Am I making my new rooster too anxious?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by tlcchickens, Mar 27, 2015.

  1. tlcchickens

    tlcchickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 26, 2015
    Jasper, TN
    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.
     
  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Since he seems to be accepted in the flock, with two days in the coop, I would let him out. The older hens should lead him back home. If you want to do one step at a time and leave him out a little before sunset, then increase the length each day would be another way.
     
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  3. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

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    I would just turn him loose with them. If they are all going in the coop at night he will likely follow. If you are concerned, I would keep them all locked up for a day or 2. Then he won't get so wound up about being separated from the flock. It will also reduce the crowing.
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Let him out. The hens know where home is and will bring him back to the coop at night. If he tries to lead them somewhere else at night you can worry about retraining him, but I think he'll be fine.
     
  5. tlcchickens

    tlcchickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 26, 2015
    Jasper, TN
    Thanks for the replies. I let him out for a few hours before dusk, and he went right back in with the hens when it was time to roost. [​IMG]
     
  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    I just got a new rooster, and I was going to let him sit in the cage for a bit, while I was taking care of some other chores. He saw the hens and was very excited to meet them, by the time I got back, he had gotten out of the cage and out on the prairie but he was only interested in impressing the hens, never made a bolt for it, and he roosted just fine that night.
     
  7. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Just goes to show that if you want to trap a rooster, bait your trap with a hen.
     
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