't get bullied.

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I have both bantams and hybrids but mine have to live apart due to one of the hybrids being a bully. In the past I have kept a mixed mini flock but I think a lot comes down to the temperament of the hybrids. I had a Columbine who treated the bantams as chicks and there were no problems but sadly it was not to be with the new hybrids. I have to make sure I coat the bantams with anti peck when they all free range together. Now I have three bantams rattling around in the Cube and two hybrids in a Eglu Classic and peace appears to have broken out ( see the thread Chicken Bully). Mr W wants to add a few bantams to the 3 in the Cube but I'm not sure my nerves are up to it at the moment.

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It can certainly be done.

 

I've just merged a single light sussex bantam in with a bluebelle and a speckledy this weekend. To ensure no tragic outcome, we took it VERY slowly. Basically, you've got to listen to the hens (all of them) - they'll tell you when they're ready. We've been free-ranging them since late november. As they're *very* different types of hens, we had to wait for the bantam to grow up, and then for them to get on without being massively territorial.

 

We successfully merged them on Saturday! Sunday night had them all cuddled up together in the cube's nesting box.

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Mine all slept together for a couple of nights, - their idea, not mine!...but I wasn't sure the hybrids were letting the banties get much food (though I did have 3 feeding stations in the cube run) so wasn't too fussed when they separated again...They FR without incident and I don't think the bantams were having a bad time in the cube, apart from not being able to feed easily....

I could do with them all being ABLE to cohabit at least as I really need the !gored! for intro's...I so want a couple more bantams and perhaps a couple of faverolles LF.....

MoreHens is really rampant this year :roll:

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Thanks for all your thoughts on this - unfortunately all notion of bantams went on hold last week as poor Claire took a turn for the worse, and I spent most of my time finding ways to rally her round. Symptoms were:

 

* neck twisted to one side, looking up helplessly from under her comb

* loss of balance when walking on uneven surfaces, leading to inability to get up Cube ladder or walk on roosting slats in Eglu Classic

* struggling to get into/under things without contorted neck as above

 

Otherwise, she has been eating, drinking and laying as normal, and FRing with the others has seemed fine, no prevention of access to food. Because of her inability to balance on the roosting slats, I took them out of the Classic and filled the trays with lots of shredded paper to make a really soft supernest. This seems to have done the trick and she now goes into the Classic to lay and sleep without making origami of herself first!

 

Today she looks very perky indeed, with a nice red comb and firm walk on even ground, but the twisty neck thing is still there, albeit not as dramatic as before. As I've spotted her gaping, am treating her with Flubenvet again just in case it's a gapeworm related condition, but it might just be a head battering from the others that's given her some kind of neurological problem, I guess?? :anxious:

 

Banties will have to wait till my lovely Claire (white chicken) is better, I'm afraid!

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I have already 6 hybrid chickens 3 warrens & 3 black rock. All bought up together & very happy from chicks to age now 25 weeks+ my question is my sister has 2 bantams and can’t keep them anymore 😢  could I add them to my flock? Or would this be a disaster? Thanks 

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16 hours ago, Chicken crazy lady said:

I have already 6 hybrid chickens 3 warrens & 3 black rock. All bought up together & very happy from chicks to age now 25 weeks+ my question is my sister has 2 bantams and can’t keep them anymore 😢  could I add them to my flock? Or would this be a disaster? Thanks 

 

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They may get bullied, or in my experience with Pekins, they may bully the others. You certainly can't just add them. They will need to be kept separate but in clear sight of the others for 2 weeks. Bantams need as much run space as large fowl, so have you got enough? Have you enough coop space and nest boxes? 

Perhaps it would be better if you moved them with the existing coop and run and kept them separate, which would always be my preference.

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I raised both together. I started with bantams then added 12, month old Rhode Island Reds, later added 6 White baby ducks and a few months later 25 white day old chicks. They all got along fine and slept in the chicken coop at night. One of the Little Bantam hens adopted the ducks as her own. I live in town now and really miss my chickens.

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