Do roosters help with integration?

bakerjw

Songster
9 Years
Apr 14, 2010
1,384
38
183
Johnson City, Tn
I have my flock called the "Chicklets" that are a little over a year old now. Their coop and run is divided and I put 22 10 to 12 week old chicks in the divided section a few weeks back. There have been some escapees from one side to the other but no major blowups as a result. So earlier this week I removed a section of the dividing fence and allowed them to all intermingle. As expected some of the older bird were slightly aggressive but all in all they seem to get along pretty well. Kurt who is my dominant White Rock rooster seems to keep order very well and enjoys all of the new "company".

If I tried the same integration with my other flock consisting of only hens I can guarantee that the behavior would be radically different. My hens, although very nice to people, are typical mean hens.

I just wondered if anyone else has seen that a rooster mellows out the integration dynamics and drama.
 

7L Farm

Songster
9 Years
Jul 22, 2010
4,635
70
231
Anderson, Texas
A good roo can help control the flock. My roo helped. I introduced a solo Dominique pullet to 10 RIR pullets & the RIR cock helped the new girl out & still does to this day. He fell head over heals for her. It was amazing to watch him protect her. He makes sure she's in the coop every night & up on the roost.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
25,679
15,682
777
Southeast Louisiana
I've seen that some roosters (not all) readily protect all members of the flock, including small chicks that get separated from a broody hen. I've seen roosters break up pecking order fights between juvenile chickens and adult hens. I've seen reports on this forum where the rooster rejects the new flock members and protects his regular flock from the intruders, even when the intruders are hens

I cannot say that I have noticed roosters help with integration, but I am certain that some roosters would make the process go much smoother. But some might make it a bit harder. I still like a rooster with the flock. It seems more organized.
 

dsqard

Crazy "L" Farms
10 Years
Jun 11, 2010
5,392
863
371
I side with Ridgerunner on this one. I have two five month olds that have been "mingling" with my older flock for months now and they are not fully integrated. Now I understand the cokerel not wanting to mingle with my older roo, but surprisingly the older roo is not interested in the pullet even though she is really close to laying. Seems like my older roo likes his group and doesn't want any new comers even if they are girls.
 

rolffamily

Songster
9 Years
Apr 25, 2010
156
1
111
Wisconsin
My roo in only a year old, which probably makes a diff (not enough finesse) but I also see him favoring the original girls. He's more than happy to mount the new ones, but that's the only "nice" attention he gives them.
 

tinychicky

Songster
9 Years
Mar 24, 2010
2,623
52
181
Hollis, New Hampshire
i have an amazing silkie rooster who always helps integrate new birds. wereas most chickens would peck unknown chicks, he is always very sweet to them right from the start. he seems to be in a sort of mindset where if a new chicken comes into his flock, there is no need to bicker, they are simply there, just another one of his flock who deserves the same attention the rest of the girls get which includes protection from bullies. it's only the "rash" young cockerals who occasionally need to be put in thier place, but he always does it calmly, efficiently, quickly: just another part of his job. so i would say that if you get a good boy like that, then they certainly help settle things down swiftly and effectively. some other roosters see threats everywhere and they'll attack anything they don't know about because they can't handle it any other way. i'd recommend introducing the roo to the hens first (if you havn't already), and only after he's established the dominent position in the flock (could be only one day to even a few weeks) should you add the "chicklets". Kurt should break up fights with a quick peck on each chicken's head and after that they shouldn't fight any more. rocks are generally pretty sweet tempered, i think it'll be fine. good luck with the integration!
:
 

TK Poultry

Songster
10 Years
May 25, 2009
2,864
11
194
Greencastle, Indiana
It may be a breed thing too. My Ameraucana roosters are quick to step in. They keep their hens in check. I see the older ones 1 year+ do it better. I have a 9 month old cockerel who I think doesn't always know what to do with his very bold full of personality ladies, but the older ones really do step in. I put a Silver hen with my Lavenders temporarily and the hens would bicker but the rooster would step in and keep the new hen on one side and the older ones on the other. he doesn't seem interested in mating with the Silver either. I had Silkies too and they would just let the hens go wild! I think its a case by case basis.
 

storeman

In the Brooder
8 Years
Apr 21, 2011
32
0
22
I have watched when my hens would fight one another my rooster would jump into the middle and break them up. He is truly a referee. He is mean but he treats the hens good.
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
12 Years
Nov 18, 2007
23,571
14,386
641
Florida
My Coop
I have switched my roos around and put them in with different hens. There was no problems. Some of the hens didn't want him to mount them but eventually gave in.
 

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