Hens chasing away new cockerel


Jul 17, 2021
I have a mature chicken coop of 20+ with a single rooster. I received a new cockerel, about 3 months old, and I don't think he's meshing with the other chickens very well. They have a lot of room and are free range. They have one big house and a mini house.

I made another mini house for the cockerel and tried to keep him isolated so they can get used to each other without physically interacting. But he always jumps out, and one night he jumped out so he can join the other chickens in the mini house to sleep next to them. He didn't do anything to them, he just sat there next to them to sleep. This made me think he doesn't want to be alone, so I just decided to let him do what he wants.

All the chickens in the mini house now sleep in the big house and he sleeps alone in the mini house. Everyone keeps a distance from him, and he's always alone. My main rooster just chases him away if he gets too close. The cockerel tries mounting some of my hens, and immediately every hen chases him away.

I heard you can have 2 roosters as long as there's enough hens, but it seems like all my chickens want nothing to do with him. Is this normal? Do they just need more time?
Adding a new cockerel to an established flock with a rooster is not a good idea. Him and your rooster will fight once the cockerel matures, and the hens won't accept the cockerel, as they already have a rooster.
Do you think it just won't work then? I was hoping because of how young the cockerel is, the pecking order would be established a lot easier.
That is what is going on, pecking order is being established.

I think you should just let them work it out, but with roosters there are no set rules: if you do this all will be fine. Roosters are a crap shoot, and you need a plan B ready to go in case:
  • The roosters start to fight
  • the roosters become aggressive to the hens
  • the rooster becomes aggressive to people.
This might work, it might work just fine, of just fine for a while, it might go south and you will need to pull out one of the boys.

Keep doing like you are, have a dog crate and a long handled fish net or chicken hook in case you have to separate the birds, and keep your fingers crossed.

Mrs K
I heard you can have 2 roosters as long as there's enough hens
Eh, no, common misconception.
Why do you want another male?
Adding a single bird no matter the age and gender is always going to be a tough integration.

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.
Do you think it just won't work then? I was hoping because of how young the cockerel is, the pecking order would be established a lot easier.

I'm not saying it absolutely can't work. Just in most cases it does not. The others have given some great advice though, on how to proceed.
I had one EE rooster to 12 hens. I recently got another EE rooster and they did NOT get along. The roosters were fighting and the hens wanted NOTHING to do with him. The girls even tried to spur him even though they don't have spurs lol. I took the new rooster and picked out some girls for him and stuck them all in a large coop together so they could get used to him without the other rooster around. Left them there a couple days and they are getting along great now! I let them all back out with the group and the roosters tried to fight but I corrected that pretty fast by squirting them with water when they fight and giving treats when they all get along. :) Everybody gets along great now. They all free range together full time now.
Normal, he's a stranger and on top of that he's a baby boy stranger.
Nobody is going to willingly just accept him.
The only way he's going to be successful is to either best your current rooster when he's able, not even talking about fighting he could be a better food finder or maybe some hen just think he's cuter.
Or you could get a few pullets more his age, young pullets tend to gravitate towards young cockerels, lord only knows why.:)

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