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Best way to introduce a new rooster to existing flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Dougs chix, Mar 30, 2015.

  1. Dougs chix

    Dougs chix Out Of The Brooder

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    Does anyone know the best way to introduce a new rooster to the flock? i currently have a rooster and 6 hens. In about 2 weeks i will be putting 14 new hens in the pen but want another Rooster as well to go with the new young hens. How do i introduce him without the other rooster and him killing each other? Please help!
     
  2. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    well, it might go well, it might go well for a while, and it might not go well at all. Adding a rooster to a flock with a rooster can get ugly. Really, I don't think this is going to be a have them close together and get to know each other strategy. Roosters have fought bloody through a fence.

    The established rooster is going to be seeing some lovely new hens to add to his flock, he has no concept of sharing hens, and most generally most roosters have no intention of sharing with a stranger.


    When people have more than one rooster in the flock, they generally have been raised together, or a father/ son where the son was raised as a chick in the flock.

    This is going to take a huge amount of luck, and if you don't get that, you need a plan B.

    Mrs K
     
    2 people like this.
  3. Dougs chix

    Dougs chix Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks MRS K. i appreciate the advice. Sounds like i may have an issue on my hands
     
  4. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can usually throw in young imature roosters with full grown ones but if they are both mature and don't know each other it usually gets ugly. It may be ugly for only 5 minutes, 5 days, not at all, or one may kill the other. Depends on their personality.
     
  5. Dougs chix

    Dougs chix Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok thanks chickenlegs13 for the feedback
     
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Some roosters simply will not share their hens, period. My 6 year old Delaware is one. He is fine with his sons until they start flirting with the hens. He actually killed a gorgeous 20-something week old cockerel I was planning to breed, one who was larger that he was, and almost killed another he had been living with semi-peacefully for a longer period. I had to remove that one after he was injured seriously and he now lives in a different coop with his own few hens.

    That Delaware rooster's son, Rex, was also taken out by a lucky hit with his brother, Deacon, (coincidentally, Deacon is the one their sire hurt badly) who finally had enough of being chased away and turned to fight, surprising his brother and causing internal injuries that led to his demise. So, I guess it's in their genes from dear old dad not to be amenable to sharing their hens. I would never, ever put a strange rooster in with any rooster here, no matter if folks tell you about introduction periods where there is a fence between, etc. Someone would most definitely die.That fence only makes them more revved up to get at each other when the fence is gone. Mine fight at the fence constantly and when the barrier is gone, they are like dogs who've had sticks poked at them through that fence and are ready to bite.

    This is the general nature of roosters, to protect the hens and their bloodline. There may be exceptions but you won't know if you have one of those or not until there is a dead rooster on the ground. You are more likely to be successful if a youngster is raised up in the flock with his sire, though. But, then, you have to start watching the situation closely so you don't have what happens with my Delaware every time (the guy in my avatar)
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    One word in your post makes me think you have a big issue. You said “pen”. If you put strange roosters together they are going to determine who is boss. If you put strange hens together with no rooster involved they will determine who is boss. That’s the nature of chickens. The same thing happens if you mix strange cattle into a herd. They are social animals and they need to know where they rank against each other so they know how to react to each other. Sometimes this goes pretty smoothly, sometimes it gets deadly. It’s usually a lot worse between males.

    What normally happens when chickens fight is that the loser runs away from the winner. There is normally some chasing involved and maybe rematches but eventually they work it out. But they have to have room to get away even with serious chasing. If they can’t get away then the fight tends to not end. They need room to avoid each other to not trigger another round.

    Some roosters just won’t quit, whether they are winning or losing. These are fights to the death, no matter how much space you have. If one gets seriously injured the other can be relentless until they finish it off. The same thing can happen between hens but it is much more likely between roosters. Some roosters can work out an accommodation where they work together to protect the flock, often with each having his own harem. This is more likely to happen if they are raised together, either as siblings or in a father-son relationship, but even strange adult roosters can work out an accommodation.

    They are living animals. No one can tell you how your specific situation will turn out. The only way to find out is to put them together and see what happens. I agree there is no benefit in housing adult roosters side by side, just let them have at it. They may work it out or one may die. The more room you have the better the odds of them working it out, but this stuff does not come with guarantees.
     
    2 people like this.
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    You also need to be concerned about integrating the hens together.

    How big is your 'pen'?
    How old are the new hens and rooster?
    Are they onsite now or will you be bringing them to your property in 2 weeks?
     
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2015
  10. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    You don't, if he's a very young rooster and not yet crowing he might work, but as a rule sticking two strange roosters in the same coop is not good.

    I had two Del roosters who were fine. They grew up together, but then when spring hit I noticed they didn't seem to have things worked out. One day I found one dead in the coop with his neck broke.

    They need a lot of room.

    Even adding hens will cause a ruckus. It will take some time for things to calm down.

    But then others will have had a different experience.

    I do have more than one rooster in a coop but they've always either came in as youngsters or grew up together. Even then when the hormones hit they need to sort things out.
     

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