I am a newbie but have lurked here since before I got my first flock in November. I had 4 hens and 1 rooster, and I let them free-range during daylight hours. Unfortunately, my rooster seems to have met an untimely death, probably due to a predator. He vanished without a trace, but all of my girls are fine. I decided the rooster needed to be replaced for several reasons: I love the crowing, I may want to try hatching eggs one day, and I may need him to protect the hens like my first rooster may have done. I have a new rooster who is lovely, both in temperament and in appearance. He just got out of quarantine two days ago. I decided to just go for it and put him in with the hens, and that worked out fine. They get along really well, and there was no pecking or anything. I put him in while they were already roosting that night, and everybody was just like, "Cool, we're a family now." When I got my original flock, I followed advice I read here and elsewhere that said to keep them all cooped for several days (some advice says up to a month!) I think we only cooped the original 5 chickens for about 10 days, but they were pretty young, around 6 months old at the time. The new rooster is 10 months old. So for the last 2 mornings, I've let the hens out to free range as they're accustomed to, and kept the rooster cooped. He's not happy about being separated from the hens. He paces a lot. He stands in one spot most of the day. He crows all day long! He didn't crow like that before he met the hens. The hens seem to like him, too. They stick around in the vicinity of the coop all day, and they have never done that before. However, they don't seem agitated at all like the rooster does. I need the rooster to know that the coop is home, of course. The hens free range all day and just go back into the coop on their own at dusk, and I'm hoping he'll do the same. I'm afraid if he doesn't, he'll encourage the hens to stop going in on their own. I *think* I'm doing the right thing in keeping him cooped for several days, but I'm afraid I'm causing him undue stress by keeping him away from the hens. Thoughts? Am I personifying him too much? Lol.