Combining flocks and rooster question

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Deannuri, Sep 17, 2016.

  1. Deannuri

    Deannuri New Egg

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    We have a year old flock of 7 red sex link hens 1 Rhode Island Red hen and 1 huge aggressive Rhode Island Red rooster. I love the rooster because he is super protective and I feel he keeps the flock safer from predators.

    We also have a new 5 month old flock of 13 Rhode Island Red pullets 2 Rhode Island Red roosters. Each flock has their own house and large yard.

    It would be easier to combine the two flocks to the larger facility which has ample room for them but here is my question:

    1. Are we risking a full blown illness for all chickens by keeping them together rather than maybe one flock getting sick but the other kept healthy by being separate.

    2. If we add the aggressive older rooster in with the two young ones, will he tear them up? Also we only want 2 roosters. Which do we give up: one of the babies or keep both babies who get along but may not be as protective or keep the older rooster and sacrifice one of the babies?

    The larger house has separate areas for slow introduction time. This would allow roosters to have time to perhaps safety get acquainted.

    Of course the 3rd possibility is keeping all 3 roosters but it seems a bit financially counter productive.

    Thanks,

    Anne​
     
  2. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First off,a mean rooster is SERIOUSLY dangerous,I suggest culling him.Also,it is much easier to introduce younger roo's anyways. He could possibly kill them,RIR's tend not to like other roosters.If you do plan on keeping only two,keep one that is protective and non-aggressive towards you or anyone else.

    Have they ever seen each other before?

    Also,are the young chickens sick?Or are the big ones?If not,then there is no way they could get ill.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2016
  3. Gray Farms

    Gray Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd get rid of the old rooster and combine them all.
     
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  4. DanEP

    DanEP Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Slowly intagrating the 2 flocks should work fine as long as you reduce the number of roosters.If it was me I'd cull the old aggressive rooster and let the 2 young guys grow into the job, they already are living together and have the pecking order pretty well settled. As far as sickness unless you can separate the 2 flock by a pretty good distance if one flock gets sick the other one probably will too. The size flock your talking about doesn't really run a higher risk than keeping them separate.
     
  5. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    I am sure you do not change shoes or clothes while tending to your daily chores..What one flock has the other ones have it too...
    Unless kept in a bio-secured facility which they are not...One large flock might work? Just be prepared for all the usual pecking order fights to take place...
    As far as Roosters go....That is up to you too decide...Personally I do not have one anymore...

    Cheers!
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Me too.

    Disease really isn't an issue. If one flock on a property has something, they're all gonna have it.

    Get rid of mean rooster. They can be protective but not human aggressive.

    With that many birds, of those ages, I'd simply put them all together and let them figure things out. You've got enough birds of each group that no one should get singled out and harassed. There will probably be a bit of drama overall, squawking and carrying on, and some deciding who gets to eat first, things like that. But that's all normal when you introduce new animals. Let them play things out, just keep an eye on them. Make sure no one is getting pinned in a corner, or relentlessly pecked. If you have plenty of space, and some hiding places, it should be fine.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Bio 'quarantine' time is long over, probably never happened.

    I too might advise to get rid of the older aggressive cockbird.....depending on how he is aggressive, more details on that would help.
    Is he human aggressive?
    Then wait a time to decide between the younger 2, you might be able to keep them both depending on how their demeanor's emerge.

    Is the larger facility large enough for 20 birds?
    Do you free range? I'm assuming you do as you speak of 'protection' provided by the cock/erels. That can help with integration.
    They might not all go into the one coop unless you confine them all there for a time.
     
  8. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    The older rooster is going to love the idea of more hens. He is not going to like the idea of new roosters. He will fight to prove his worth. There really is no way to introduce roosters to the point of getting used to each other, they need to have it out. Roosters have been known to fight bloody through a fence. So if you mix them, be ready to be able to separate them if it gets real ugly. If you separate them, thinking later you will try again, they will fight again. If the fight is wicked, that relationship is not going to work, one of those birds will have to be culled.

    Now a couple of things might happen. The older rooster could whip the younger roosters, and the younger boys accept that lower position. Or one or both of the younger roosters could fight until death or severely damaged to one of the birds in the fight. They may get along for a while, and then try it on again. They are animals, and there is no way to really predict what will happen.

    If you cull the older rooster, and keep the younger birds, you will not have a fight now. However, one of these roosters will be the alpha, and one the beta. That might be long term, or it might also one day need to be redetermined. Again, it might just be a skirmish, might be worse.

    If you have multiple roosters, this is a risk. Have a set up to immediately separate birds away from each other if a severe life threatening fight happens. Those birds are never going to get along from that point on.

    Mrs K
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2016

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