Need advice about roosters and new hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by NewToFarming, Aug 22, 2010.

  1. NewToFarming

    NewToFarming Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I recently got 2 new silkie hens. They are about 1 1/2 years old and laying. One is broody so she never comes off the nest except when I get her off to eat. The other hen is out and about the coop and doing well with most of my current flock except the roos. I have 4 silkie roos. The boys get along fine for the most part with each other and were raised together. They are horrible to this new hen!!! I am worried about her and am wondering what to do. I believe they have it out for her because her and her sister are the only hens I have of laying age. The others are 3 1/2 months, 4 1/2 months and 12 week old pullets. No one else has started laying as of yet. I now have a total of 26 hens.
    I am thinking about separating her and her sister the broody from the roos because I also am worried when the chicks hatch,how will the broody be able to deal with all of them???
    I can and was thinking about building another area in the barn for a separate coop area. Would it be best to keep these new girls in with all of the other girls since they are getting along ok and the introduction of the new chicks when they come will be easier that way or have like two flocks with 2 roos each? The roos get along ok together so I am leaning towards keeping the roos separate from all the girls until all the pullets come of age and they won't be after the new girls constantly??? These roos are younger roos and pretty determined. They are about 20 weeks old. I would appreciate any advice on what might work best to have everyone happy and have the reintroductions go better. I just think separating only the new girls is not the right way to do this. Thanks, I am new to the chicken world but learn something new everyday!!!
     
  2. sheaviance1

    sheaviance1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2010
    Tennessee
    What exactly do you mean by
    They are horrible to this new hen!!! I am worried about her and am wondering what to do. I believe they have it out for her because her and her sister are the only hens I have of laying age.

    ?​
     
  3. NewToFarming

    NewToFarming Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What I mean is that I assume they are trying to mate with her and they are running her ragged. It is all four that chase her and try to grab her and sometimes more than one at a time. I am assuming this is becasue she is really the only one out & about of mating age. Her sister the broody is rarely out of the nest so she is being left alone in her nest at this point. It is not only the top roo trying to mate her. Mostly it seems like it is the second & third roo that are after her more vigorously.
    This is why I was thinking it might be better to separate the roos for the time being and reintroduce back when when all of the pullets are more of age so she won't be the only one signaled out constantly. I don't know, I could be way off mark and should just let be??? That is why I need some advice on the best way to work this out so all will get along better in the end when all the hens will be laying and the new chicks hatch.

    Thanks!
     
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    I would remove the roosters and reintroduce them after all of the pullets have matured. That might be easier than trying to reintroduce the hens and chicks to the flock. Even with the large number of hens, 4 roosters may be too many. Sometimes, once they develop the "gang breeding" mentaity they won't give it up. Gang breeding is one of te most frequent causes of damage (often fatal) to hens.
     
  5. NewToFarming

    NewToFarming Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you! I didn't realize there was a name for it but that is exactly what they are doing, especially the 2nd & 3rd roo. Once in awhile the head roo will step in and actually try to mount the boys. I guess to show them he is boss???
    I am thinking it would be best to keep all 4 roos together and not put any roos in with the girls until they are all mature. I am hoping they will keep getting along ok during this segragation period. Then introduce all the roos back again at once or should it be #1 for a day or two, then #2 and so on. I would think doing all at once might be the best though. After I do get them introduced back in with the girls again, I will definitely have to watch to see if #2 & #3 continue this behavior.

    Thanks for your help! [​IMG]
     
  6. sheaviance1

    sheaviance1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2010
    Tennessee
    That is what I thought you meant, thank you for clarifying. I see you got some good advice too. I am not sure what the best way to reintegrate them would be. I wish you the best of luck and hopefully, you will get some more good advice.
     
  7. NewToFarming

    NewToFarming Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks!!!
    I am noticing they have chilled out a bit around her. They still are very interested and some attempts to mount her but not with quite the same aggressiveness as they initially were with her. Maybe it was the combination of being new and mature??? I might give it a few more days and see if it might get even better.. I don't let them alone with her and are around her only under supervision. I am keeping my fingers crossed that they will be ok with her. I was happy to see them chill out a bit but boy they were crazy in the beginning!!!
     
  8. NewToFarming

    NewToFarming Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Things seem to really be calming down in the coop a bit. I am still uncertain how things will work out for the 2nd & 3rd roo. She seems ok with the head roo “Bob” and he is not nearly as aggressive as the others towards her. I did see him mate her this morning. The 2nd & 3rd roo seem to stay away from her when he is around.
    I do have a question. Will Bob tend to kind of “protect her”? Will he let the other roos to mate her or will he kind of keep her to himself. Still trying to learn all this chicken behavior stuff! [​IMG]
     

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