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Introducing New Hens to Older Lonely Rooster? Can it be done?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by tkeyser, Feb 7, 2007.

  1. tkeyser

    tkeyser New Egg

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    Feb 7, 2007
    San Antonio TX
    Hello, I've visited this site before but never posted until now. But I figure this is a good place for chicken advice. A little background first. I apologize for a very long post but I want you to know my situation.

    Thom's Story

    I've currently got one rooster - a Leghorn I believe - that is about two years old. I was at a poetry festival in Lamesa TX [between Midland and Lubbock], and he was one of the "surprise" raffle prizes. The person who won him was a friend from Austin who didn't have a clue about what to do with him, and for starters wasn't even sure how to hold him. I was afraid he would go back to the farm and into a pot, so I volunteered to take him, and voila! Pet rooster. He was named on the spot after the friend who won him - Thom the World Poet. Hence, Thom the World Chicken.

    The evening later was filled with many questions and offers of advice for the crazy city girl who took the rooster, as I became known. Thom camped out in the tent with us that night [duh - chickens roost I had to tell people]. And he drove back with us all 9 hours to San Antonio. He stayed on the floor of the backseat and was walked at every rest stop and hand fed along the way. We got some looks, but it's not the weirdest thing I've seen on Texas highways. He lived in my bedroom for a few days while I put together his make shift run/coop. My cats never touched him.

    He's lived in my backyard since then, except when we've had some really cold nights and then he comes inside and hangs out, chases the cats, tips over their water bowl until it's time to go to sleep in the bathroom. I keep him in his run most of the time and let him out when I'm home. Like any two year old he's ornery and wants to do what he wants. I don't hand feed him anymore, but he comes when he's called, and knows when he's in trouble. He's never flown at me or my 12-yr son, but he has at my 17-yr old brother and a few neighbors.

    My plan was to build my "chicken condo" and get some girlfriends for him but here I am almost two years later and he's a lonely rooster. I've given up on my brother helping me build my coop [he used to raise chickens], so I've decided to do it myself. I only want maybe four hens at the most. And I'm hoping I can find the breeds I want locally, because I don't want to order them from a hatchery. I'm hoping to buy pullets ready to go, because I don't have the space or time to give chicks the right attention they need. That will be a project for later in life when I have more land.

    The Question

    Finally, my question - since he has shown some signs of aggression with other people as he has gotten older, and he hasn't been around other chickens - is he just going to kill the hens or be overly aggressive with them? I realize he could take to them right away, but I need to look at the distinct possibilites first. I've wanted him to have a better life than what I can give him, but can never get past the notion of someone fighting him, which is unfortunately a distinct possibility here. I'd almost rather someone tell me they're going to eat him. Though I think he might be a little tough.

    Well, any advice on what will likely happen, what to expect, and how to introduce the ladies to him if it's possible to keep him is appreciated. Thanks for all the wonderful info on this site, and for putting up with this long, long post.

    If anyone could also give advice on local places that sell specific breeds, that would be appreciated, too. I posted some pictures of him as well.

    [​IMG]Spoiled already - camping in Lamesa!
    [​IMG]Checking out the new digs.
    [​IMG]King of the Yard.
     
  2. bayouchica

    bayouchica Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2007
    N.E. Louisiana
    Hi there, what a wonderful story, Thom is so very lucky to have you!
    I'm no expert, but if you do get some hens,you may need to seperate them from Thom at first for atleast a month. You need to make sure the hens you get are healthly not showing signs of illness.
    As far as hatcheries go there is Ideal Poultry out of Cameron, Texas I think they sell started pullets. I'm not sure how far that is from you. They have a web site.( not sure how to put up the link). idealpoultry.com
    We've got alot of members from Texas,they might know someone close to you.
    Thom is a beautiful rooster, good luck & maybe someone else can give ya some more advice.
    Have a good evening,Miriam
     
  3. tkeyser

    tkeyser New Egg

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    Feb 7, 2007
    San Antonio TX
    Thanks so much Miriam.

    I think Cameron is about three hours away, north of Austin. If they would let me pick up the pullets that would be perfect, since I have "chicken in a car" experience. I'll definitely have to look into that company. I just don't want them debeaked or dubbed, so I'll have to see what they do. A local feed store here has some pullets ready to go, but they couldn't tell me what kind they were or how old they were, only that they were just "chickens." Some are already laying, but if I can I'd love to get the specific breeds I want since I only want a few.

    I figured once the new coop and run is built, I could use Thom's old one to either keep him in [he's put up with it this long], but next to the hens, or vice-versa. That way they are separate and they won't injure each other if they do get aggressive, and they get a little time to become acclimated to each other. I hope it works out. I'd love to keep him, but if he gets more aggressive protecting his new flock, I'll just have to try and find him a good home.

    I hope to get started on the new coop this weekend and have everything set up and ready to go by the end of the month. I'll have to post updates as I get further along in my adventures.
     

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