adding a single new cockerel to existing flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by NickyPick, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. NickyPick

    NickyPick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 18, 2010
    Cypress, TX
    Ok, I've got a question on how to go about adding a single young cockerel to an established flock. My chickens are almost a year old now and I'm thinking that if I get a good cockerel out of the eggs that should hatch on Sunday, I'd like to keep one of the boys. How would I go about integrating him with the group safely? How old should he be?
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    He will need to be around the same size as the older hens. Frankly they will beat him up unless he is old enough.

    I recommend integrating at 16 weeks. If you must do it earlier, take one of your hens out (the nicest one) and put her with him in a pen by themselves for two weeks. When they join the flock they will be friends hopefully.

    If you aren't really set up for this, you can keep him in a temporary fenced off area in the main run and keep him in a dog crate inside the coop at night. When he is old enough he will be able to tell the ladies that he is their rooster and they must obey!!
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Holts Summit, Missouri
    My answer varies according to how flock is housed.

    If they are confined, then let come into full adult feather. Released as a full adult he will be involved in little or no fighting. When I release a full adult standard sized rooster into any groups of females the rooster will have established his rank within minutes.

    If the flock is free ranged and roosting sites are not limiting then he can be introduced as a juvenile although he will be at bottom of pecking order until his first set of adult feathers are nearly set. If he were hen raised, then integration is enabled by his mother especially if she is a high ranking flock member. If he is confined seperately through adulthood, then again he can be introduced then without concern.
     
  4. NickyPick

    NickyPick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 18, 2010
    Cypress, TX
    Well, I have a 8X10 coop and a 15 X 20 run that currently houses 14 chickens. During the morning, we usually open the coop door (which is in a horse stall), so technically they have two runs as they can go through the coop to the 12x12 stall if they want. in the afternoon, we open the other pop door in the run and let them out into the horse pens - about an acre+. The separation part is going to be difficult as we don't have much room and there is no room to expand.
    Unfortunately, none of my Brahma's eggs hatched, so I don't have a cockerel to add, but boy, I'd love to get a Brahma roo.
     
  5. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Older hens usually want nothing to do with a younger cockerel. They will make him prove himself. It took my hens nearly 4 months to allow my young cockerel to mate them, or even eat with them without attacking him.
     

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