Adding New Rooster to Old Flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Angela76, Mar 10, 2017.

  1. Angela76

    Angela76 Just Hatched

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    I have five Plymoth Barred Rocks and four Buff Orpington hens. We have a lot of land where I live and I would like to free range my birds occasionally. I have read all the threads on predators and have decided to only free range when I am home to supervise. Still, I have read many members have had a little hawk trouble. That being said, I wanted to add a rooster to the flock for protection. Should I find an unwanted adult or go with a chick? Does it even matter? I know the pecking will begin... I have read the threads about how to introduce a new member to the flock but didn't notice anything specific on roosters. Thanks in advance for any advice or personal experience.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    If you get an adult rooster, say one year old or older, integration is usually just turn him loose with the adult hens. He will usually mate a couple immediately to show he is boss and it’s over with, he is boss. Most of the time it is absolutely no problem.

    But you are dealing with living animals. It’s possible the head hen will not immediately give up her position and they may scuffle. Things may be rough for a day or two between them, but she usually quickly sees she has no hope of besting him and they often become best of buddies. Most of the time the head hen immediately accepts the rooster but occasionally he has to win her respect.

    If you get a young cockerel, the older hens may beat the snot out of him until he matures enough to win those fights. Or when he gets big enough, he may be pretty rough until he matures and learns how to behave as a responsible adult. Lots of people use a young cockerel, I usually do. It’s not always that bad but the potential for problems are there. I’d certainly recommend you try an adult rooster. It will probably be a lot less stressful for you.
     
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  3. Angela76

    Angela76 Just Hatched

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    Thank you, that's exactly what I wanted to know. Much appreciated.
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    If you go with a chick, you won't have decent protective/masculine behaviors for months.

    I'd look for a grown rooster. there are usually lots available on CL, etc. If you don't see any, try posting a wanted ad. Honestly, if you lived closer, I'd give you one tomorrow [​IMG]

    Agree with RR, bringing in a rooster is a whole different ballgame than bringing in one hen. One hen is a mess to try to add to a flock. One rooster, easy peasy most of the time. He does his thing, the hens learn to deal with it, make him work for his mating sometimes, and all's good. Honestly, if you have a hen that's going to be very resistive, she's going to be if you just add him in or introduce them slowly.

    And keep in mind, that while roosters are great at keeping watch and alerting the hens to the presence of predators, they don't all automatically sacrifice themselves for the hens. Some may, but just as many are screaming "Run"....while themselves making a hasty retreat.
     
  5. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    One little note.....Pick a docile Breed of Rooster.....;).....Brahma Roosters are great......:)


    Best of luck....


    Cheers!
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Ditto Dat^^^
     

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