Mean Chickens!! - Introducing New Roosters to the Hens.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by turtle1173, Nov 23, 2008.

  1. turtle1173

    turtle1173 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2008
    SE Missouri
    Hey all,

    I was hoping introducing my 2 eleven week old Welsummer roos in with 8 established hens (8 months old) would go smoothly. But such is not the case!

    I had a partridge silkie roo who was raised up with the 8 hens and he really kept everyone in line. Well, he was killed last week by a big hawk while protecting his girls [​IMG]

    I decided that it's time to bring in these 2 boys with the rest of the hens. Especially since the bigger roo is larger than most of the hens. Plus they are WAY too big for the brooder now. I have had these 2 boys out in a small enclosure amongst the girls several times and didn't have much trouble. They would squack or peck at one another every once in a while but no big deal.

    Well yesterday I let the 2 Welsummers in the pen with the girls with no separation. The girls went crazy on them. Grabbing their combs and making the poor boys run and cry. It has been so sad to watch. The boys don't stand up for themselves and try to hide their heads in a corner or under a wing. It's about more than I can stand to watch.

    How long should this kind of behavior last? I'm thinking of putting the fence separation back up so the poor boys can get some rest. Will that undo any type of "good" that has been accomplished? Any advice?

    Thanks for listening and for any help you can offer.

    Shane
     
  2. cajunlizz

    cajunlizz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2008
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    #1 . With only 8 hens , you really don't need but 1 rooster .
    That rooster will be the ALPHA and control that flock of 8 .

    We have 2 roosters in one of our runs / coop area , BUT we do have over 100 head total ...

    2 roosters with the 60 in the main coop/run area and 1 rooster in the other side that has about 25 hens . We also have 25 - 3 month olds that are in a separate area and will not be mixed with the rest til Spring .

    Sounds like if your other rooster got killed trying to protect the flock , you need to totally enclose the tops of that area and make it preditor proof .
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2008
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  3. @migocontodos~

    @migocontodos~ Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you're lucky the poor little roos will live long enough to endure the torture they are going to get from the pullets while the pullets adjust to them.
    None the less...they really are to young to be thrown in with older birds to begin with.
    If at all possible, try to seperate them from the pullets until they are mature enough to fight back.

    They really are the "under dogs".
     
  4. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Olympia WA
    Can you keep them separated by fencing for another month? By then the boys might be mature enough to handle the hens. They should start standing up to them and give them the "fluff neck" when confronted. You may be fine with 2 roos if they stay together--seems like every situation and every rooster is unique, I have only 2 hens right now and they are not overmated, my rooster is a gentleman.
     
  5. turtle1173

    turtle1173 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2008
    SE Missouri
    Well after church this morning I removed them from the flock and put them back in their own space. The biggest one is limping and has a little blood coming from his foot. The smaller one is kind of drooping one of his wings down, so he is likely hurting also. I hope they will be OK.

    I feel real bad about this. I figured since they were around the same size as the hens, they would do better than what they did. I did some searching on here about how best to do this. I apparently failed in getting the right scoop on this. I hope I haven't damaged my up and coming roosters.

    Here's a pic I took yesterday of my welsummer roos.

    Thanks again for your help and I'll try this again when they get a little more fiesty.

    Shane

    [​IMG]
     
  6. cajunlizz

    cajunlizz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2008
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    Quote:MERCY SAKES , THEY ARE OLD ENOUGH TO HANDLE THEMSELVES
     
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Just because a rooster is the same size as an older hen/pullet doesn't mean he has the maturity necessary to deal with them. Best to keep them seperated, but able to see each other for awhile longer.
    Wait some time and try some supervised visitations every once in awhile. Once you see the roos fluff up their neck feathers and circle the hens AND the hens obeying, then you'll know they are ready to lead the hens.
     
  8. c.wilson

    c.wilson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 4, 2008
    once your new roosters get settled in and get to know everybody then there hormones will start to rage and then they will make with all the hens and then they will be dominant..at least thats what hapened with my buff orpington cockeral
     
  9. cajunlizz

    cajunlizz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2008
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    c.wilson :

    once your new roosters get settled in and get to know everybody then there hormones will start to rage and then they will make with all the hens and then they will be dominant..at least thats what hapened with my buff orpington cockeral

    AGREED ..... Chickens and roosters DO NOT adapt to any type changes very well . Its will all work out faster than you think . Leave them together and let them work out their differences .
    BUT AGAIN , A run does NOT need more than 1 rooster with that small amount of chickens .​
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2008
  10. turtle1173

    turtle1173 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2008
    SE Missouri
    Well just a bit of an update. I've kept the two roosters separate from the hens since my posting on this. They spend their time in a brooder that really is too small but it's the only place I have for them. When the weather has been more mild, I put them out with the hens, separated by fencing, of course.

    I didn't really understand what you all meant by "fluffing their neck feathers." However, I found out today what that looked like. [​IMG]

    I always put some feed on the fence line so they can "mingle" with the hens. Well my RIR took a swipe at the bigger welsummer. The Welsummer stood up as tall as he could towering over the RIR. He then stuck his neck feather out almost straight and kind of growled.

    It was really funny and I was so proud that he finally half-way stood up for himself. Hopefully it won't be long before they can all get along (or at least as well as chickens do).

    Shane
     

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