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Can a handicapped rooster and hens get along?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by BigShirleyRocks, Sep 3, 2015.

  1. BigShirleyRocks

    BigShirleyRocks Out Of The Brooder

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    May 12, 2013
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    Hi Members! I really need some advice here.
    My family and I recently adopted a handicapped rooster with curled toes named Knuckles. We saw him at a local animal refuge and I immediately fell madly in love with him and adopted him. We currently have 11 hens that range from one year to 2 years old.
    We have Knuckles sectioned off in the run with plenty of room to move around. He is already standing taller and gets around pretty well considering his disability.
    The first night the hens went into the coop for bedtime he started to cluck and wanted in with them but was blocked by the fence so he slept in his dog house. The second night he tried to push himself through a tiny gap in the fence and I was afraid he would either get stuck or hurt himself, so I ran and got my husband and we pulled part of the wire back and he tried to get up the coop ramp but couldn't balance. So we quick screwed a wider plank to the ramp and he made it inside and slept on the floor happy as could be! The next morning he was out in the run with the hens but they started to attack him so I got him to the other side and separated him from them again.
    Now it's been almost a week and that guy can get into the coop with no problem whatsoever. However, some of the hens are becoming vicious towards him the few minutes they are together and he's hiding in corners or wedging himself between food cans. I can't stand it and am wondering if I'm expecting too much? Will he ever be accepted by the hens or do they sense his disability and will never accept him into the flock? We have a huge run attached to the coop so space is not the issue at all. Right now he has a 6 foot wide, 18 foot long area and it's completely roofed about 15feet at the peek. Should we give it more time or make plans to secure his area better and just leave him to enjoy his own space without the hens getting to him? He's so sweet and he's got a better quality of life at this stage of the game. He doesn't crow...yet...mostly because he was around other roosters that would attack him if he made his presence known.
    Any advice would be helpful. I'm not giving up on Knuckles or my evil hens..... just want to do the right thing.
    Thanks in advance!
    Lisa
     
  2. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2015
    There is a possibility that he may never be accepted because of his handicap. It really depends on the hens and breed. If you have a hen that is not so aggressive you might try putting that hen with Knuckles. Often, the birds at the bottom of the pecking order are more accepting. Also, by putting a hen with him in his cage you are removing her space and now she is the intruder. Give it a couple days and if all goes well put another hen with Knuckles. If this works Knuckles will have a harem that accepts him making it more likely that the other hens will be less aggressive and then accepting when all the birds are put together..
     
  3. sophiaw00

    sophiaw00 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 27, 2015
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    How old is he? If he's still very young, that could also be why. Roosters won't become the "leader" until at least 5-7 months of age.

    When I got my rooster (1 year old) and introduced him to my 8 pullets, he immediatley took control. He showed his dominance by walking a circle around them while leaning towards them. I think this was his way of asking to mate. He was sleeping, eating, and protecting them within 2 days. He also has slightly crooked/curled toes but gets around ok. He can't roost as normal though.

    My suggestion would be to keep him in his own area until he is older and then try introducing him again. If he is kept in his own little area for a month or two at least, they will be more used to him. I agree with putting a more docile hen in with him but makes sure he doesn't overmate her as she will be the only hen he was access to.
     
  4. BigShirleyRocks

    BigShirleyRocks Out Of The Brooder

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    May 12, 2013
    Berlin, New Jersey
    Thank you so much! What a brilliant idea! I know exactly who I can put with him. I have a lovely comet named Sweetie and she is the lowest hen. I will give it a try and keep you posted.
     
  5. sophiaw00

    sophiaw00 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Make sure they have a roost in their area or they won't be very happy at night. Also, you probably already know this but make sure they both can still see the rest of the chickens and the rest of the chickens can see them too. This will help with introduction later on.
     
  6. BigShirleyRocks

    BigShirleyRocks Out Of The Brooder

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    May 12, 2013
    Berlin, New Jersey
    Knuckles cannot roost because one foot it turned up, kinda like when Italians say manga manga and the other one the toes are wrapped .... I'm amazed at how well and fast he can move but still cannot roost... Only on his dreams! I will put sweetie with him and see how they do..,,, the refuge does t really know how old he is but he was little when they got him and may even get bigger than he is now.... I will try to attach a picture of him[​IMG]
     
  7. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2015
    Would knuckles be able to perch using a 2x4 or narrow board? If he can roost with the hens at night the bonding will be faster.
     
  8. BigShirleyRocks

    BigShirleyRocks Out Of The Brooder

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    May 12, 2013
    Berlin, New Jersey
    He sleeps on the coop floor every night... Right in the middle of the coop. When he goes in just before dark they don't bother him... It's just at daylight when they are all out in the run and mostly 2 of the aggressive hens. I don't think he can hop up on a roost and not hurt himself.
     
  9. BigShirleyRocks

    BigShirleyRocks Out Of The Brooder

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    May 12, 2013
    Berlin, New Jersey
    We just put sweetie with knuckles and he did the circle thing around her and they are getting along wonderfully!!!!!! Let's see what happens tonight. Maybe I should bring them some wine and play some Barry White! Lol
     
  10. Peeps61

    Peeps61 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's great! I think if you introduce one hen at the time until you are down to the meanest two, then you'll probably be OK to put them all together as the other hens will be used to him. I had a younger rooster and the older, more dominant hens opened a can of kick butt on him more than once, but he needed to be taught some manners anyway. He later became the undisputed leader of the flock. Knuckles seems to know what his job is. Are there any types of devices you can put on his feet to help him out? Just curious. Sometimes, my husband comes up with some cool things we use to help out animals out!
     

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