Introducing a Young Roo

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by WildestThing, Dec 18, 2016.

  1. WildestThing

    WildestThing Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 13, 2016

    We are new to chickens, so any help would be so appreciated. We have 15 chickens, 4 of indeterminate age and breed, and 6 Rhode Island Reds and 5 Barred Rocks that are 4 months.

    We also have a 3 month old Barred Rock rooster. We originally had 2 baby roos, but the broody hen we put him with killed his brother. We found this one huddled in a corner of the coop the next day, shaken up, but okay. One morning about a month ago, we let him loose with the hens. He was fine until noon, but when we checked that evening, the hens had pecked his neck and head so badly, we didn't think he'd make it. He is fine now, but has a bald spot on his neck where the feathers haven't grown back and it doesn't look like they will. He is in a cage just outside of the coop so the chickens know him. Yesterday, we let him loose again, and a couple of the chickens went after him so he's back in his cage.

    Should we wait till he starts crowing to let him in with the chickens again? We are hoping he will dominate and be fine. He is the same size as the younger chickens. Also, what can we put on his neck so they won't injure him again? We thought of using air brush tattoo ink on him to hide the pink skin. Another friend suggested making him a spiked collar. I hear you all laughing, and it sounds silly, but if it works...

    Any suggestions?
  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchi Wan Kenobi Premium Member

    Mar 27, 2012
    My Coop
    Too bad they beat him up. Sounds like his hormones aren't really in yet and he's not ready to dominate. I'd try the slow introduction method where you put him in a cage or crate in the coop so they can all see him but can't get to him. Leave him in there for a week or two and try the introduction again - it sounds like you're trying that now.

    As for his wounds, use Blu Kote. It's specially made for this kind of thing and it'll turn his wound and skin a purplish blue color so they'll leave it alone.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016
  3. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2013
    X2 I'd wait for him to heal. Maybe let him get a bit older. Situate him where the birds can see each other then let them out where they can free range together and he has enough space that he can get away if he has to.
    Putting them in a small coop where he can't get away may allow him to be ganged up on,.
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Spring Dreaming Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    He's still a baby yet. I would keep him separated by a wire for a week or two before trying again. Your birds will get to know him through the fence and will be less likely to attack him as much.
  5. WildestThing

    WildestThing Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 13, 2016
    Thank you all for responding. The chickens are in a fenced area, and his cage is attached to it so they see each other all day long. We'll wait till his hormones kick in. He's a sweet little guy now and definitely feels like he is not the king of the flock.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC!

    I think what you have here is a 'single bird integration' problem.....and a bad broody mama...rather than a 'rooster' problem.
    Agrees to keep him separated until he's healed...might be good to put a few other younger birds in with him so they can form a 'unit'.
    Always easier to integrate a few than a single.
    Time for some chicken juggling, put one(or two or more) of the 4 month olds in with him, until you find on that won't beat on him.
    Once they get along add a couple more. Will take some time and effort, but may be easier and better for all in the long run.

    Here's some of my integration notes that might help:
    Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact.

    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'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds.

    In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best of mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading, tho some info is outdated IMO:
  7. WildestThing

    WildestThing Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 13, 2016
    Thank you so much! This is great info. I will try it all out!
  8. WildestThing

    WildestThing Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 13, 2016
    Thank you all for responding. We put the roo into the enclosure with the chickens and he is doing fine!

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