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.