Introducing a young rooster to a flock

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by newchickenista, Jan 13, 2016.

  1. newchickenista

    newchickenista Chillin' With My Peeps

    101
    0
    89
    Jan 25, 2012
    Southeastern, Oklahoma
    I have a flock of 4 hens that are 4 years old. I have some roosters that I have raised in a separate coop that are 16 weeks old. I would like to introduce one of the roosters into my 4 year old hens. How should I go about this? Can I just put the rooster in the pen and be ready to grab him out if things go south??
     
  2. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,415
    395
    226
    Apr 22, 2015
    I put a new rooster with my hens five days ago. My older hens mobbed him at first and he flew to the top of a nest box and roost. There he stayed for four days (I gave him food and water there). Today was the fifth day and the rooster is on the floor with the hens. He is no longer being bullied by any of the birds. I'm not sure what happened, but it's pretty plain that rooster got tired of the situation. My guess is that he finally worked up the courage and knocked heads with the two older hens that were ganging up on him.
     
  3. newchickenista

    newchickenista Chillin' With My Peeps

    101
    0
    89
    Jan 25, 2012
    Southeastern, Oklahoma
    I have two separate pens, one with 4 hens and one with 8 hens. Weekend before last I bit the bullet and put the first rooster, a barred plymouth rock, in the pen with the 4 hens, I put him on the roost at sunset and woke up at daybreak to check on him the next morning. There was a bit of a dust up between he and one of my hens where she finally came away with a bloody comb. But after that they have been fine and been living in harmony. Everything went great!

    So this past weekend I decided to try it again, this time a small Buff Orpington Rooster in my coop of 8 hens. This rooster hasn't crowed yet, but neither had my Barred Rock until he got in with the mature hens. So I put the rooster in the hen house, and if at all possible this one went smoother than the first, no dust ups, he just jumped right on the roost and went to sleep. When I got up the next morning, they were all awake but not down stairs (I have a 2 story A frame Chicken Tractor so the "hen house" is up stairs). But if anything the hens seemed a bit afraid of him. Well I went back out a few hours later, and all the rest of the chickens had come down stairs except for him. So I opened up the door and got him out and manually put him down stairs (this coop has a lot less ease of access than the first coop). And I went back inside the house. When I came back out later he was back up stairs. Yesterday morning he was still up stairs so I put him some food up there (I just kept thinking he would get hungry enough to come down). When I got home from work yesterday evening, he was still upstairs, so I caught him again and put him down stairs. He wasn't down 30 seconds before he got scared and ran back up and he hasn't come back down since. So now he has food and water up stairs and I don't know what to do. The hens come up and down and they don't seem to bother him too bad, although I guess maybe they bully him a little, and that is why he is scared.

    He is 18 week sold, will he finally come to full maturity and take control? In your experience how long should I wait to let him take control before I just give up on him being a useful part of my flock? I know nchls school said that it took his 4 or 5 days....is this pretty normal?? I am swimming in uncharted territory here!!!
     
  4. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,415
    395
    226
    Apr 22, 2015
    My rooster was mature. Yours is not. As he matures he will seek dominance over the hens. As long as the hens are not being too rough, be patient and wait.
     
  5. newchickenista

    newchickenista Chillin' With My Peeps

    101
    0
    89
    Jan 25, 2012
    Southeastern, Oklahoma
     
  6. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,415
    395
    226
    Apr 22, 2015

    You're welcome. Your rooster will be fine and when he is old enough those hens will pay big time.
     
  7. KimPahl

    KimPahl Chillin' With My Peeps

    67
    0
    54
    Aug 5, 2015
    Jefferson, NC
    I'm glad to find this post. We are picking up a rooster to add to our flock of 3 gals tomorrow. After his quarantine period I was trying to figure out what to do. I have planned to move his temp pen into our barn where the gals travel in and out of during the day so they can get a view of each other but not touch. Then I was thinking after a day or two put him in the coop at night w/ them (and get up early to check on them). Their coop is a horse stall w/ access to a large partial free range area. My concern is them waking up w/ him and freaking out before I can get down there to open the door. I guess we shall see!
     
  8. newchickenista

    newchickenista Chillin' With My Peeps

    101
    0
    89
    Jan 25, 2012
    Southeastern, Oklahoma
    Thought I would give a 3 week update on my rooster situation:

    After a week or 2 I cleaned this coop, which required me to lock all the chickens in the run, out of the hen house. This was a scary day for the Rooster, and he did spend many hours perched on the ramp as high up as he could get. But, I think he realized that he can stay downstairs and the hens not hurt him. Since that day he has been going down into "General Population" like a normal rooster every day. There is still 1 or 2 hens he is scared of, that when they get close he kind of squeals and runs off. But on the other hands, he has some hens that he has started "setting straight" when he feels like they are out of line. He hasn't at all risen to status of #1 chicken in the coop, but he is definitely not at the bottom of the pecking order anymore.

    But, all that being said, he still hasn't crowed yet. He is 21 weeks old this week. When should I expect a Buff Orpington Rooster to crow?
     
  9. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    10,533
    3,757
    461
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Sounds like he's making steady, if slow, progress. It's typical of his breed, which is to be accommodating and defer to older flock members. He'll crow when he feels like he has something to crow about.
     
  10. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,415
    395
    226
    Apr 22, 2015
    A few roosters never crow just as there are hens that do crow. But I suspect, too, that he will crow when he is ready.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by