Intergration: 6 mo. rooster, two hens and three pullets

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by bburn, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. bburn

    bburn Songster

    Jul 9, 2010
    Delaware, Arkansas
    I would like some advice on how to intergrate my rooster, who is in his own large pen and my new chickens that are just about to come out of quarantine.

    I think the problem is going to be the fact that I have two hens around 18 months and three pullets that are around 20-21 weeks. The hens and the pullets are not in together. They came from the same place, but after two days I separated them because of the one hen that was mean. They are next to each other and aware of each other. Also, the rooster can see the girls but they are quite a way away.

    My thoughts were to put the three pullets in a divided off portion of the big run for a couple of weeks. Should I intergrate the hens back with the pullets first, or let the pullets get some seniority first by being in the divided off section. I have thought about putting the one hen that was not aggressive in with the pullets in the divided section first. Intergrate them all with the rooster and finally put the other hen in the divided section for a while. Then finally put her in with the group.I do think she needs to not be at the top of the pecking order.

    The run, when finally opened up is quite large with room for everyone to stay out of each others way. I will have the coop finished by then and there is also a little cabana where they can get on top or inside.

    I know that I cannot hope for just smooth sailing. I know that unless there is 'bloodshed' I should stay out of it. But I thought because of the younger ones, who have now gotten their 'size' that it would maybe be better for them if they started at the top of the pecking order.

    I need advice and I have read everything I could about this.....ok, maybe I need reassurance.

    Thanks all.....

  2. bburn

    bburn Songster

    Jul 9, 2010
    Delaware, Arkansas
    Or, maybe I should not get so worried about it! My husband says 'they are just chickens'......
  3. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Here is some reassurance: They'll be fine.

    However, don't integrate one set and then another, either multiple or solo. Do it at once time. EACH time you introduce chickens, they all go through the pecking order stuff all over again. Also, if at all possible, never introduce just ONE hen or rooster. That's a set up for the others to gang up on the singleton.

    If you could move the rooster closer so they could all see each other, maybe just a dog house with a temporary fence made of spare chicken wire and garden stakes, inside the main run so everybody can see everybody else, that would be good.

    Then introduce everybody at once, removing the chicken wire fence so they can all be together.

    Then sit on your hands and try not to go "Oh NO!" too loudly when the feathers fly, when they chase each other, when they squawk like the dickens. Let them go through it. Only intervene if there is bloodshed.

    They'll be fine. This is a natural thing for them, even if it is painful for us to observe it.
  4. bburn

    bburn Songster

    Jul 9, 2010
    Delaware, Arkansas
    You know, it was one of your posts grayeyes where I read that about not interferring unless there was bloodshed.

    So, don't put the hens with the pullets. Just put them all together at once?

    Next week I can move both the chicken tractor and the pen with the pullets up close to the fence where the rooster is. That will give me time to put up the temp fence inside the run. The rooster is in the main run. He was removed from the other flock a couple of weeks ago and so I found him some girls. I really like this rooster. And I really like the other rooster. So I wanted both of them.

    So, the girls are in two pens across the garden doing their time in quarantine. I even thought maybe I could let the rooster out a few evenings before roost time and let him 'free range' the garden with the girls in their pens. I want them to have lots of eye contact before they are moved into his run in the divided off section.

    I know.....I do know....that it might be wild. But I have to do this the right way before DH gets home because he will just throw them in together. I have read where folks put them in the divided off pen for a couple of weeks and then just remove the divider and walk away.
    The thought being that they have looked at each other long enough that they don't notice so much that they are together. Can still see where we will have to go through the pecking order.

    This is not a mean rooster. Neither was the other one. This one just would not leave the hens alone and the other roo was the alpha. They did not battle but the alpha roo pretty much beat him up for three days. Was not blood and guts but the alpha left no doubt that the other roo needed to quit. The lone rooster knows the girls are there and watches them all the time. Walks the fence and chatters at them when I am out there feeding.

    Although I know I will have to get tough for this one, I think it will work out in the long run. I just want to give them the best chance possible.
    Thank you so much for your responce!

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