Do roosters keep the peace?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by gvwjbern, Mar 21, 2017.

  1. gvwjbern

    gvwjbern Out Of The Brooder

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    I introduced my 5 younger chickens (4 months old) to my flock of 4 hens (8 months old) about 3 days ago. Every time I checked on them, the little ones were huddled in the corner. Today I found my favorite little hen with it's head pecked to the membrane. The wound is about the size of a nickel. I immediately separated the little ones and brought the wounded one in for TLC.

    My question is, I heard roosters keep the peace in the flock. Is this true? Or are they just as bad as the rest with new chickens or worse being they can inflict more damage?
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
  2. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    I have seen some roosters try and break up a hen fight. I Never try to introduce younger chicks to the flock----if I did I would wait till they were full grown so they can protect themselves some what. Trying while they are younger can be a problem---like you now have seen. I got tired of them getting killed or hurt. You might could set-up a division where they are next to each other and feed where they eat out the same feeder through the wire separating them---do this until they get use to each other then put them together. I never want mine together because I sell my older hens when the younger start laying good. keeps me in young hens and brings in some cash.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
  3. gvwjbern

    gvwjbern Out Of The Brooder

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    The younger chicks were in a wired kennel with the older chickens for a week before I integrated them. They saw each other, ate and drank near each other. The older chickens never tried hurting them even though they can stick their heads through between the wires and so I thought they might be able to live in harmony. Wrong.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
  4. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    Yep----I know a lot of people want them to be together---never sell their older birds----you got time as they get to adult size to try again to put them together. As I stated above. I do not want mine mixed---because I sell the older when the younger starts laying good---plus I do not want the younger getting pecked, hurt etc.
     
  5. tmarsh83

    tmarsh83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A rooster isn't a catch-all for flock peace. They can cause other issues as well.

    You're best off giving the littles an area in the coop they can get to that the bigger girls can't for a period of time. It should subside as they get used to each other, but integration is rarely fun.

    How much room do the birds have, inside and out? Do they free range?

    Just being able to get "away" fixes a lot the problem.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Excellent questions^^^

    Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact.

    The more space, the better.
    Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

    Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

    Places for the new birds to hide 'out of line of sight'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds.

    In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best of mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.


    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading, tho some info is outdated IMO:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
     

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