I hope this is the right place to ask questions about roosters!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jamesongirl, Oct 29, 2014.

  1. jamesongirl

    jamesongirl New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Aug 21, 2013
    Harford County, Maryland
    I have been a memeber of this site for a year or so now but have never posted or commented on a thread. So I hope I am in the right place.
    I took home a rooster and a pullet that came from my cousins flock up in the mountains of Pa. They had most of thier adult feathers when I brought them home so they were fairly young. Since I already have a flock of 13 hens who were used to being by themselves, I would let them free range during the day with the big girls, which I still do, and at night I trained them to come to the basement door at night to sleep in a crate, which they still do. My rooster, Rex, is now a lil bigger than the older girls and has been learning to crow in the morning for about a week now. He is very tame, let's me carry him around, will sit in my lap and eat from my hands. Now here is my question, how do I train him and his sister Sidney to go to bed with the big girls in the coop at night instead of looking for mommy to let them in at night.[​IMG]

    This photo is of me and Rex hanging out on the couch lol!
     
  2. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    You would have to start putting them in the coop at night and it may take quite some time for them to get the hang of going in there at night instead of waiting for you at the basement door. Once chickens are in the habit of roosting in a particular spot it can be a hard habit to break, just takes some time.

    Just a note of caution: They may be getting along well free ranging with the others but chickens are often very territorial about their coop. So when you first start putting these birds in there be sure to supervise at first. Especially first thing in the morning when they all start getting off the roost. Don't want them to get beat up. There will be some pecking order stuff of course but you just don't want things getting out of hand.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,736
    6,861
    576
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Good advice from cafarmgirl.

    Hopefully you have a nice large coop with plenty of room for all your birds.

    Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.
    See if any of them, or the links provided, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:

    The more space, the better. Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

    Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

    Places for the new birds to hide out of line of sight and/or up and away from any bully birds.

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
     
  4. jamesongirl

    jamesongirl New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Aug 21, 2013
    Harford County, Maryland
    Thanks for the advice. I have a very large shed that is their current coop with lots of roosting room and running around room. And my biggest fear is them getting picked on cause they do even when free ranging which is why I haven't moved them out of the crate to the coop yet. I'm more concerned about Sidney cause she is still smaller than the rest. I know Rex can handle his own cause he is bigger then the older girls. But I don't want to seperate them. My other concern is that they won't acclimate to the cold nights here because they are used to being inside at night even though I don't heat the basemnt what so ever. I feel like an over protective mommy lol. I have raised all my birds by hand since they were little but I have a particulary special bond with Rex, even though I never wanted a rooster and kinda got talked into taking Rex home to save him from being on the dinner table this winter. But thanks again for the advice, it's very much appriciated!
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,736
    6,861
    576
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Put the crate in the coop at night, to help them get used to the temps, and let them all free range together during the day.

    How old are all the birds?
     
  6. jamesongirl

    jamesongirl New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Aug 21, 2013
    Harford County, Maryland
    That is a great idea!!!!!!! My older girls are about a year and a half old and the younger two are around 5 months old at my best guess.
     
  7. Peeps61

    Peeps61 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,139
    319
    166
    Apr 19, 2014
    NW Florida
    I think Aart had a great suggestion too. If they are mingling together while they free range, then they have been accepted. However, that being said, they will still have to find their place in the pecking order, and that usually shows up in the coop. I have 7 new pullets and 3 older hens - about 1 1/2 years old. The pullets were hatched in June and are now about at the point of lay. I have a new big coop and run that I am trying to get all of them into, and it's going well. I let them free range together, then put 4 pullets in the coop with the big girls and let the other three go to the chicken tractor, where they've been kept since July. The only difference I've noticed is that the pullets want a lot more to do with me than they did before. The older girls act like everything is normal. I don't see any bullying now, but the younger ones give way to the older ones, so they've figured out where they are in the pecking order and peace reigns.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by