How old until they can meet the roo

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Snozzle, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. Snozzle

    Snozzle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was just wondering how old my chicks should be before they can join the main flock. I have a very sweet and mellow roo, who has babysat some rabbit kits for me before. I believe the chicks are all hens, so that shouldn't be an issue, but I don't want him to get frisky and possibly hurt them. What age is a good age for them to meet him?
     
  2. Chicken_Pauper

    Chicken_Pauper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi.... you don't say how old the chicks are?

    Did you buy them or hatch them in an incubator or under a hen? I will assume you bought them... if they are more than five or six weeks old and fully feathered out.... If you have a flock, and a coop that is appropriate, insulated, warm enough for the flock, etc.

    I have actually had much more trouble with hens, older hens picking on the "babies" than with the rooster picking on anyone. If it is only the rooster, or if it is a flock with hens.. either way. I would do what has been suggested to me and has worked pretty well for me so far.

    If you have a cage... you put the young, the "pullets" into the cage and set the cage in the middle of the coop.. and you set the flock or rooster's food and water up against the side of the cage.. and set the chicks food and water up against the inside side of the cage.. food against food.. water against water.. so they can all "eat together".. feed them together, let them eat together with the cage wall only separating them. Let the rooster see them.. let them see him.. (and the same if it's a flock)... let everyone get used to each other for a few days.. three at least.. then.. let them go.. -- I personally put a warm light in the coop for the very young and keep them inside the coop / run for another few days or so before letting them free range.. so that they know where to roost.

    I guess that roosters sense when pullets are ready to mate, and a fully mature rooster will not try to "jump them" too soon -- I think, and they will run and resist if they aren't ready. If they are five months old -- depending on the breed -- they may be old enough for him... and you can expect eggs two weeks after he starts mating with one.

    There will be a "pecking order adjustment period" with the young (or any new addition).... and the hens will probably be much more of a problem than the rooster, in my limited experience. They generally will work it out with time.

    Best of luck.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
  3. Snozzle

    Snozzle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well these babies are 8.5 week old silkies, I still have them in the brooder due to the crazy weather here, I wasn't planning on putting them out there quite yet. There is only one hen in with my roo and she is a barred rock, she seems to do her own thing all the time and doesn't seem too interested in any other chickens except when my roo calls her for food. I had one of the babies out there before, but was holding it when I introduced it to my roo. He walked over and eyed the little thing from every side, pecked towards it once, but not making contact, seemed more of an attempt to figure out what it was then an aggressive behavior. He is a very sweet guy, I had baby rabbits in there with him for a few hours each day, before I got the hen. That was partially to give the rabbits exercise and to give my roo company. He cared for them wonderfully, called them for food when he found something good to eat and placed himself between them and my dogs when they would walk by the coop to protect his strange little long eared flock lol The rabbits were about the same size these chicks are now, so I thought I would give it a try when the weather stabilizes.
    I will try the cage feeding method, thank you for your help!
     
  4. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine knew their daddy from day one. He is considerate of the chicks, but the other hen are not. Now after 9 weeks, mama's not even kind to um. She's started pecking at um. The apron strings have been severed. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
  5. Snozzle

    Snozzle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well as soon as it stops raining for a few days in a row I can get my new coop unstuck from the mud and move it into place and they can have their own home, but I would like to eventually merge the 2 flocks to all live in the larger nice coop. My hen is just very passive, I got her as an adult and she looked like she may have been the lowest chicken on the ladder where she was before, she had feathers missing and little sores where she had been pecked, that's why I got her, I felt sorry for her and my Rupert needed a girlfriend. She never really paid much attention to me or any other animal coming by, when I held one of the babies to inspect for my roo, she stayed on the other side of the run and pecked at some grass, not paying much attention to the chick.
     
  6. crankster76

    crankster76 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    might want to invest in a raincoat and boots cause I dont think its ever going to stop with the rain. IM about drowned out myself..
     
  7. Frannabelle

    Frannabelle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My bantam cochin roo took to the babies immediately, clucked and fussed over them....the girls however were not very hospitable. Pretty much wanted them dead....
     
  8. mama24

    mama24 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I haven't read all of the replies, but in my experience, the roosters will ignore the chicks until they are old enough to mate or fight. I introduced my chicks to the main flock when they were probably about 8 weeks old. My older girls were pretty snippy about letting them eat too close to them for the first month or so until they were more used to each other and had the pecking order well established, but the roosters pretty much ignored them. I have 2 roos. 1 really ignored them and the lower status one actually seemed to like taking care of them, though even he started chasing the cockerels away as soon as they started crowing. Those chicks are close to 5 months old now. A few of them seem to be really close to laying age, getting red combs and starting to squat in the last week. The roos hadn't tried impressing them with the wing dance until maybe 2 weeks ago, and I haven't seen either do more than the dance if they get ignored like they do with the older girls, if you know what I mean. I would be more concerned with the hens pecking them and/or not letting them eat than the roosters doing anything to hurt them.
     
  9. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Make sure MR Roo is about the same age as the girls.
     
  10. Snozzle

    Snozzle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That went well! I took them out because the weather is so nice. My roo took right to them, but my hen was being grumpy. So my roo just got in between them, fussed at her and she got mad and went back inside lol
     

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