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Add a new roo to an established flock?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by bristolsouth, Dec 23, 2013.

  1. bristolsouth

    bristolsouth Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a flock of 4 hens, all 1.5 years old. Another flock (separate coop) of 10 are 5 months old, and we just figured out we have two roosters in there! They're getting along so far, but I know what's coming... I've integrated younger and older hens before (a painful experience no matter how you go about it, in my opinion!), but never a roo.

    My question is: Will a nice, big 5-month-old Buff Orp roo be able to hold his own with 4 mature, set-in-their-ways ladies? We figure we'll put the bigger, more mature, more feisty roo in with them, and let the smaller, quieter one stay with the girls he knows. Do roos tend to handle this better than pullets because of their hormones, or is that just wishful thinking?

    Thanks for any advice you can give me!
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2013
  2. dcoon1

    dcoon1 New Egg

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    In my experience an older Rooster will shut a hen down quickly as long as he has size on his side. I have not tried with a younger one but if he is larger than the hens and feisty he should be OK. I usually also put the roo in a small wire mobile cage so they can see each other for several hours first, sometime even a day.
     
  3. bristolsouth

    bristolsouth Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for your thoughts, dcoon1!
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    That rooster is going to get his butt kicked by the older hens. But, that's actually a good thing! They won't kill him or anything, just let him know he's got to prove himself to them. They'll likely make his life miserable for a while, then he'll start manning up. He'll learn to call them for treats, and alert them to different things, and eventually start mating.

    I think it's a good thing for young roosters to be with older, mature hens that won't put up with their crap. Might also make roosters that are nicer to people, but I can't really prove that.

    Just make sure the run is large enough he can get away from the mean old ladies, maybe something to hide behind. It may take a month or so, but he'll establish his place.
     
  5. bristolsouth

    bristolsouth Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you, donrae!
     
  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    I have an unproved theory, but people are considering it. If you have a flock of same age birds, the roosters grow faster than the pullets, get bigger, and because they are lead with testosterone, they are apt to become bullies, and that aggression out of control, can transfer to humans.

    Whereas, a rooster that is raised in a flock of birds, with older mature hens will have to work his way up, takes some thumps, but learns manners, learns to master the girls but without so much force, more wooing. He learns a little sweet talking, finding a treat or two, does more to make the girls love him. Those roosters are better nicer roosters, they have manners. Two weeks ago, I saw a skinny leghorn, in a molt, schooling my great big Delaware rooster, who is rather convinced that the leghorn is tougher than he is.....so far.

    He is turning into a sweetie, I heard him call the girls today, showing them the food. By spring, I am thinking he is going to be a dang good roo.

    Mrs K
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2013
  7. dcoon1

    dcoon1 New Egg

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    I hate to reign on that theory but I raise roosters in flocks with all age hens and all age roosters. Some are just aggressive by nature. I had one tiny silkie rooster only about 4 months old slam into me and was a crazed lunatic towards people just out of no where and I have had other roosters grow up peaceful and polite even though they had the same mom and pops. Just like people they all have their same personality. I have introduced young roosters to my old flock and old roosters to the flock. I brought in one large Maran rooster to my well established flock of large older hens. He was large and calm but had a stately dominant look and not one hen tried to peck him or anything. They immidiatly were submissive and he took over the flock. The main thing is too make sure the rooster has room to run and hide if they do test him. He will work his way in eventually.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Just curious...is this the only rooster in the flock?
     
  9. bristolsouth

    bristolsouth Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for all the input. I agree with dcoon1 about them all having their own personalities, but I can also see Mrs. K's point. I imagine putting young roos in with older females could definitely contribute something to them learning not to be so...well...cock-sure of themselves! (The more I watch roos, the more that phrase makes sense to me! [​IMG])
     
  10. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    I am down to one roo now, and he is 6 months old. But there were other baby roo's with them as the flock was raised, but no older roo..... as he was invited to freezer camp.

    At dcoon1 - I do know that roosters can just turn mean in an instant, and that a lot of it is genetic. But the difficult space of time, the teenage moments in a roosters' life, seem to go better, if there is older birds in the flock, it is easier to be a bully if you are the biggest bird in the coup/run.

    Mrs K
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2013

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