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How to Integrate a Rooster into an established flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ThePaulsRanch, Jun 25, 2016.

  1. ThePaulsRanch

    ThePaulsRanch Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 7, 2016
    Teller County, CO
    I have a 13 week old Buff Orpington roo who is as big as my year and 3 month old hens. My roo has 7 of "his" hens that he was grown up with. They are all his same age, and he treats them as a roo should. My two flocks ( the 5 older hens and the roo with his 7 younger hens) are separated in a see-but-cant-touch pen. And they have been for about 2 weeks or so now. I thought I would let one of the calmer older girls out this evening to greet the new flock, but my buff orpington roo ran up to attack her. He jumped and pecked and pecked and jumped on her- aggresively not in mating. I had to remove her. Is this normal? I am brand new to intergrating and have done some research. Did I wait until he was too old, too big to integrate? He also was a surprise- I didn't plan on having a roo.

    I hate seeing them attack and fight; I have read that that is to be expected for the first couple days. Any help is so much appreciated. My biggest worry is the getting the roo to accept all of my 5 older hens, and the 5 older hens to accept the bantams I have. Thank you so much in advance!
     
  2. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 25, 2015
    You should probably let it "Proceed" it was probably aggressively mating.13 week olds, brave for that age.Trust me,I doubt he is hurting her that bad....
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    13 weeks is a cockerel(until one year old), not a cockbird/rooster......
    ......he's probably just barely, if at all, sexually mature yet.

    Not quite sure what this means.... "They are all his same age, and he treats them as a roo should".
    Usually sexually mature young cockerels aggressively mate their pullet hatch mates,
    before the pullets are ready, and it can be ugly.


    Why he attacked the one(not a good idea) older hen you allowed to mingle is probably more a territorial conflict.
    Integration is best done between two groups of birds. The older hens should be schooling that young cockerel, as well as the pullets of his age group, as to what the pecking order is.



    More detailed explanation of your set up, and where the bantams fit in, might help us help you pinpoint the problem and a solution.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2016
  4. ThePaulsRanch

    ThePaulsRanch Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 7, 2016
    Teller County, CO

    Thank you for letting me know I should do it as two groups. I thought it might be easier if I did it one at a time:) I have a lot to learn, as this is my first integration!

    I meant that the cockeral is protective yet helpful. He hasnt tried to mate with the pullets yet (thank God!) But he will defend the bantams and keeps an eye on any fighting between the pullets.

    I have a huge pen divided in half, which gives plenty of room for each group of chickens. Which means both groups see and hear each other mostly all day- until I let the older hens out to free range. The two bantams I have fit in quite nicely with the pullets and cockerals now. There is almost rarely any fighting between any of them! So as far as where the bantams are in terms of the rank of the pecking order, I dont know. One of them is a sebright bantam and she is very "independent" of her humans. Meaning she will do whatever she wants her way...unless you can catch her:)

    My fear of integrating the older hens with the bantams, much less the pullets, is that I have RIR that are not always nice! I read on another thread here, to seperate the bullies of the older group before introducing everyone. Then to add them back in when things are calm.

    All the help is much appreciated! Thank you for responding
     
  5. ThePaulsRanch

    ThePaulsRanch Out Of The Brooder

    57
    1
    34
    Jun 7, 2016
    Teller County, CO

    Thank you for responding and for your advice! :)
     

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