Author Topic: Mixing bantams and full-sized hens  (Read 1182 times)

Possum

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • Somerset
Mixing bantams and full-sized hens
« on: September 22, 2012, 10:56:26 am »
I have read differing opinions about this and would be interested to hear about other people's experience.


I have just brought 3 young bantams (12-14 weeks) which I will eventually use as broodies for brought in  fertile eggs. I have put them in a separate but adjacent  run next to my two existing laying hens (A Bluebell and Rhode Rock) who  are not at all pleased with their new neighbours.


Is it possible for them all to live in the same henhouse and run without the bantams being bullied? If so, for how long should I keep them in seperate runs?

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Mixing bantams and full-sized hens
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2012, 11:05:03 am »
Personally I house my bantams separately to larger fowl but they do all free range together with no problems. I do have some lighter fowl (friesians) housed with RIR's with no trouble. However they only sleep together and are out free ranging all day so not having to deal with much in the way of direct competition for food etc.


One of my tiny lavender pekin hens has just decided not to sleep in the pekin pen for some reason and moved in with the big fowl. They haven't batted an eye and just let her in.  ::)

Mel Rice

  • Joined Sep 2011
Re: Mixing bantams and full-sized hens
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2012, 11:12:43 am »
I have 2 banties, 3 larger hens and 4 smaller ones....oh and the last two chicks that havnt quite decided . Mine all sleep together in the one house and have free range all day. The little Bantam cock is boss man, The light Sussex boss girl. One of the middle-sized chooks is a cock so he can and does service the bigger girls......mind you Bantie Cock has a go
There seems nop size problems, just seniority.

darkbrowneggs

  • Joined Aug 2010
    • TheBusPhoebeandMe
Re: Mixing bantams and full-sized hens
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2012, 12:53:13 pm »
Personally I have found the Rhode Rock/Black Rock type to be a bit "pecky" but it would depend on the personality of the particular fowl. 
 
You could try integrating when they are a bit older and have got to know each other, but just keep an eye on what is going on - as I say it is probably personality more than size which will have the final say.
To follow my travel journal see http://www.thebusphoebeandme.us

For lots of info about Marans and how to breed and look after them see www.darkbrowneggs.info

sokel

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Jun 2012
  • S W northumberland
    • Breconholme Boer Goats
Re: Mixing bantams and full-sized hens
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2012, 08:21:07 pm »
In our big hen house we have
5 LF BUff Orpingtons
4 LF Welsummers
9 Goldline

3 white wyandotte Bantams
2 Chocolate orpington bantams
4 silkie x light sussex bantams
1 Black leghorn Bantam
4 Black leghorn crosses ( daughters to above)
They all get along well with no pecking or any other trouble

plt102

  • Joined Jan 2011
Re: Mixing bantams and full-sized hens
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2012, 11:36:17 pm »
Our hens and cockerals decide which off our 3 or 4 coops they want to sleep in and it tends to be quite a mixture. Our tiny but flighty seebrights like to be in the big hen house with our hybrid hens (more room for them I think) and some of our large fowl cocks and hens like to be in the smaller coop with our polands, silkies and poland bantams ( they were younger so lower in the pecking order than the bantams). We just keep an eye on them and let them get on with it. We have one cock who lives on his own as he tries to bully everyone but he is to beautiful for me to let go. Need to find him a couple of very strong willed ladies for company.

feldar

  • Joined Apr 2011
  • lymington hampshire
Re: Mixing bantams and full-sized hens
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2012, 09:35:41 am »
I have 4 ex- bats and 4 banty hens in the same run and they all get on ok. I have two hen houses and they go their seperate ways to roost, bats in one, bantys in the other.
The ex-bats can bully a bit, but i find the bantys fly up on the shed to get away from them where they cant follow and then fly down again when it's all calmed down again. i also put food in different places so there's no arguments at the table!

Mrs Snoodles

  • Joined Aug 2012
Re: Mixing bantams and full-sized hens
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2012, 07:01:22 pm »
They can mix, you just need to let your bantams grow up a bit.  They are still very young and would probably be bullied by your older hens.  Let them get well and truly into lay, used to other hens and then try and move them.  It is always much better to have a full hen house in winter - they keep each other warm.
you are best to slightly alter the set up of your house and run, make lots of hidey places and put multiple feed points and drinkers down.   thoroughly clean the house (if poss move it, even if it is a matter of ft) and if you can, exclude the two older hens to start with. Let the younger bantams find their feet, then pop your older ones back in.  You want to avoid the older ones getting territorial.

Possum

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • Somerset
Re: Mixing bantams and full-sized hens
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2012, 07:48:29 pm »
Thank you all for such helpful comments. :)


 I feel much more confident about mixing them once the bantams are older. Mrs. Snoodle's plan was particularly good and I shall follow it almost to the letter. Let's hope that winter hold off for another month or two, so that I can get them all in the warmth together :fc:

Mrs Snoodles

  • Joined Aug 2012
Re: Mixing bantams and full-sized hens
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2012, 10:23:35 pm »
  :thumbsup:   Forgot to mention.....if you have a plastic playhouse or something that can provide cover in wet conditions you should try and put this in too.  Any bullied chickens, even slightly bullied, can be excluded by others who take ownership of the dry space.   The wet hen will get stressed and sick.

If you have the existing hen house and a covered area, there is a choice for them.

Possum

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • Somerset
Re: Mixing bantams and full-sized hens
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2012, 08:52:56 pm »
I've fenced off quite a bit of the garden for the hens, so will keep both hen houses in there so that they can choose where to go. Hopefully they will all roost in the big house when the cold weather come :fc: s.

 

Mixing hens and ducks.

Started by Andt

Replies: 6
Views: 470
Last post July 05, 2012, 02:31:22 pm
by northfifeduckling
mixing breeds together

Started by yorksfarmer

Replies: 4
Views: 1498
Last post October 31, 2008, 07:06:09 am
by yorksfarmer
mixing ducks??

Started by crosser

Replies: 4
Views: 326
Last post August 02, 2011, 09:34:07 pm
by goosepimple
Mixing Ex Bats with the flock

Started by chris3000

Replies: 5
Views: 456
Last post July 14, 2012, 08:30:13 pm
by chrismahon
Ducks - mixing breeds

Started by colliewobbles

Replies: 8
Views: 442
Last post April 11, 2013, 10:43:22 am
by Backinwellies

Forum sponsors

Thomson & Morgan G.J.W. Titmuss Scottish Smallholder & Grower Spring Gathering Smallholder Shop Innovative Timber Structures Load Handler

Page created in 0.13 seconds with 22 queries.

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2014. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS