Little roo hiding from new older hens - in same nest box as pullet

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by floridagirl13, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. floridagirl13

    floridagirl13 Chirping

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    I will try to make this short and sweet. We have 3 hens, my juvies aren't laying/crowing yet, and the new gals grew up together, so there is an established rank among those 3 already.

    We built a big enclosure with lots of different perches, lots of feeders/waterers and a coop with 2 nest boxes. All chickens were introduced into the new enclosure at the same time. This is only day 2 of the flock integration, the hens have settled right in, meanwhile my little roo, who thought he was a tough guy, was put into his place by one of the older gals and now he hides in the nest box when my pullet is in there. Pretty much where ever she is, he is up her butt using her as a chicken shield from the older "alpha" chicken, or hiding behind me while I am in their enclosure. The hens and my pullet get along fine, she stands up for herself even though she's younger.

    I expected him to be knocked down lower on the totem pole, I didn't expect him to hide in the nest box all day though... Now I've taken him and put him into another enclosure to make sure that he's eating and drinking, and sure enough he drank down water like he just tracked across a desert and went crazy for the food like he'd never eaten a day in his life.

    So my little roo is now a push over and being bullied. I've noticed some neck feathers misseing and his left wing is missing a few feathers as well. What's my best bet? Take him out periodically to make sure he eats? Take Ms. BossyFeathers and stick her in the "time out" enclosure? There is another hen who is Ms. Vice-BossyFeathers and I'm concerned she will assume the position when Ms. BossyFeathers is away.... Should i put both of them in time out? The third hen gets along fine with the juvies, shares feed and everything. Should i take the other 2 out and let her be the Peace Maker?
     
  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Crowing

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    You didn't say how old any of them are. If there's a major size difference, he may just not be capable of asserting himself yet.

    That being said, whenever I've had to introduce a new cockerel, or even a mature rooster, my hens put those boys thru the ringer. He/they all had to earn the right to be with the girls and mate them. If he's big enough that you think he should be able to defend/assert himself, leave him there and allow them to work it out. If he's still a little guy, put him in his own little enclosure until he toughens up a bit. Good luck!
     
  3. floridagirl13

    floridagirl13 Chirping

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    My reds are about 3 months or more, I don't know their hatch date. The older girls are about 9 I think. Still waiting for him to crow.

    He thought he was a tough Guy when it was just him and my pullet, of the same age or close to the same age. Now I have a whole new cockerel! He hides behind my legs like a shy toddler and scrambles into my lap even when they aren't after him. I have to admit, I kind of like the new him. I just wish he would toughen up a little bit.
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

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    I'd just leave them alone and let them work it out. Make sure you have an extra feed and water station and someplace for him to hide and he'll be fine. The more you interfere the more issues you'll have down the road, IMO.
     
  5. RWise

    RWise Songster

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    I agree, as long as he has hiding places, seperate food and water that he can get to, AND he is not being damaged/hurt. He will grow up, learn to call/talk to them, offer food (and not swallow it down and try to jump on 'em) and the girls will start looking at him with a different eye. He is in training by the girls! I think Roo's are better when raised in the flock by the ladies!!! Good Luck!
     
  6. floridagirl13

    floridagirl13 Chirping

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    There are 3 feeders and 2 1-gal. waterers in opposite corners for the 5 of them. Even in the coop so I know they are able to eat while hiding. RWise, I was hoping that being around ladies as a youngster would would work out that way. So far, it seems to be working. He's getting sweeter by the day, it seems. I saw him grooming (?) Ginger, my pullet, for the first time today and if I'm in with them he is now constantly between my feet or under my bum while im squatting down to refill the feeder or whatever I may be doing.

    For the record, I was wrong about their ages. The new girls are almost 10 & 11 months old. I don't have a hatch date for the young'ns but if they were less than a week old when I got them then they should be about 3 1/2 months.
     

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