Poultry FAQ (frequently asked questions)
Q: Can I combine different breeds in a chicken coop, or do they not get along?
A: Go ahead and combine! It doesn't matter what combination of birds you get - whether it's 25 of the same breed or one from each of five different breeds - one bird will be at the top of the pecking order and one at the bottom. This applies to aggressive chickens like the Old English Games as well as really docile chickens like Silkies. You have a "head honcho" who is "in charge" and a "wallflower" who stays out of the fight for fear of being bullied by the others. Also, if you have purely docile breeds, you could have one with a crazy personality that picks up on everyone else, or vice versa, a reportedly somewhat "fleeting" breed could end up being your biggest sweetheart!
In other words, each bird has its own unique personality. So don't worry too much about managing your herd. Just go with what you like!
Q: Can I combine bantams and large fowl (standard)?
A: See above. The same applies here!
Q: How much food should I give my chicks?
A: As much as they want! We've talked about this before, but in case you didn't get it, chickens aren't like dogs -- they don't eat themselves to death. They only eat as much as they need. So go on, spoil them! Give them as much food as will fit in your food bowl. They won't overdo it.
Q: Is the so-called "pasting up" REALLY a deadly condition?
A: It sure is! "pasting up" for short: when the feces clump together and block a chick's opening, preventing them from passing through feces. It must be addressed immediately. Apply a warm, wet paper towel to their bottom, then use a toothpick to gently remove the blockage, or in severe cases, dip the chick's bottom in warm water to soften it enough to clear it. Dry off the chick and return her to the brood set with the other chicks, and monitor the chick over the next few days to make sure the problem doesn't return.