I have a young flock of 9 Leghorns and 16 Barred Rock hens. I was sure one of the Leghorns was a rooster because (s)he had a comb and wattles much bigger than the rest of the Leghorns, and his/her hackle feathers looked to be a lot longer than the others. Today though I'm not so sure (s)he is a rooster since I've noticed the other Leghorns are looking like they have the same long hackle feathers now that I look closer. All the BR's appear to be hens based on what I read about coloring, etc. When I ordered these birds I ordered all hens since this is my first go-around and I didn't want to piss off the neighbors, but when I told the neighbors I might have a rooster they were all happy about it and so naturally I was too. I really want a rooster and when I thought I had one I was really glad. But now that I'm not so sure I'm disappointed. Talk about an emotional roller coaster - I'm worse than my hens.
Anyway, now I'm thinking about ordering maybe half a dozen cockerels to integrate with the hens. I'd cull all but the best two and leave those to live with the hens in the flock. That's what I'd like to do anyway. My question: is that possible to do since my hens are currently 16 weeks old tomorrow? If so, how old should the cocks be before introducing them, and do you need to take any special measures like you'd do if introducing younger hens such as keep in a pen inside the run. etc.? I'm thinking since I'd be mixing boys and girls they might possibly be more interested in each other rather than trying to dominate one another the way hens would. Any info would be greatly appreciated.