My new rooster isn't getting along with my hens, help/advice?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by erinnyes, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. erinnyes

    erinnyes Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi everyone! Well, the problem I'm having is that I have a trio of two hens and a rooster that I am trying to add to my flock of 6 adult hens. My original hens are young, most under one year old, and the roo himself is young but he is bigger by far than all of them already. I couldn't be happier with their initial introduction! There was some chasing, some feather fluffing, but there was barely any actual sparring and feather pulling. Even my dominant hen didn't seem to want to mess with the new guy.

    After one full week of the new trio free ranging with my original flock, the two hens are completely comfortable and established with my own hens, who have adjusted to them and now don't even give them a second glance when they roam around together. HOWEVER, the rooster still "growls" every time one of the original hens comes within two feet of him. I thought by now he might get used to them, but he still chases my hens away if they get too close. They've all pretty much started to avoid him, and the trio and my flock are extremely separate now when they forage in the fields. The rooster does not look twice at the two hens he came with, but if one of mine gets in among them, he gives them the stinkeye and chases them off immediately!

    Last night I tried putting them all in the same roost and got up this morning to see how they behaved. The hens ignored my hens, they didn't seem to care. But from the moment the rooster woke up, he guarded the food tray and didn't permit any but "his" two hens to come near it. Even with the sun barely in the sky he seemed to know the difference between them!

    I was thinking of removing him for a few days and hoping he might stop being so possessive of his ladies after he's been separated for a while, but I am also worried this might just break the bond he has already with his hens and make him mean to everyone. Does anyone have more experience with this? I'd appreciate the help and would really like to keep the rooster, provided of course that he doesn't keep chasing my poor ladies away! The problem seems to be getting worse instead of better.

    Thanks for reading!
     
  2. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think he needs more time to adjust and he'll be fine
     
  3. Casey3043

    Casey3043 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sorry to say it may never improve. I had an established flock of 10 hens who roosted together and got along fine. They were acquired in two different batches. Then, I ordered 20 day-old chicks 18 months ago. There was a little accidental roo in the bunch. I didn't mind getting him, and he is a nice roo, good natured and not aggressive. However, he has NEVER bonded with the older hens. He chases them away from the food and away from the treats. He knows "his" hens, and even though some of the older ones are the same breeds as the younger ones, he can tell the difference.

    He roosts in a separate coop with "his" hens, and although the hens mix together with no problem, he feels that he must protect his hens and make sure they get the food and treats. Sometimes, when I am scattering corn in the afternoon and he is trying to prevent the older hens from getting any, I just walk toward him and he will back off. I also scatter the corn very widely, so he can't hog it all.

    Also, he doesn't mate with the older hens--don't know whether that's his choice or theirs! Wish I could say it will improve. I would love for all mine to roost together, although there is not room in either coop for all of them, so that's not even realistic. So, it's very frustrating, but who knows what a chicken is thinking?

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  4. Johnn

    Johnn Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:my rooster only mates with the old girls who dont lay and wont touche the yound girls he once walked straight past one young one who squatted for him
     
  5. erinnyes

    erinnyes Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I sure hope this isn't the case with mine, but it sounds a lot like my situation so far! Fortunately I have plenty of room and he so far has only chased off the hens, but hasn't hurt them or drawn any blood. As long as he keeps it this way he isn't a problem for me. The marans hens he came with are the only two I have that are his breed, so if he doesn't mate with my other hens I would not consider that a huge loss, as I wasn't planning on hatching any mixed-breed eggs. The only nuisance so far is that my original hens are now avoiding him, which sometimes has caused them to end up in undesirable places around my farm (like my front porch, which they happily pooped all over!) The separate roost thing sounds annoying though! I'm hoping I can at least get them all in the same coop.

    Hopefully he will shape up! I will try to be optimistic and hope that Jerseygirl1 is right! [​IMG]
     
  6. erinnyes

    erinnyes Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Doies anyone else have some ideas for me to try out? [​IMG] I am open to suggestions! I am still fairly new to keeping chickens, and so I could benefit from other's experience! Does my idea of temporarily separating the rooster sound like a plausible solution?
     
  7. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    My cockerel does not like my new hens either [​IMG] If I am around, I do my best to keep him from tormenting them. My older rooster (1 - 1 1/2 years old) only dislikes one of the new hens. He didn't like that she thought she owned the place or something. He put her in her place after she picked on his hens. He calls the new girls over to eat as well. I love my silkie rooster [​IMG]

    It could be the age of your rooster. I can't be sure though. My BR cockerel is about 5 months old or so. He is going through one of those phases. [​IMG] He's trying to mate everyone, but with no success. [​IMG]
     
  8. shugaskull

    shugaskull Out Of The Brooder

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    eat him, he will get long with your belly
     

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