I have two separate pens, one with 4 hens and one with 8 hens. Weekend before last I bit the bullet and put the first rooster, a barred plymouth rock, in the pen with the 4 hens, I put him on the roost at sunset and woke up at daybreak to check on him the next morning. There was a bit of a dust up between he and one of my hens where she finally came away with a bloody comb. But after that they have been fine and been living in harmony. Everything went great!
So this past weekend I decided to try it again, this time a small Buff Orpington Rooster in my coop of 8 hens. This rooster hasn't crowed yet, but neither had my Barred Rock until he got in with the mature hens. So I put the rooster in the hen house, and if at all possible this one went smoother than the first, no dust ups, he just jumped right on the roost and went to sleep. When I got up the next morning, they were all awake but not down stairs (I have a 2 story A frame Chicken Tractor so the "hen house" is up stairs). But if anything the hens seemed a bit afraid of him. Well I went back out a few hours later, and all the rest of the chickens had come down stairs except for him. So I opened up the door and got him out and manually put him down stairs (this coop has a lot less ease of access than the first coop). And I went back inside the house. When I came back out later he was back up stairs. Yesterday morning he was still up stairs so I put him some food up there (I just kept thinking he would get hungry enough to come down). When I got home from work yesterday evening, he was still upstairs, so I caught him again and put him down stairs. He wasn't down 30 seconds before he got scared and ran back up and he hasn't come back down since. So now he has food and water up stairs and I don't know what to do. The hens come up and down and they don't seem to bother him too bad, although I guess maybe they bully him a little, and that is why he is scared.
He is 18 week sold, will he finally come to full maturity and take control? In your experience how long should I wait to let him take control before I just give up on him being a useful part of my flock? I know nchls school said that it took his 4 or 5 days....is this pretty normal?? I am swimming in uncharted territory here!!!