Adding rooster to free ranging flock (all hens)

Rhonda Sue

In the Brooder
Hi everyone. I’m picking up a 7 mo old rooster tomorrow after confirming I somehow ended up with all hens in my straight run order. My hens are 8 1/2 mo old. Can I just put him on the roost at night and let them free range the next day? Or should I keep everyone locked up for a few days before letting them free range? Thank you!
 

Aapomp831

Crowing
Oct 4, 2017
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You should implement the see but can’t touch method for a couple of days; it’s super important to quarantine new birds for at least 2 weeks so you can ensure they don’t have any contagious diseases that can spread to your flock. We have a separate kennel that we put newbies in with a temporary small coop, in the middle of the run so everyone can get to know each other but can’t reach each other to fight. I throw scratch right along the kennel fence so they can get used to “eating together.” I do this until I notice them walking up and down the kennel fence together, acting like they want to be a flock.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
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Nov 27, 2012
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it’s super important to quarantine new birds for at least 2 weeks so you can ensure they don’t have any contagious diseases that can spread to your flock. We have a separate kennel that we put newbies in with a temporary small coop, in the middle of the run so everyone can get to know each other but can’t reach each other to fight.
Maybe I'm misreading but, that is not quarantine.
Sounds good for letting them get to know each other tho.

For biological/medical quarantine:
BYC Medical Quarantine Article
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
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I’m picking up a 7 mo old rooster tomorrow after confirming I somehow ended up with all hens in my straight run order. My hens are 8 1/2 mo old. Can I just put him on the roost at night and let them free range the next day? Or should I keep everyone locked up for a few days before letting them free range? Thank you!

For just introducing him: I would put him in with them, night or day whatever works for you, and watch for a bit to see what happens. They will probably all be fine, but the hens might chase him around and pick on him. If it gets too bad, you can put him in a cage inside the pen for a while so he can be safe while they get acquainted.

I would probably keep them locked in for a few days, to be sure he knows where to come home at night. You don't want him trying to go back to his old home at bedtime the first night!
 

Aapomp831

Crowing
Oct 4, 2017
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Lincolnton, NC
Maybe I'm misreading but, that is not quarantine.
Sounds good for letting them get to know each other tho.

For biological/medical quarantine:
BYC Medical Quarantine Article
I guess I should have worded that differently. I meant to quarantine completely for two weeks and then switch to the see but can’t touch method. Think I did that over my first cup of coffee, not yet awake lol
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
11 Years
Nov 12, 2009
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Really, I have added roosters many times, he will want to be with the girls, and will follow them back to the coop. Even if they are not real nice to him, he will still want to be there. The last two times I added a rooster, he took the lower roost for almost a week, before he worked his way up.

So I would not worry about it, for me, adding a rooster has always been the easiest of integrations.

Mrs K
 

CluckerFamily

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
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Feb 14, 2016
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I also would recommend the quarantining for a couple weeks to make sure he isn’t bring anything contagious into the flock.
I always do the see but no touch and with this I haven’t had any pecking issues with the hens and the rooster being integrated and the rooster was part of the flock, protecting the flock, and roosting with the flock as soon as he was allowed to integrate.
 

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