I introduced an 8 week old cockerel to 11 pullets...

Ruby Rogue

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I'm in a bit of a situation...

I have 7 cockerels that are less than perfect gentlemen.

I hatched some chicks out for a friend 8 weeks ago.

I recently finished my new coop, moved my 11 girls, 4 were happily laying daily before, we now have 2 new layers since the move about a week ago.

My 7 boys are still in the old coop, I take turns on which day to allow them outside, the boys go out one day, the girls the next. I'm in the process of building a run, and removing these 7 boys is on my 'to do' list, (but I love them.)

A few days ago, I brought home a new 8 week old boy, he wouldn't have lived much longer if I hadn't, and I hatched him and wanted a part of that hatch to be with us, and I read 'somewhere' that if a cockerel is raised by older girls they will become a better rooster.

I know he isn't sick, so I just crated him in the new coop with my girls. But he was so lonely and sad...he made purring noises which were more like whimpers... I let him out into the coop with the girls while I was inside to supervise, and yesterday I let him free range with the girls. For some of the day he followed them around, when I lost sight of him and noticed him sitting alone under a tree, I brought him back inside for his own safety, and crated him.

I'm going to make this story shorter and just say, I felt so bad for him because he just wanted out of the cage...and though the girls seemed a bit meaner to him today than the past few days, I'm letting him perch in the coop tonight rather than keep him crated.

I went to check on them and all the girls are perched on one perch and he is completely by himself, facing the wall on the other perch.

I feel so bad for the little dude. For the first couple of days it seemed okay, a few pecks, today seems the worst and I just want my mean old pullets to be nice to my little dude.

If anyone has *experienced* this and can offer *advice* I would greatly appreciate it.
 
May 22, 2020
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I'm in a bit of a situation...

I have 7 cockerels that are less than perfect gentlemen.

I hatched some chicks out for a friend 8 weeks ago.

I recently finished my new coop, moved my 11 girls, 4 were happily laying daily before, we now have 2 new layers since the move about a week ago.

My 7 boys are still in the old coop, I take turns on which day to allow them outside, the boys go out one day, the girls the next. I'm in the process of building a run, and removing these 7 boys is on my 'to do' list, (but I love them.)

A few days ago, I brought home a new 8 week old boy, he wouldn't have lived much longer if I hadn't, and I hatched him and wanted a part of that hatch to be with us, and I read 'somewhere' that if a cockerel is raised by older girls they will become a better rooster.

I know he isn't sick, so I just crated him in the new coop with my girls. But he was so lonely and sad...he made purring noises which were more like whimpers... I let him out into the coop with the girls while I was inside to supervise, and yesterday I let him free range with the girls. For some of the day he followed them around, when I lost sight of him and noticed him sitting alone under a tree, I brought him back inside for his own safety, and crated him.

I'm going to make this story shorter and just say, I felt so bad for him because he just wanted out of the cage...and though the girls seemed a bit meaner to him today than the past few days, I'm letting him perch in the coop tonight rather than keep him crated.

I went to check on them and all the girls are perched on one perch and he is completely by himself, facing the wall on the other perch.

I feel so bad for the little dude. For the first couple of days it seemed okay, a few pecks, today seems the worst and I just want my mean old pullets to be nice to my little dude.

If anyone has *experienced* this and can offer *advice* I would greatly appreciate it.
I really feel like you introduced him physically way too fast. Your girls are a flock and he is a stranger. I know it's hard to see them in a crate, with the girls, but there is a reason we all introduce new strange chickens this way, to an established flock. If it were me, I would just start over with him in the crate. He needs an honest chance, for your girls to accept him first. It's kind of like, how would you feel if a stranger just walked into your home, raided your pantry and sat on your couch? LoL Hope this helps. :)
 

Ruby Rogue

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Thanks...do you see any harm in letting them free range together? I'll let them outside together for a bit. But keep him crated in the coop, for the time being.

At least the situation has brought my girls closer together... 11 on one 4 foot perch/poop board...
 
May 22, 2020
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Texas
Thanks...do you see any harm in letting them free range together? I'll let them outside together for a bit. But keep him crated in the coop, for the time being.

At least the situation has brought my girls closer together... 11 on one 4 foot perch/poop board...
Yes definitely let them free range together. That will help him to become integrated into the flock more quickly. Also, when he does finally get to roost with them at night, I wanted to be sure that you know, roosters prefer to perch alone, on the highest roost bar, watching over their flock. I know that sounds silly, it's dark in the coop. But that's just the nature of the bird. :) 👍
 

BigBlueHen53

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I'm a little confused. You say you got him from someone else but you also say you hatched him. Can you explain that? Also you say you didn't quarantine him because you know he isn't sick. Sometimes a bird may look perfectly healthy but carry things you can't see that will infect your flock. That's why we usually quarantine for 30 days. That way, if he does show symptoms of anything, you only lose the new bird and not your entire flock.

Aside from all that, you're asking about integrating. I'm wondering why you're not integrating him with your cockerels instead of with your pullets.

In either case, if you can use the "see don't touch" method for a couple of weeks, they will all get used to each other and accept each other fairly stress free. Good luck!
 

Ruby Rogue

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I'm a little confused. You say you got him from someone else but you also say you hatched him. Can you explain that? Also you say you didn't quarantine him because you know he isn't sick. Sometimes a bird may look perfectly healthy but carry things you can't see that will infect your flock. That's why we usually quarantine for 30 days. That way, if he does show symptoms of anything, you only lose the new bird and not your entire flock.

Aside from all that, you're asking about integrating. I'm wondering why you're not integrating him with your cockerels instead of with your pullets.

In either case, if you can use the "see don't touch" method for a couple of weeks, they will all get used to each other and accept each other fairly stress free. Good luck!
Just to clarify,
---I hatched this egg (among other eggs) for a friend, I didn't integrate him with the cockerels because none of them are staying.
---I was planning to keep one or 2 roosters from my own flock, but the only one I have that is nice to the girls is a jerk to the humans.
---I read that having a cockerel raised by older girls would make him a better rooster.
---he is 8 weeks old, he's the same relative size as my smallest pullet. I have 11 pullets ranging in age from 22-30 weeks.

Thanks for the tips.
 

aart

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Part of the thing about the older girls making him a better rooster is what you see as meanness. They teach him by tough love. Do the see-no-touch set-up, but allow them to do their thing. It takes time.
Ditto Dat^^^

Plus an 8 week old cockerel is still a baby, you won't know his real demeanor until he's a month or so older. As long as h'es not getting pinned down and beat bloody, let them work it out. Is he able to eat an drink or do the girl runs him off?
 

Ruby Rogue

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I have food and water in his crate...but he's also been drinking from their waterer. I don't think they let him eat with them.

I know he's a baby :( that's why it's so sad to see him cry and want to be social---the mean girls. I should have brought a friend with him. This isn't the first time I've integrated younger chickens but it's the first time with a single one.

They're not hurting him, he's just scared of everyone.
 

aart

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I have food and water in his crate...but he's also been drinking from their waterer. I don't think they let him eat with them.

I know he's a baby :( that's why it's so sad to see him cry and want to be social---the mean girls. I should have brought a friend with him. This isn't the first time I've integrated younger chickens but it's the first time with a single one.

They're not hurting him, he's just scared of everyone.
Yep, singles are harder.
You'll just have to let them work it out.

This might help:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/introducing-a-single-hen-to-an-existing-flock.71997/
 

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