Help please...rooster merging

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Darklingstorm, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. Darklingstorm

    Darklingstorm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have four 3-month-old pullets (Welsummer, Delaware and 2 EE) and one Jersey Giant cockerel, named Odin, also 3 months old. I also have 9 older hens around 9 months old.
    The problem is, Odin (who already out weights they pullets by a pound) has started all his rooster stuff and is now starting to grab the little ones on the back of the head and stepping on their backs. The girls freak out, scream and run. I've also caught my randy roo attempting courtship with a log, so I know his little hormones are in over drive. I really don't have the space for a private rooster pen or the supplies to build on.

    Questions are: should I move him in with the big girls? If not, will the little ones be OK with such a randy roo? If I do move him in with the big girls, will he be OK (being not so much smaller but younger then the others)? Will splitting the group of 3 month old chicks cause future problems? Will eating layer food be very bad for him, if I move him in with the big girls?

    I'm trying to down size my flock at the moment so the pecking order is about to get messed up anyways.
     
  2. Blue

    Blue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    At 3 months old, I'd say you could just try merging both flocks. If you combine flocks, he'll have 13 hens to choose from, so less chance of them being overmated. Is there a reason that you want to keep the 3-month-old pullets separate from the older ones? If combining both flocks isn't an option, then I'd say go ahead and add Mr. Randy Roo to the older hens. At least, the ratio will be in the hen's favor; he'll get to spread his love between 9 hens instead of 4, which should work out better. Also, hens that are laying or getting ready to start or generally more receptive to a rooster's tender lovin' than younger ones. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011
  3. Darklingstorm

    Darklingstorm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The only reason I'm keeping the flocks separated is feed. The older girls are on Purina Layena and the younger ones are on Purina start/grow.

    I let the younger ones and older ones out to free range. Odin tried his love dance on one of the older girls and she put him the kiddie pool (without water). Blow to the ego.
     
  4. christineavatar

    christineavatar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think that the male would be okay with the bigger girls. The fact that he is male puts him on a different 'wavelength' from being a hen. The hens will know that he is male and will 'defer' to him. I put a younger rooster in with my mature hens and they treated him so well they used to fuss over who got to roost nest to him, knocking off other hens who 'got too close'. They treated him like a prince.
     
  5. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I believe you could feed them all Flock Raiser, at this point, and offer oyster shell on the side for the layers.

    (Edited to say that I haven't had to do this, so someone can correct me if I am wrong)
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011
  6. Minniechickmama

    Minniechickmama Senora Pollo Loco

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    I agree, Flock Raiser should be good for all of them, or even Layena at this point. I feed everyone Lay mash once they are out on range together and I have had no problems with it.
    As for Odin, yeah, let him have all the ladies. He is going to get put in his place by the older girls and will calm down in a bit. I don't know, maybe it is just something about JGs, my Black Bart is the same way with grabbing the heads and the girls running away from him.
    Give it a try and then see what happens. It may be you need a kennel to put him in time out if he gets too romantic. Make sure he has feed and water and he will be fine with a few less playtime hours each day.
    Good luck.
     
  7. Blue

    Blue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Are you feeding medicated starter? It wouldn't hurt the older hens to eat a bit of medicated starter; however, you wouldn't be able to eat the eggs. If no medicated feed is involved, it shouldn't hurt for the chickens to share each other's feed. I combined a flock of 9-week-olds with a flock of 20-something-week-olds and have been putting both starter/grower feed and layer feed in the coop in separate pans. The coop is separated, but the run isn't, so the chickens do go into each other's side of the coop from the run. The chickens do eat each other's food, and the starter is medicated, but my older chickens aren't laying yet (any day now though), so that's not a problem for me at the moment. What I've planned for mine is to just use up what's left of the bag of starter I have and then not give the younger ones any more starter after that bag is empty. They're now 12-weeks-old, so they shouldn't really need it anymore anyway. I also throw scratch out in the run for all of them.

    At any rate, I'd still suggest giving Odin to the older girls. They can teach him how to be a gentleman. [​IMG]
     
  8. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    Yay Chicks! :

    Quote:I believe you could feed them all Flock Raiser, at this point, and offer oyster shell on the side for the layers.

    (Edited to say that I haven't had to do this, so someone can correct me if I am wrong)

    I would agree with this. I have read that the calcium in layer feed is not great for developing chickens, although he may be getting to the age where it doesn't make much of a difference. Still, offering oyster shell free choice is probably the safest option. He should be fine with the big girls. BTW, I looked at your website. Odin is a handsome roo and should have no problem with the ladies.​
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011
  9. Darklingstorm

    Darklingstorm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OK here is the plan. I'm going to finish my bag of starter food then switch them over to a flock raiser food and put them all together. Thank you all for the advice.
     

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