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Introducing a new Rooster

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Good Evening -

We had seven hens and one rooster, Barley (he's an Ameraucana/Leghorn mix).  They have been happily living together for several months now.  The hens are around 2 and the rooster just started crowing within the last month, so he's fairly young.  We wanted more hens, as some of our older ones don't seem to be laying (or are laying somewhere other than the coop).  We ended up getting 12 additional pullets, and then a cochin rooster.  The cochin rooster, George, is very docile, he just mills around and doesn't even really interact too much with the hens right now.  However, Barley is being very territorial.  I have read that since he is so young that he's like a teenager with raging hormones and a temper, so we probably introduced George at a really bad time.

 

Barley keeps going after George.  George submits almost immediately and will curl up in to a small ball and try to hide his head.  Barley doesn't seem to be letting up though and I'm afraid he's simply out to kill George.  George knows where his home is, but won't sleep in the coop (I assume because of Barley).  He keeps leaving before dark, then comes back in the morning.  Tonight I put him in our old coop to sleep for the night since it's rainy and cold, I didn't want him in the woods all night.  Is this the right thing to do?  Should I transfer George to the main coop with the rest of the chickens, or will Barley kill him?  Is there any hope for Barley and George to come to an understanding?  Barley is clearly the dominant rooster, and I don't think George would disagree, but Barley doesn't seem convinced.  

 

I am interested in any tips or suggestions that anyone has.  We want a rooster that will protect our flock, which Barley does a good job of, but we are afraid of him getting too aggressive - not to mention we have a four year old that I don't want him to turn on.  He's never been aggressive towards us, so I feel it is clearly just the introduction of George, but I don't want him to kill George.  

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by alarson View Post

Good Evening -
We had seven hens and one rooster, Barley (he's an Ameraucana/Leghorn mix).  They have been happily living together for several months now.  The hens are around 2 and the rooster just started crowing within the last month, so he's fairly young.  We wanted more hens, as some of our older ones don't seem to be laying (or are laying somewhere other than the coop).  We ended up getting 12 additional pullets, and then a cochin rooster.  The cochin rooster, George, is very docile, he just mills around and doesn't even really interact too much with the hens right now.  However, Barley is being very territorial.  I have read that since he is so young that he's like a teenager with raging hormones and a temper, so we probably introduced George at a really bad time.

Barley keeps going after George.  George submits almost immediately and will curl up in to a small ball and try to hide his head.  Barley doesn't seem to be letting up though and I'm afraid he's simply out to kill George.  George knows where his home is, but won't sleep in the coop (I assume because of Barley).  He keeps leaving before dark, then comes back in the morning.  Tonight I put him in our old coop to sleep for the night since it's rainy and cold, I didn't want him in the woods all night.  Is this the right thing to do?  Should I transfer George to the main coop with the rest of the chickens, or will Barley kill him?  Is there any hope for Barley and George to come to an understanding?  Barley is clearly the dominant rooster, and I don't think George would disagree, but Barley doesn't seem convinced.  

I am interested in any tips or suggestions that anyone has.  We want a rooster that will protect our flock, which Barley does a good job of, but we are afraid of him getting too aggressive - not to mention we have a four year old that I don't want him to turn on.  He's never been aggressive towards us, so I feel it is clearly just the introduction of George, but I don't want him to kill George.  

Thanks!

From my experience, only roosters raised together, grow up together, accept the presence of another completely; and that may not last. I'd keep the roosters separate or rehome George. At the moment I have four roosters all in separate quarters. I'm quite sure that should they not be separated one would kill the others.
post #3 of 9
He won't kill him, you could let them be together they have to get the pecking order back to normal, that's normal that they're fighting. Eventually they'll get use to each other. But that's your call to let them be together
post #4 of 9
I have had roosters killed in the past by other roosters. Cochins are not aggressive and the other is.
post #5 of 9
Still they'll settle out there differences, I breed Kelso's they're a really aggressive game breed. & after like a month of fighting they get used to each other out in the yard. They'll avoid one another
post #6 of 9

If things do not work out, you could try taking Barley out of the coop and isolating him for three days or a week, long enough to let George figure out he is man that can mate the hens. Maybe when you put Barley back in, George will actually stand up for himself. This has worked in building the omega's confidence in my experience. Or, let George start sleeping in the old coop with a couple hens to have his own harem, so they will break off of Barley's flock and make their own.

