New cockerel...integration questions!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MontanaDolphin, Dec 20, 2013.

  1. MontanaDolphin

    MontanaDolphin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So Zeus, my BR cockerel, went to freezer camp today. No more aggressive roos allowed at my house!

    I picked up two new cockerels...one's mine, one's my mom's. Mine is a Chocolate Orpington, smaller than my 10 month old girls (he's only 18 weeks). Hers is an Easter Egger, about the same size as my girls. Both cockerels are about 18 weeks old. I have 8 pullets.

    So, I know there's no way I can integrate both cockerels into my flock. Not enough girls. I'm thinking of putting the EE with the girls since he is bigger than my new roo and might be able to hold his own with them. I'm hatching eggs right now, so any pullets I hatch will go with my CO.

    What's the best way to integrate the EE? I removed Zeus from the run, put both cockerels in separate pens up against the run so the girls could see them. Is the reason why it's recommended to do this so that the girls get used to seen the new additions without being able to cause harm?

    I've never had to integrate, so I am not really sure what I am doing. Any help/advice is greatly appreciated.

    My new cockerel:
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    My mom's new cockerel:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. DavidKerk

    DavidKerk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Since they've already been able to see each other for a little while, I don't see why you couldn't just put the cockerel in some night after the girls have roosted. They will most likely work things out in a couple days or less because they have already been in controlled contact with the rooster.

    If you want to, I think you could put the Orpington with the girls if you want. I've never met a cock that wasn't aggressive enough to establish his dominance over even the brassiest hen.

    You have some extremely beautiful roosters!!!
     
  3. MontanaDolphin

    MontanaDolphin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Problem is that the Orpington and EE don't get along. The Orp is a lot smaller than the EE, and the EE tries to fight him. I'm more worried about putting them together than putting one or the other with the girls.

    I tried to put the EE with them in their run, and they went after him. I know I'm not supposed to (quarantine, whatever that means or purpose it serves), but I wanted to see if they'd accept him without Zeus there anymore. Nope. So I put his crate INSIDE the run with him in it...they tried to get him from outside the crate. I did put him in the coop when I closed it up for the night...hopefully he'll still be alive in the morning. He's the same size as the girls.
     
  4. DavidKerk

    DavidKerk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm sorry. I meant put in the Orpington instead of the EE. You're right, the Orpington would probably be bullied by the EE, but I doubt that if he would be bullied by the hens if he was the sole rooster.

    Even if there is some fighting, they should be able to figure it out. The only way they will figure it out is with some minor fighting. You have been doing things exactly right!

    I hope this helps!
     
  5. Mahlzeit

    Mahlzeit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They will peck at him a bit at first because they don't want to lose their spot in the pecking order but it won't take long for him to be top of the pecking order.
     
  6. MontanaDolphin

    MontanaDolphin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When do I know that I need to intervene? I don't want them tearing him up...but I don't know when to let them work it out, or when I need to remove him from the brutality.
     
  7. Mahlzeit

    Mahlzeit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It shouldn't be long before he takes his spot. I wouldn't be too worried about it unless they bring him to the point of bleeding or he won't come out to eat or drink at all(which is highly unlikely)
     
  8. MontanaDolphin

    MontanaDolphin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A couple of more questions, if you please :)

    First...I ended up just keeping the two roos together in a separate enclosure. The lady I got them from had called to see how they were doing, and she advised to keep the boys together because of stress. So I did. Funny thing is...the CO bantam is kickin' big boy EE's butt! And the bantam is half his size...I was shocked! Not to the point of blood or anything, but EE now stays out of CO's way.

    It has been only 2 days since I got the boys. I read up some more on why you should quarantine, and I understand now. But, I trust who I got my boys from. She's had her flock tested for a couple of things, and she's certified. It may come back to bite me in the butt, and if it does it will be a lesson learned...but I want to integrate sooner than later. Anyhoo, this morning the Choc. Orp. was calling the girls I think. Zeus used to do the same thing while they were out free ranging...if he found somethin' good, he would pick it up, drop it, pick it up, drop it...while clucking, and the girls would come running. The CO was doing it this morning...with a piece of hay lol.

    I want to try to let the boys out to free range while the girls are out. Do you think it's too soon and the boys will run away? How long does it take for new flock members to know this is now their home??
     
  9. DavidKerk

    DavidKerk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's funny how bantams are so aggressive!

    It usually takes about three days for them to realize where home is. If you watched them kind of close I think it would be fine. I think you would be fine putting the rooster in with the hens right now (or both if that's your plan). It sounds like the hens are used to having the roos around. Plus, I doubt your hens would abuse the rooster. Most of the time, the rooster establishes himself as top of the pecking order in less than a day. When I got my rooster, I just threw him in with the hens. He quickly established himself at the top and has been there ever since.

    I have never messed with the whole quarantine thing, but I realize I am taking a risk. If I were to ever get a chicken from someone I didn't totally trust/know I would quarantine him.
     
  10. chicksurreal

    chicksurreal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Beautiful roosters!
     

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