Intergrating a New Rooster

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sunnychooks, Aug 14, 2010.

  1. sunnychooks

    sunnychooks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have around 50 chickens with only 2 roosters. I got another roo last week - about 5 months old - and I have kept him separated from the others by a wire fence. There has been a bit of dancing and posturing through the fence, but nothing really significant. I'm intergrating him as is he was a female going into a new flock.

    A few days ago there was a fight between the other 2 roos who normally get along. The fight broke out next to the fenceline when the new guy is. Neither was hurt, but it took some chasing with a shovel to break it up. There have been no incidences since then.

    Should I be concerned about when I finally let the new one free range with the rest? I've done this before, but the fight between the two that get along (father and son, as if that matters [​IMG] ) has concerned me and I'm wondering if that incident was the result of misplaced aggression towards the new roo. I have never been too worried about rooster intergration before but that incident sort of shook me up a bit and I don't want anything to happen to any of my roosters.

    Any ideas on how I should proceed are appreciated!
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    There is not much doubt they will fight when you integrate them. They have to determine who the flock master is. With the new rooster being that young, there is a pretty good chance the fighting will consist mostly of his running away, but you never know. And eventually they will settle it.

    It sounds like you have a lot of room. I think the odds of them working out their differences are pretty good, but there is always a chance one will wind up dead or seriously injured. When you can be around to watch, I'd let them go and see what happens. I'd let them fight it out but be ready to intervene if one gets seriously wounded. I'd leave them alone unless I saw blood, then I'd step in.

    The new rooster has not only upset the flock dominance situation but the pecking order too. Don't be shocked if you see some other pecking order issues that may involve your hens. If he does not become top roo, and at 5 months he probably won't, then the hens have to determine where he fits in the pecking order. Hens can be pretty vicious to a young roo. Again, if he has plenty of room, he should be OK.
     

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