Best time of day (or night) to introduce new rooster to flock?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickenbike, Sep 12, 2008.

  1. chickenbike

    chickenbike Songster

    There are only 6 hens. Both the hens and the rooster are the same age (16 weeks). It's one of my roosters being added to my friend's flock.

    She has an enclosed, lockable henhouse. A pop door from the henhouse opens into a covered run area. Then she has a pop door from the run area which she opens so the girls can free-range.

    She has built a chicken wire divider for the enclosed henhouse so the rooster can sleep in with the girls, but nobody can contact one another during the night.

    Should I take the rooster over in the late afternoon, at night, or earlier in the day? I don't think we can separate the rooster from the hens in the outdoor run area as they all have to go in and out through the same pop door. [​IMG]

    Should we keep the hens and the new rooster confined to the run area (together), and not let the girls free-range for a while, so the rooster doesn't run away? Will he run away?,

    Should we keep them separate in the henhouse while they sleep at night (with the wire divider), open the pop door to the run, then once the hens and rooster are out in the run area, use another wire divider to keep the rooster in one corner (separate, except for that initial mingling as they go from the henhouse to the run)?

    I am overly anxious about the merge as this rooster is one of only 4 that I hatched in the spring. These 4 have been hand-raised and together all along. Of the 4, I have 2 roosters, and 2 hens. The 2 roosters are just now beginning to sqwack at one another. However, they do still sleep in a pile frequently!

    I'm worried this fellow will find leaving his little flock of 3 and venturing into the world of these 6 hens one heck of a shock. I'm trying to take the viewpoint that he'll have a nice harem of 6 ladies, but I still worry.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2008
  2. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    I've heard you can put him in a cage inside the coop for a couple days to get them used to him, BUT in my experience they will irritate the [email protected] outta him. We just throw them in after dark as quickly and quietly as possible. usually with no issues at all.
  3. chickenbike

    chickenbike Songster

    Really? The henhouse is probably 6' x 4.5' don't think there would be blood shed if we just snuck him in in the night? Or we could sneak him in at night (with the wire divider), and come morning open the pop door and let everyone mingle.

    I'm still not sure about the free-range access for a few days though?
  4. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    We popped a new rooster in the other day and he was dead in an hour!?
  5. ...dead in an hour??? You've got some wicked hens there! Not only do roo's have to mature physically, but mentally to handle pullets & hens.

    My Brewster (BO) handled my 3 yr old RIR hens no problem from the first moment. Randy Roo on the other hand, he's not as manly nor mature so even though he does mate w/at least 4 of the 8, he's had to run from a couple, especially the one who doesn't want to mate w/him, she gets steamed big time and he does run from her:lol: That's why Sir Blue might be a better roo for those girls, we're finding out this weekend;)

    I'm a newbie at this but I take my roo into the hen pen and set him down, we walk and talk and the girls give the evil eye and if he's afraid, they know it and I pick him up and we leave. If he's like Brewster, no problems, I leave.
  6. chickenbike

    chickenbike Songster

    I like the sit and talk idea.....I'll incorporate that I think. A good chance for everyone to feel each other out. Thanks for your input!
  7. Darin115

    Darin115 Songster

    Apr 28, 2008
    Asheboro, NC
    I just introduced a Golden Buff roo to 10 hens about 2 hours ago. The dominant hen bucked up to the rooster until he decided to fight back. One good lick by the roo brought the old hen quickly in line. The hens are cackling and the roo is doing his little wing down dance.

    I think the introduction went just fine.

  8. chickenbike

    chickenbike Songster

    I'm encouraged by how things went for you Darin.....fingers crossed for my rooster. There's a good chance we may introduce him either today or tomorrow!
  9. vtchickenlady

    vtchickenlady Songster

    Sep 5, 2008
    I just introduced a barred rock to a flock of 10 hens, all same age (22 weeks). I did it at night. There was a ruckus for about 20 minutes and he crowed a lot. The girls didn't want to give up a space on the roost. I talked to them and made them move over for him. They complied and the next morning he was put in his place by a lady that he wanted to mate with. After that all was well and the girls love him now.
  10. chickenbike

    chickenbike Songster

    We took the one rooster over to my friend's last night at 8:30. She had built a chicken wire divider so we snuck him in. Other than one of the hens coming over to check him out (for 20 seconds.....then going back to her roost), everyone just settled in for the night.

    I haven't heard yet how this morning went. Although of my 2 hens (each had paired up with a rooster), the dominant hen chased around the submissive one this morning. Not for a great length of time, but 20 sec or so. Normally, the rooster we re-homed would have told off the dominant I hope this little hen doesn't get harassed too much. The roo I kept stepped in in the end, but it took several seconds.

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