Introducing adult roo to flock with a roo

Shannon85

In the Brooder
Jan 16, 2018
14
5
24
I currently have 8 orpington hens and a swedish flower roo that was introduced into the ladies only flock in August. Today I picked up 4 x 8 week old crested cream leg bar hens that are pretty small and a 2.5 year old roo of that same breed.

I've separated the newbies into a coop together that has no run where I was going to quarantine them for a bit. I've been reading on how to introduce younger chickens into a flock and I think I'm ok with that part once they are a touch bigger but I'm worried about the roos. I've even read not to try this at all!

My situation is different from most of the articles I'm reading though as I'll basically be introducing 2 small flocks together. I also didn't know when I picked up the chickens that the rooster I got wasn't living with the 8 weekers already, so hoping they are ok together as well. Big learning curve for me!

What I've learned so far:
-Keep the groups totally separate 2-4 weeks in case of disease.
-Introduce visually first for a week or so
-give them places to hide
-introduce in free range setting vs run
-let new group out first half of day, then let out old group
-allow a non confrontational activity, like pecking scratch together

Any advice highly appreciated :)
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aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
96,705
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SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
I've even read not to try this at all!
That would be my advice.
It may work out....but....it could also be a blood bath.
So have separate housing ready for one or both of the males.

Why do you need 2 males?
If your goal is to breed pure CCL's, then I'd get rid of the SF male.
 

chickens really

Crazy Mother of Goats
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 8, 2015
62,661
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The Funny Farm....Alberta, Canada
I would keep separate for a good week in a look no touch pen and toss treats close to the caged up birds do they all interact through the fence.
Then introduce them while they free range. Might not be able to Coop them all together though.
 

kwhites634

Slow hands & an easy touch
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Oct 20, 2008
33,222
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Right here; north-central MD
I currently have 8 orpington hens and a swedish flower roo that was introduced into the ladies only flock in August. Today I picked up 4 x 8 week old crested cream leg bar hens that are pretty small and a 2.5 year old roo of that same breed.

I've separated the newbies into a coop together that has no run where I was going to quarantine them for a bit. I've been reading on how to introduce younger chickens into a flock and I think I'm ok with that part once they are a touch bigger but I'm worried about the roos. I've even read not to try this at all!

My situation is different from most of the articles I'm reading though as I'll basically be introducing 2 small flocks together. I also didn't know when I picked up the chickens that the rooster I got wasn't living with the 8 weekers already, so hoping they are ok together as well. Big learning curve for me!

What I've learned so far:
-Keep the groups totally separate 2-4 weeks in case of disease.
-Introduce visually first for a week or so
-give them places to hide
-introduce in free range setting vs run
-let new group out first half of day, then let out old group
-allow a non confrontational activity, like pecking scratch together

Any advice highly appreciated :) View attachment 1578561 View attachment 1578562 View attachment 1578563
I'd say that pretty well covers it, but I wouldn't run 2 roosters together unless you're into cock fighting.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,517
20,802
907
Southeast Louisiana
Shannon you have two different things working, the two mature roosters and some young chicks. Treat them separately.

The two roosters will determine which is boss. That will involve fighting and intimidation. It may be a fight to the death or they may work out an accommodation, especially with a lot of room. What often happens when two roosters fight is that after a time one figures out he may live longer if he runs away. If he can run away and get away the winner knows he won and is boss. It may involve some additional fights and a lot of chasing and running away but often they reach an accommodation. Often they set up two different territories where they can attract their own harem but stay out of each other's way. At the end of the day do not expect them to separate the hens based on breed. Since they are raised separately that might happen but it is not likely.

If the two roosters are fairly equally matched in spirit more than size, they may not be able to determine a winner. Occasionally you get a rooster that doesn't realize he lost so he just will not quit until he is dead. Sometimes one is a lot stronger in spirit than the other so he just keeps attacking the weaker, as if he does not want those weak genetics anywhere around his flock. No one can give you any guarantees of what the outcome will be when you introduce two mature roosters but since free range is involved instead of having them contained in a small run you have a reasonable chance of them working it out. Still, have a Plan B ready where you can isolate one quickly if you need to.

The 8-week-old pullets are another issue that you have read about. It sounds like you are ready for that.

You may need three coops instead of two for quarantine and integration. It's possible the new rooster and those pullets can share one while you are going through quarantine and the first week or two of introduction. There may be issues with that. Those pullets should be young enough to be considered chicks. Sometimes a mature rooster takes care of chicks, even acting like a broody hen. But sometimes not. So keep an eye on that situation and deal with it as seems best. When you introduce those two roosters they are going to be interested in the mature hens, not the chicks.

You have different options. One is to have a separate coop and run for your new chickens and keep the two roosters forever isolated with their own flock. Don't allow them to fight. You could alternate free ranging every other day for each flock forever or always keep one flock in the same coop/run. You may wind up here anyway.

If your dream is all of them free ranging together I'd still suggest a separate coop and run so they could sleep separately at night, at least through integration. It is quite possible the two roosters could share the same coop but at least initially I think it is better to give them the option to sleep separately. After they have been across a fence from each other for a week or two, turn them loose to free range when you can be around to observe. Base your reactions on what you see. As long as you don't see blood or one gets pinned down where it can't run away let them go at it. It will look violent because it is, they are trying to hurt each other. Give them the opportunity to settle it between them if they can.

For the pullets, house them in the new coop long enough for them to accept it a the right place to sleep, then let them out to free range with the other flock when you can observe. I like to let them free range together during the day but sleep separately for at least a month before I try to move them to the main coop. Sometimes they will move themselves but usually not. Just be patient with them, they tend to work these things out themselves when you give them time.

I don't know what your final outcome will be. Since free ranging is involved you have a good chance with those pullets and a reasonable chance with the two roosters. Good luck with both.
 

Lenixen

In the Brooder
Sep 8, 2016
1
0
21
Southwest Colorado
Thank you all for the comments on this topic since i'm dealing with the introduction of a new young rooster to an established peaceful flock where there happens to be a young roo that is super skittish and super submissive. I do have a large area for free ranging and so far (day 13) the new rooster is not at all liked or accepted by my ladies, but i just allowed them together yesterday. The super skittish roo, a gentle giant, keeps clear of the newbie and runs away. The plan is to get rid the gentle giant (and we just found out that he is a rooster!) as he's absolutely lowest on the rung in the flock and i do need a roo to keep an eye out for predators.

My question is how long it will take for the flock to accept the new rooster?

Thanks!
 

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