Adding a mature rooster to an all hen flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Ciqala, Oct 1, 2014.

  1. Ciqala

    Ciqala Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm looking for personal experiences in regards to adding a mature rooster to a flock of all hens. My girls are a mix of breeds, the older girls are about a year and a half old, the younger ones about 6-7 mths old. I had had two roosters and my experiences with them were, let's say unpleasant when they hit the one year mark.

    Dearly missing the dynamics of having a roo in the flock and knowing I wouldn't be able to independently replenish the flock, I decided to poke around the SPCA shelter and talk with them about if they had one that fit what I was looking for. While they have a handful of gorgeous roos, low and behold it was the boy I found the ugliest that was the one recommended as their best fit for what I was looking for. I figure going the route of the SPCA I stand a better chance of knowing what I'm getting, roo disposition wise. The boy I've got the appt to go and meet is 3yrs old.

    I've been reading up on how to add a rooster to the flock, have personally added new pullets successfully, but would really love some experienced advice. Or even advice in what to look for when I'm at the SPCA and deciding which boy we'd like, breed isn't important. While I know it's recommended 30 days of quarantine, is it possible to maybe make it less somehow 'cuz the new guy will have to stay in the house in a big dog crate.
     
  2. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    I am not sure what SPCA is, but if your rooster has been exposed to many different birds from all over, then a quarantine would be a pretty good idea. If he looks healthy, and has been checked over well, you might get lucky, but it is a very real and valid risk, and more exposure to other birds from different places, dramatically increases the risk.

    As to adding a mature rooster, it is the easiest additions of a single bird you can make. I have done it 3 times and all I did was just add him in the late afternoon, and everyone was in love by the next morning. A little scuffle, but soon settled. I too like a flock with a good rooster.

    Mrs K
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I agree on the quarantine in this case. He's been exposed to who-knows-what while at the shelter, and you don't want to risk your hens.

    I also agree on how to add him. I don't do the slow and easy integration like with pullets, I just toss him in. Afternoon, night, whatever. Yep, the hens might be resistant for a while. He may not court them well right off, but after he establishes his dominance he should start being a gentleman in the next few days.
     
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I did that many years ago. The pullets (they were all 10 months old, same age as the guy I added, after 5 full weeks of quarantine) were not happy at first, and they bloodied his comb, then he raised to his full height and pretty much said, in rooster language, "Ladies, I'm here to stay, that's enough!" and they were his by Day #2. It's different adding a rooster, generally, than adding a hen to an established flock of hens. They react differently to him or at least, they let him in quicker.

    I'd not skip quarantine. He'll survive it and you'll get to know him and be able to give him worm and lice/mite treatment and good nutrition. Don't give any antibiotics, though, and if he shows signs of serious respiratory disease, do not add him to your flock.
     
  5. Melabella

    Melabella Overrun With Chickens

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    what he said, x2 Quarantining is an essential part of bio security. When I did this, I did it for 2 weeks, then gave him one of my girls for another week. She didn't get sick, so I put them both in the pen behind a wire fence so the flock could see him for another 2 days, then put the pair up on the roost at night. In the morning, they were all pecking around like old pals. He did have to earn his right to cover, and that took a few weeks, but all went fairly smooth.
     
  6. Ciqala

    Ciqala Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe I should go a few weeks longer than a month's worth of quarantine since he's coming from a shelter that he's lived in for 3 yrs. I have an old wood crate and a bit of extra fencing I could whip up a small outdoor enclosure for him. Then I wouldn't have to deal with the notion of keeping a roo in the house for a month or so, lol. I'm also in northern New England, he's a silkie, and our temps will drop significantly in the next month so I wouldn't want to deal with him having to get used to the temp difference, etc too. He'd only have to be in while I get it built, about a week or so. How far from the girls' coop/run should I put it?
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    He's a silkie, and lived in a shelter for 3 years? Has he had access to hens in that time? Knowing those things, I'd be a little more concerned for him getting his butt kicked. I know some silkies stand up for themselves, but overall they're not known for being assertive. Why are you adding a rooster? If it's for protection, he may not be the best choice due to his limited visibility and possible docile nature. For raising chicks, adding a silkie rooster will give you potentially more broody offspring, but will also decrease your offspring's egg production, if that's a concern.

    I'd just be concerned about a bird from those conditions not having proper flock manners and not knowing how to integrate with other birds. On the flip side, if he's been with other birds at the shelter, he's more likely to have come into contact with illness.
     
  8. Roxannemc

    Roxannemc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am not sure what SPCA is, but if your rooster has been exposed to many different birds from all over, then a quarantine would be a pretty good idea. If he looks healthy, and has been checked over well, you might get lucky, but it is a very real and valid risk, and more exposure to other birds from different places, dramatically increases the risk.

    As to adding a mature rooster, it is the easiest additions of a single bird you can make. I have done it 3 times and all I did was just add him in the late afternoon, and everyone was in love by the next morning. A little scuffle, but soon settled. I too like a flock with a good rooster.

    Mrs K
    [/q
    ASPCA I think it is abbreviated basically the Human Society...
    Girls will like a roo.I actually think they feel more safe!!Mine seem like it.
    I have had lot of roos at once..like 14..and have only had 3 get over protective. I just rehomed the mean ones and used a More gentle one.I have a few roos now who have groups of hens they protect from others..and none are mean...only to other roos that come in their territory...so many can be gentle..
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2014
  9. Ciqala

    Ciqala Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In the past while there he's lived in a bachelor pad, and is currently living with hens - so my concern isn't really with him not knowing flock manners or being able to integrate. My biggest concerns are the quarantine, him being healthy and being well behaved {rooster disposition wise}. I want to add a rooster 'cuz I like them: like the crowing, the option of hatching should I choose to and the dynamics they bring to the flock in general. I had two, but as they matured they got aggressive, so if I can find a good boy I'd love to have another. As far as him being a great protector, mine are kept in an enclosed run with a roof and around that I have electric fence so I think in that regard his biggest job would be keeping the hens in line and finding them tasty treats [​IMG]

    He's really an odd looking fellow IMO and does not have all the feathers on his head that get in the way of seeing, they're much shorter. For all I know he's a mutt with a bit of silkie in him. Here's a pic of him I got from their site. Certainly not my first choice in roos going by looks, they have some other really gorgeous roosters, but I'm not going for looks.. I'm going for good natured.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    He looks like a hatchery quality Silkie to me, probably supposed to be Partridge or he's a mix of colors, can't tell.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2014

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