Hen Dominates rooster

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by rasnickp, Dec 15, 2013.

  1. rasnickp

    rasnickp Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 15, 2013
    Cosby TN
    I have 2 buff orpington and 1 black sex link hens. These three were raised together since chicks and the larger BO is definitely the boss. I just added a new rooster since we have a lot of predators in our area, he is supposedly a year old BO. When I fist introduced them in the large run the head hen and the rooster fought every time they got the chance. So he was separated for the rest of the day and that night in the coop by chicken wire. Now they don't fight in the run but the hens wont let him in the coop unless i put the chicken wire up to keep them separated. How long until he they let him into the coop and when will he establish his dominance over the hens? I tried to let them fight it out a bit, but stopped it once the hen got a small cut on her neck. I'm thinking maybe he isn't as mature as the guy who sold him to me said. I'll post pictures here in a short bit!

    Thanks!
    Paul
     
  2. rasnickp

    rasnickp Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 15, 2013
    Cosby TN
    Heres the rooster. Any idea of age??? I was told one year

    [​IMG]

    Here are the hens, the head hen is in the middle

    [​IMG]
     
  3. One Chick Two

    One Chick Two Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Paul,
    Sounds like you have "bossy hen syndrome" as we call it here- where the lead hen has taken on the role of leader and taken on dominant rooster traits. Sounds good (for now) that you have kept him in with the girls but separated by wire so they can see and get used to each other.

    Perhaps it might also be good to separate the lead hen too (about a week?), so she can drop down in their pecking order dominance. I believe I would introduce him at night on the roost while she is being separated, then, supervise how he acts with the other chickens during the day. Then, after that separated week (with him bonding with the other girls) perhaps try introducing lead hen again one night on the roost. She would likely get picked on by everyone the next few days while pecking order dominance is reestablished, but the squabbles should likely be less intense since he will have been flock leader.

    Others might have other suggestions, but I believe I might go this route.
     
  4. One Chick Two

    One Chick Two Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Handsome boy, but actually, he look more like a cockerel to me. With his short comb/wattles, and short saddle feathers/ short tail, I wouldn't be surprised if he's only 6-7 months old, which would explain why the lead hen wants to pick on him.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I agree. He’s still a teenager. I’m not even sure he’s that old.

    The mature hens are going to dominate him for a while, but I see it as a good sign he’s actually fighting back. I had one cockerel that could not dominate the dominant hen until he was 11 months old. Until then, he stayed away from her but mated the other hens. With him at least trying now, I don’t think you’ll have to wait 11 months.

    I don’t know what your facilities look like or how much room you have, but since blood was drawn, I’d keep them separated a while. I don’t know if it matters that much if you isolate him or isolate the dominant hen. You can try either way.
     
  6. rasnickp

    rasnickp Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 15, 2013
    Cosby TN
    Thanks! They aren't fighting anymore so they seem fine in the run together, but my biggest concern is that the rooster will get too cold. It is about 25 degrees here with a light snow/sleet and the poor guy can't go in and warm up unless the hens are fenced off. Thanks for all the input, I'm going to try and pull the dominant hen out for a few days. When is a cockerel considered a rooster?
     
  7. rasnickp

    rasnickp Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 15, 2013
    Cosby TN
    How long until they'll let him in the coop?
     
  8. One Chick Two

    One Chick Two Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Place him on the roost at night. Chickens have poor night vision, and when it's time for roosting, they go right to relaxation and sleep. Still, I would consider possibly separating that lead hen if she still fights him.

    Our older RIR pullets and hens used to beat up our 2nd flock cockerels when we first blended them together. Surprisingly, our full grown tiny OEGB roo who was in with the older girls was great with ALL of the youngsters, and never picked on anybody, and he is flock leader. (I've heard the oldest chicken is leader.) Now all the chickens get along very well (87), with only an occasional hen squabble, and the roos running over to break things up. The OEGB roo has some OEGB hens now, but he still likes his big red girls too. lol I'm sure once your roo is more mature, they will start getting along better.
     
  9. rasnickp

    rasnickp Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 15, 2013
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    Any chance they'll warm up to each other just over time being separated by chicken wire in the same coop? I do t have the setup for separate coops.
     
  10. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    My best guess is that he is NO more than 7 months old in the picture you posted, if he is even that. He doesn't even have the beginning of his spurs yet.

    He will never integrate or be allowed in the coop unless he has the chance to establish his dominance over your hens. The same as a dominant hen bosses the other hens in her flock.

    Pulling the dominate hen out of the coop or run will only result in more fighting as the remaining (non-dominate) hens duke it out for the vacant top spot in the pecking order, then they'll have the whole war to refight when the now dominant hen is allowed back into the general population and tries to reassert her dominance.

    If roosters dominating hens offends you, then you, your hens, not to mention your cockerel are all better off if you will just eat the rooster in training now, before the meat toughens up.

    Generally a cockerel rises to rooster hood when he either becomes a two year old or else completes his first COMPLETE adult molt, but never before.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2013

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