Help with roosters and 4 new hens

JamieOnion

In the Brooder
Nov 7, 2020
14
13
24
We have 5 hens. Wellsummer, Barnevelder, Lavender Ameracauna, Black copper maran and a Barred Rock. Now we get to the roosters. Same age Olive egger, Iclandic and Black copper maran. Our hen to rooster ratio is wayyy off. We got 4 new hens this weekend to offset the ratio. We have them seperated them but one got out and of course the big olive egger rooster ran up and grabbed her by the neck and took her down. They all sleep in the coop minus the 4 new ones. We put hard ware cloth to seperate the opening but the new little ones are in the run with 2 heat lamps and nesting box and a roosting stick. I feel bad the new ones want to go in the house and sleep but the new hens especially the 3 new roosters are not very nice. We are trying every day , it's only been 2. to try to introduce them. Should I kick the roosters in the run to sleep with the roosting stick, heat lamps and box to sleep and sneak the new 4 in? The roosters just figured out they were boys and have been harassing the hens. Iheascreaming all
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
13,992
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WA, Pac NW
My Coop
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We are trying every day , it's only been 2. to try to introduce them. Should I kick the roosters in the run to sleep with the roosting stick, heat lamps and box to sleep and sneak the new 4 in?

How long have you had the new hens, and how old are they? How old are the preexisting birds? How long have the two groups been able to see each other?

No you can't simply throw them together and expect them to get along. Your existing birds, even the girls, will not tolerate simply having new intruders in their space.
 

ManWithChicks

Songster
Jul 17, 2019
161
111
101
Why do you think roosters mating = mean rooster?

You should get rid of all but one rooster though. Trust me, it's for the best. I tried keeping 5, then 4 then 3 then finally 2 roosters in 2 flocks that are always seperated. They will fight or chase each other, and I was getting injured hens because of the rowdy boys.
 

Smileybans

Songster
Nov 13, 2020
449
1,093
186
Upstate New York
I’m currently integrating 9 week old chicks into a flock with two boys. One of which is 24 weeks and full of himself. I’m pretty sure one of my 9 week olds is a boy. We call him Monster. He’s a big light Brahma and throws himself against the wire and door of his coop. He can see the flock I’m integrating them into and he wants to be with the rest. But Fuzzy, my 24 week roo, would kick his butt if I let him out now. So they get to know each other by looking and not touching.
Keep doing the look but don’t touch method until you think your flock is ready. It sounds like you’re trying to fix your boy:girl ratio by adding these hens. But it’ll take time. You have to let your current hens accept the newbies as well. I still have hens that pick on my silkies and they’ve been living together for months now.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
92,376
118,413
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SW Michigan
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3 is still too many roosters for the amount of hens. 1 rooster is all you should keep for that amount of hens, or you are going to run into problems later.
How long have you had the new hens, and how old are they? How old are the preexisting birds? How long have the two groups been able to see each other?

No you can't simply throw them together and expect them to get along. Your existing birds, even the girls, will not tolerate simply having new intruders in their space.
Ditto Dos^^^


The 'rooster' to hen ratio of 1:10 that is often cited is primarily for fertility efficiency in commercial breeding facilities.
It doesn't mean that if a cockbird has 10 hens that he won't abuse or over mate them.
Many breeders keep pairs, trios, quads, etc ....short term and/or long term.
It all depends on the temperaments of the cock and hens and sometimes housing provided.
Backyard flocks can achieve good fertility with a larger ratio.


Here's some tips about.....
Integration Basics:
It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

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.

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

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 copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, 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. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.
Good ideas for hiding places:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/a-cluttered-run.1323792/
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
26,790
18,683
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Southeast Louisiana
Why do you think roosters mating = mean rooster?

Exactly. When mature roosters are introduced to mature hens he immediately mates with one or two and the flock is then his. That's what makes introducing a mature rooster to a flock of mature hens usually about the easiest integration there is. That behavior sounds normal and natural.

Knowing the age of the various chickens involved could be helpful. Having several instead of one can cause issues. But mature chickens mating is about as normal and natural as it gets.
 

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