 

   40 waxing and waning free-range birds.
 I truly love animals, both male and female, large and small, regardless of how important humans may shallowly deem them.
I will always miss my Dovey Love.
 
 
 
Reply

 

   40 waxing and waning free-range birds.
 I truly love animals, both male and female, large and small, regardless of how important humans may shallowly deem them.
I will always miss my Dovey Love.
 
 
 
Reply
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thank you everyone for your suggestions, this has been really helpful.  It is interesting, because today George seems to have found his voice.  For a period of about an hour today they were crowing back and forth at one another.  I was happy to see that George was standing up for himself, however it was only aggravating Barley more.  Barley has gone off in the woods with a hen, so all is calm now.  However, the hen he is with has started being aggressive towards the other hens, and she's cackling when Barley crows.  Those two have always been close, although he doesn't seem to mate with her.  He only mates with our three browns, not the buffs.  I'm hoping all of this will settle itself out.  We'll probably have George sleep separately for a few weeks, and will give him a couple of hens to sleep with.  We had planned to get rid of the old coop, so we would like them all in one, but for now it can serve as a safe house for George.  

 

Again, I really appreciate everyone's suggestions.  We would like this to work out, but obviously weren't quite ready (or knowledgeable enough) to take this task on quite yet.  The man we got this latest round of birds from thought they'd be fine since we were bringing in so many hens with the rooster, I guess it's all dependent upon the bird though - or maybe we didn't introduce properly.  We like to let them free range, so we don't want to keep anyone caged, if we can help it.  We will continue to keep an eye on them and make sure that no one is getting injured, and hopefully the flock hierarchy can be established soon! 

 

Thanks again!!

post #8 of 9
A local arrived last Sunday with a polish hen and said we had to take the rooster as well as the hen only mates with a polish rooster. Ok we put them both in the spare coop and let them get used to their new surroundings for two days. We then let them out into the larger pen (this is next door to the main one). Both the males (bantam -v- polish were flapping around and trying to see who had the loudest volume). Yesterday I let them meet while I kept an eye on them. Lots of beak contact and jumping with some blood. I let them carry on for about five minutes before breaking it up. The blood appeared to be all of the bantams and from the comb. I cleaned him up and kept them separate after that. Was this the right thing to do? Today we cut the Spurs on the polish and should I try to integrate them again tomorrow? I'm a novice at this and don't know how long to let them carry on fighting for.

Help!!!!
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orangekazzie View Post

A local arrived last Sunday with a polish hen and said we had to take the rooster as well as the hen only mates with a polish rooster. ??????  Ok we put them both in the spare coop and let them get used to their new surroundings for two days. We then let them out into the larger pen (this is next door to the main one). Both the males (bantam -v- polish were flapping around and trying to see who had the loudest volume). Yesterday I let them meet while I kept an eye on them. Lots of beak contact and jumping with some blood. I let them carry on for about five minutes before breaking it up. The blood appeared to be all of the bantams and from the comb. I cleaned him up and kept them separate after that. Was this the right thing to do? Separating them was the right thing to do. Today we cut the Spurs on the polish and should I try to integrate them again tomorrow? I advise that you keep them separated. Consider rehoming one. I'm a novice at this and don't know how long to let them carry on fighting for.

Help!!!!

Your polish hen will do just fine without the polish rooster or keep the polish rooster rehome the bantam. Another option is to cage them separately on a permanent basis. I have seven roosters; most of which have to be kept apart.

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