How long does it take a new rooster to be accepted by the hens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Lifestudent, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. Lifestudent

    Lifestudent Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We just bought a new rooster Sunday and our hens keep pecking at him. At first they would chase him off too. He and the hens were all hatched in March of this year. We have 6 hens and this rooster, a Rhode Island Red. They seem to be accepting him some now, but they still peck at him some. At night they all roost together, but during the day he spends most of the time apart from the hens.

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    Fortunately some of the hens are starting to be friendly with him. There are still some who aren't though. This one has started being nicer to him. Buddy still hasn't started doing his "rooster duty" though.

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  2. sunny & the 5 egg layers

    sunny & the 5 egg layers Overrun With Chickens

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    They are sorting out the pecking order. Chest bumping, and pecking is normal behavior. The fact that they are all roosting together at night is a great sign, especially so soon. It will take him a couple weeks before he starts doing his "rooster duties". The pecking order has to be sorted out first.

    Beautiful chickens, by the way!
     
  3. Lifestudent

    Lifestudent Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you. They started roosting together the second night. The first night I found him perched on the 6' fence behind our yard and carried him into the chicken coop. After that he started going there on his own. This morning when I opened the chicken coop he and the two hens in this picture were sparring with each other. Just after I took this picture the hen closer to me started chasing hiim. Even that only lasted a few seconds. Every day they seem to get along better. This is our first time bringing a new bird into the flock. We noticed his tail feathers looked like they'd been pulled out or nipped off. We think the other roosters (they had a few more) may have been giving him a hard time. The first day one of these hens jumped on his head and was sitting on his head, so they've come a long way.
     
  4. Lifestudent

    Lifestudent Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our rooster has established himself. One of the hens still tries to boss him around some, but it's clear he's the rooster. He stands a bit taller now too.

    We were concerned the other night because we couldn't find him when we closed up the chicken coop for the night. About 4 the next morning my wife heard him crowing while she was getting ready to go to work. I got dressed and ran outside, looking all over the yard and didn't see him anywhere. Then he crowed and I ran over to where I heard him. He was on top our pontoon, about 7 feet up, crowing directly towards our hose about 4 feet away. I still had the flashlight in one hand so I put my other hand up to pick him up. He climbed down my arm and perched on my shoulder till I got to the chicken coop. I put my arm down and he ran down my arm inside with his hens. It's the only time he's stayed out after dark. I had just put a light in the chicken coop the night before that and have it on a timer. I guess he just needed to get used to the light being on when it gets dark outside.
     
  5. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    It is usually best to isolate new birds for 2-3 weeks to ensure they are healthy before adding them to your flock. Then for the first several days pen them either next to or inside your run/coop to allow them all to become aquainted.
     
  6. Lifestudent

    Lifestudent Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, I found out about quarantining them after he had already been with them for a few weeks. We were fortunate that he was healthy. Everything has worked out well though.
     

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