Lost rooster returned, new rooster already established

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by AaronH, Jun 28, 2016.

  1. AaronH

    AaronH New Egg

    9
    2
    9
    Jun 20, 2016
    Forest River, ND
    Hi folks, I'm new to this forum and new to raising chickens too. I started my flock about 4 weeks ago. I was given 4 adult hens and a rooster. Two days in, the rooster got out, was chased by our dog, and refused to return. He was at the edge of our property, where he crowed every morning. I don't know where he roosted at night. He survived a terrible storm and who knows what else but wouldn't come back. We were told he wouldn't come back since he was traumatized and lost his tail feathers running from the dog.
    After he was gone about a week,we got another rooster, who we kept in a dog kennel. The hens adored him right away, and we introduced him to them within a week. He'd been low in the pecking order at his previous home but immediately puffed up with pride amongst our hens.
    After the first rooster's escape, I enclosed an area with 3-foot chicken wire, knowing they could hop out if they were so inclined. The fence has helped keep the dogs away and the chickens feeling safe.
    Last night, the original rooster came steering around the run out of nowhere! The new rooster kept patrolling the run, flapping wings and kicking the ground. Eventually, the original rooster flew atop the gate and directly into the coop.
    I'm worried about the pecking order and fighting. I'm also wondering if the original rooster could have contacted any diseases while roaming for 3 weeks. There are only four hens for two roosters too, which could be a problem. The coop and run are large enough for about 12 chickens.
    Does anyone have any advice? (None of the chickens want to be handled and peck at me when I try.)
    Thanks,
    Aaron
     
  2. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,419
    203
    171
    Sep 25, 2015
    You can keep the two,and get more hens.

    Introducing them will not be difficult,unless they choose not to cooperate.Are you sure on how to?
     
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

    16,687
    4,372
    456
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    You will need to decide which rooster you want. 4 hens might get mated bare from one rooster, two isn't a good idea. They will probably do a lot of fighting too, so either get rid of one or build a pen for one, but don't keep them together. I wouldn't worry about disease from the wandering rooster unless he was visiting other chickens, I would worry more about what the new rooster might be carrying instead.
     
  4. AaronH

    AaronH New Egg

    9
    2
    9
    Jun 20, 2016
    Forest River, ND
    Thanks for your reply. Should we just eat one? I noticed broken eggs in the coop today. That's never happened before. What does it mean?
     
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

    16,687
    4,372
    456
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    That would be the best way to deal with it. I would keep the rooster that treats the hens best and isn't aggressive with you.

    Were the eggs pecked or cracked? Sometimes they get cracked and hens will eat them, sometimes they need extra protein or calcium and they eat them. It does depend on what you are finding. Sometimes roosters will get in the nestboxes to show the hens, he could be breaking them. If it happens again you might need to spend so time watching them.
     
  6. AaronH

    AaronH New Egg

    9
    2
    9
    Jun 20, 2016
    Forest River, ND
    It's hard to say. The rooster has been in the nesting boxes. The new rooster, for sure. He's not too fond of the other rooster returning at all, and had been flapping his wings and kicking the ground. I am familiar with the process of introducing new hens, but I'm not sure of anyone who wants to get rid of any. Also, this process takes a while. Will the flock be cannibalistic by the time I introduce new hens?
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,793
    6,921
    576
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Ditto Dat^^^
     
  8. AaronH

    AaronH New Egg

    9
    2
    9
    Jun 20, 2016
    Forest River, ND
    What do people do when they have chicks, and there are roosters among them? Give them away or butcher them when they reach maturity?
     
  9. islandgirl82

    islandgirl82 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,426
    299
    198
    Jul 4, 2014
    Maine

    You could give them away, sell them(though that's much more difficult to do) or raise them to butcher. That all depends on personal preference.
     
  10. Britney M

    Britney M Out Of The Brooder

    131
    1
    43
    Jun 24, 2016
    A family member of mine has 15 chickens mixed flock and 6/7 roosters all coexist quite well they have little squabbles once in a while but nothing Bad.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by