I have had 9 RIR hens for about a year and a half. They are nice big hens and lay great eggs. I would like to add a rooster to my flock to have some fertile eggs to hatch. Will my hens accept a rooster at this point?
Add a rooster
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I had a friend that has girls the same age as yours and just got a rooster and
they love him!! I would try to find a very mature roo and not a young one.
Good luck !!!
There may be a bit of a flutter when you put him in. A few of the top hens may even try to thump on him. He will settle it. I just added a roo too. I does change the dynamic of the flock.
I will humbly mention that I thought that the rule was, "Older hens & younger roo, or older roo & younger hens.
But I have 20 month hens and 6 month pullets with a 6 mo roo. So far it is going ok.
About 6 months ago I had to seperate my 5 RIR hens from the main coop because they were being mean to all they other hens. I decided to add a roo to the RIRs and they beat up the first 2 young roos I put in with them. I went to a friend and bought a mature RIR roo and when he was added to the coop things changed drastically. He put those ladies in their place and things are really calm now. I would go with a mature roo.
I would also go with a mature rooster since you have RIR hens.
I third or fourth or fifth (whatever number I am) the idea to get a mature roo. My girls were a little younger than yours when I introduced my Rooster to them, and it was love at first sight for EVERYONE. I did place my rooster in a chicken tractor with the girls allowed to free range around him for a few days before I put them all together. That gave them some time to like each other from a safe distance, and got Mr. Roo used to where home was.
I agree with whetzelmomma's approach- I usually let them see each other and let him try his hand at seducing them through a fence before I unleash the girls on him. He should already have been housed separately while you quarantined him, so it's pretty easy. In my experience, after a couple days of investigation and flirting, I'll catch a hen laying down and presenting herself to him. That's usually when I know they won't immediately start squabbling, so that's when they get a formal introduction.
I doubt you'll have a hard time finding someone looking to get rid of a roo either
I am SO glad to find this thread. I've been thinking about getting an older, experienced GENTLE rooster for my girls in the spring. They will be nearly a year old by that time.
When you are quarantining him, how far away from the girls does he need to be? I have a good hoop tractor that the girls outgrew last fall, and I'll use that for quarantine, but I really like the security of having it inside my yard fence. We have coyotes in our area, and they don't come in the yard because of the dog smells (I think). The yard is where the girls free range for a couple of hours a day. That would be too close (just through a wire) I'm sure. I just don't know how to handle it. Maybe a temporary fence to keep them back from the tractor?
I doubt I'll have trouble finding a suitable roo because there are lots of people in the area on BYC that are serious breeders who have to rehome/cull imperfect specimens at maturity. My concern is for the health of my girls.