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HELP Introduced New Silkie Roo Yesterday - Hens are Ganging Up on Him

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Steph Martin, May 20, 2011.

  1. Steph Martin

    Steph Martin Out Of The Brooder

    May 7, 2011
    Nova Scotia Canada
    I really need some advice here. I've got five good sized cross bred hens. They all have figured out their place and get along wonderfully. Yesterday (after quarantine) I introduced a small Silkie rooster to the flock. I snuck him in at dusk and all "beep beep beep" broke loose. They immediately jumped off their perches and one or two actually attacked him -- jumped on his back and pecking. He went outside into the coop and stayed there until I put him back in again. I really thought (stupid me) that by this a.m. things would have figured themselves out...Not so. Today, they were attacking again when I went to let them out...poor little guy was hiding. The girls went outside and about their business and everytime the poor little man comes out they tackle him. He's running around the run and the coop and is in a state! It started to come down hard with the rain and he stayed outside and got soaked rather than face the wrath.

    Is he too small, too young (over one year), or too inexperienced? Should I get another roo for the girls and re-home him? I have a Silkie hen who also gets picked on but not like this. Would it be better to put those two together in a separate enclosure (altho I don't have one). I'm too upset! We all have our little dreams of a picturesque farm scene but this is turning into a nightmare. Should I be afraid for his life?

  2. Chicken Chat

    Chicken Chat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2009
    Southern Illinois
    Any time I am ready to introduce anyone or a group that is new to the flock, I usually separate them for a week to two weeks within view of everyone. I have a cage inside the coop for sleeping and then I hand carry the new ones to a small fenced enclosure in the chicken yard. They are protected but the rest of the flock can see them and everybody gets used to them. Once I see that no one is paying attention to them anymore, I know it is time to let them mingle, supervised several times a day. After a few times of this, the newcomer is accepted and very little if any fighting.

    You want to be careful with your silkie about aggressive pecking on the head since the skull at the top is open. You don't want any brain damage. If your hens are this aggressive with him, try a small cage inside for sleeping and an isolation pen for outside. (I usually put a small doghouse in my outside temporary pen in case it rains) It might help everyone get used the the new guy. My younger males got bossed by the bigger hens too until they got a bit bigger and realized they were a rooster. Give your guy some time to find his place, but I would really recommend protecting him.

    Good luck
  3. BooBear

    BooBear Chicken Cuddler

    Oct 7, 2010
    Conroe, Texas
    I agree with chicken chat. New arrivals need to be in a seperate integration pen where the others can see and get used to the new guys otherwise the established flock will treat them as a threat.
  4. Steph Martin

    Steph Martin Out Of The Brooder

    May 7, 2011
    Nova Scotia Canada
    Thanks guys. I just went in and found him hiding underneath a raised nesting box. I'll pull out the dog crate and go from there. Poor little man is going to have a syndrome....I really appreciate the advice.[​IMG]

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