Introducing New Birds...and a Rooster

Flip-N-Flogging

Songster
8 Years
Sep 25, 2011
51
34
114
So it has been a very long time since I have introduced a new crew with an established flock. I have currently a flock that is a pretty good bunch of birds, with a well established pecking order and a rooster who does his job very well and is good to the his ladies. I have currently in my brooder some chicks to add into the bunch, still yet a month away from a full introduction.

I’m noticing one of these new chicks is feathering out funny and developing quite a red, little set of wattles. I’m thrilled to death, as I’ve always wanted a Wyandotte roo. So if this turns out to indeed be a little cockerel, that would mean there would end up being two roosters and nine hens in my pen. I’ve delt with introducing hens in the past and know how brutle sweet little chickens can actually be, but it’s been a long time since I have roosters together, and then that was just young roosters, not to mention a seasoned veteran and a youngster.

So my questions...

If I keep the two roosters together, is the hen ratio ok?

Am I setting myself up for failure even thinking about adding another roo with an older stud?

Will the old flock stay together and the new birds come in as a separate flock for lack of better words? Or will an absolute total new pecking order develop?

At what point will an all out cock fight happen?

And, in this scenario, with an older rooster, what age would you introduce the New bunch?

Thanks
 
Mar 11, 2018
45
51
51
I've never raised any roosters, just hens so I'm not really sure there. But two years ago I tried added a new flock in with my old flock and it turned out horrible. I let the two flocks see each other before actually being together and then gradually let them be together partially with me watching them. I only had a few full grown hens at the time, because racoons took out my whole flock and therefore when I did get them together the pecker order (hierarchy) stayed the same but it got really bad and I decided to get rid of the old hens and just keep the new ones. Sorry I wasn't much help but I wish you the best of luck!
 

Redhead Rae

Chickens, chickens everywhere!
Premium Feather Member
Jan 4, 2017
8,523
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Braxton County, WV
Just a quick note, a LOT of this depends on the temperaments of your roosters, old and new.

For a while, I had a single rooster (a leghorn cross) he was great with the girls, very wary of people, and great with chicks. The only time I saw him even think of attacking a person was if one of his ladies was squawking when handled. Then he would run up to see what was going on, all puffed up to fight, but would back down as soon as he saw a person was involved. Sadly, he was VICIOUS to any and all other roosters. He nearly starved my avatar (LF black cochin) because he badgered into hiding in the coop all the time. So, he became dinner.

What I do with young cockerels is I run them with the main flock, from 1 week on if they were broody hatched or after they are fully feathered if not broody hatched, until they start causing issues in the flock (I.E. when they start mating the girls). Note: if your rooster isn't good with chicks under sexual maturity, you should consider another rooster. Then I move them to a bachelor pad and start culling the smallest and most aggressive first (I'm breeding for size and docility). When you selected the rooster you want, I would introduce with the "see, but no touch" method for at LEAST a week and then an hour or two before bedtime, let the new rooster loose with the flock and watch what happens. There will be fighting, chasing, etc. But what I don't want to see is relentless chasing. beating each other up after they submitted, or trying to kill each other. A good dominant rooster will be satisfied with keeping the other rooster out of his general vicinity (15 - 30 ft bubble) and chasing him away from resources (girls, food, water) that he is near. You need to have multiple sources of food and water and they will work things out in the end.

If you have any questions, let me know.
 

m1chelle1

Crowing
Jan 12, 2017
480
1,078
262
Central Florida Coast
Yes, you definitely CAN have more than one roo in the same flock. Many have successfully kept flocks with multiple roos (more than two) just fine, with no fighting. It all depends on the temperament of each roo and how you introduce them into the flock, weather they were raised together, etc. My concern would be for the girls, as a 2:9 ratio isn't great....it might be ok, depending on how often they both are mating the hens, but its not an ideal ratio. Might want to consider adding some hens to that flock as well, if you can afford/ have enough space, etc. So there are definitely many considerations on that front. Ive heard success stories with early integration of smaller pullets into the area, or even keeping them separate in the same pen, together. You can separate with a mesh fence so they can get used to eachother, and being around eachother.There are many ideas, this is just one:wee
 

m1chelle1

Crowing
Jan 12, 2017
480
1,078
262
Central Florida Coast
Just a quick note, a LOT of this depends on the temperaments of your roosters, old and new.

For a while, I had a single rooster (a leghorn cross) he was great with the girls, very wary of people, and great with chicks. The only time I saw him even think of attacking a person was if one of his ladies was squawking when handled. Then he would run up to see what was going on, all puffed up to fight, but would back down as soon as he saw a person was involved. Sadly, he was VICIOUS to any and all other roosters. He nearly starved my avatar (LF black cochin) because he badgered into hiding in the coop all the time. So, he became dinner.

What I do with young cockerels is I run them with the main flock, from 1 week on if they were broody hatched or after they are fully feathered if not broody hatched, until they start causing issues in the flock (I.E. when they start mating the girls). Note: if your rooster isn't good with chicks under sexual maturity, you should consider another rooster. Then I move them to a bachelor pad and start culling the smallest and most aggressive first (I'm breeding for size and docility). When you selected the rooster you want, I would introduce with the "see, but no touch" method for at LEAST a week and then an hour or two before bedtime, let the new rooster loose with the flock and watch what happens. There will be fighting, chasing, etc. But what I don't want to see is relentless chasing. beating each other up after they submitted, or trying to kill each other. A good dominant rooster will be satisfied with keeping the other rooster out of his general vicinity (15 - 30 ft bubble) and chasing him away from resources (girls, food, water) that he is near. You need to have multiple sources of food and water and they will work things out in the end.

If you have any questions, let me know.
great advice
 

TheTwoRoos

Crowing
Sep 25, 2015
4,363
2,010
316
I’d introduce at four months.Not too old because the you could risk the boys not getting along.But with no competition the vet can the law down on the youngster without anyone physically fighting.A cock fight isn’t always gonna happen,your birds may
End up never fighting.But if your concerned,usually happens during spring months or whenever your young begins breeding and growing into mature flock leader.I have felt with several roosters.
The ratio is off,I would add an extra five,but in the end you never know how hormonal both males will be.I have a three year old NHR rooster who still gets the urge in spring and rapes and chases the hens and even our ducks!
As for the pecking order that could be arranged months from now as your youngsters grow older and as your idle hens become elderly (So it could be yeas from now until things change),depends on the birds and demeanor of the birds.
 

TheTwoRoos

Crowing
Sep 25, 2015
4,363
2,010
316
I currently have a Cochin bantam a New Hampshire rooster in my flock and they get along fairly good.They spat sometimes but haven’t really seen them fight too seriously.Ill actually be adding in extra cockerel probably sometimes this spring along with new pullets.
 

TheTwoRoos

Crowing
Sep 25, 2015
4,363
2,010
316
Clearly a size difference
10CEAB65-7477-473C-BDB2-7F858ADF8718.jpeg
 

MANNA-PRO

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