Hello byc I have 3 16-18 week old pullets that haven't started laying yet, is it safe to keep a mature rooster with them at that age or not, I know its best to do it after they start laying but is it safe to do it now?
It should be safe, he may be a little rough with them so just make sure they have enough room to get away and separate perches. I raised pullets with my roosters of various ages and generally the teenage roosters are the worst, mature roosters tend to be a little more patient about things.
Sometimes the hens will give a new roo a proper beating, to teach him manners.If you don't want fertile eggs for hatching or to sell, you don't really need a rooster.
Your hens would thank you for that. They would continue to lay just as many eggs without him (though infertile)