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New hens and a Rooster

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by harmesonfarm, Aug 10, 2016.

  1. harmesonfarm

    harmesonfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just curious, we'll be most likely adding a few new hens (2-3) to our flock either sometime this fall or next spring, depending on when the breed we want is available to buy (it'll be most likely ameraucana) .
    On that note, we currently have a flock of 7 pullets and one cockerel...will the cockerel help "protect" the new hens a little bit at the beginning?
    Will integrating the new hens be easier with a rooster or harder? Currently the hens and our cockerel are the same age - approx. 24 weeks. They are laying and have an established pecking order...currently they all roost on the same roost (the very top) all snuggled together.

    Because they grew up together and are established through that way, will it be harder adding new hens, in comparison to a flock of varying breeds / ages?

    This will be the first time we'll be doing this, I haven't been able to find much on integrating new members with a rooster-run flock. Maybe it doesn't make any difference.

    We have MaranX chickens right now.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Huggerlady

    Huggerlady Out Of The Brooder

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    It's best to isolate the newbies for 30 days. I made the mistake and am still dealing with a virus that requires meds and isolation of those affected for 5 days. Lost a few to it too and now I can't sell any of them as they're carriers. So much for a rescue operation. It's safer to get vaccinated chicks and intro them when they're big enough to handle the old crew.
     
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    A fully grown mature rooster can be an asset for integration sometimes. Some of mine will try to feed younger chicks. Yours are still young so you may not get the benefit until it matures. Some roosters aren't any help and will peck at chicks the same as the hens.

    So there's no one good answer. You will just have to see how it goes and hope you have a good rooster. This spring my top rooster let the young ones peck at his wattles and looked after them. A younger rooster did some chasing. Every rooster is different.
     
  4. Grub Digger

    Grub Digger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Roosters are definitely unpredictable. It's rare to have one that will protect the flock, the best it seems most can do is give a predator call, and some don't even do that.

    It's a good idea when integrating any chickens to your flock to pen them up in a look but don't touch area adjacent to your chicken run for a few days. There will be some squabbles to establish pecking order, but not as bad as if you just threw them together.
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    This.

    My mature rooster is wonderful about keeping the peace. He'll let them squabble just a bit, then he intervenes and tells everyone to knock it off. I'm moving birds pretty often between broodies, different breeding pens, raising up chicks, etc and he does a wonderful job.

    My younger rooster, not so much. I think he's still a bit scared of the hens, although he does mate them. He does call for treats some, but he never, ever interferes in their squabbles. He hangs out away from them and has a definite "let them work it out themselves" attitude.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. harmesonfarm

    harmesonfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for all the responses!

    I guess we'll just see. Right now we love our "roo", he definately calls for treats, mates them and seems to break up larger squabbles but leaves the smaller ones. He does predator calls too...at least when the raven and crows fly past over head haha.

    Hopefully he's a more involved and helpful guy than the opposite.
     
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    He does sound like one of the good ones.
     
  8. Huggerlady

    Huggerlady Out Of The Brooder

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    You did say you are adding "hens", so how old are they because everyone here is talking chicks except me, (I think). When I did intro new adults members I used a Barrier fence until dark. Then put the new ones in the coop (but not before it's dark, those are the worst fights because they have their pals and favoured places ). They'll chat but because it's dark they can't squabble and you'll have way less issues in the morning. Your Roo sounds sweet, he'll not let his favored ones get injured and chances are the new ones will naturally fall to the bottom of the chain ..but not always! Have fun watching them work it out! I still say isolate for 30 days before you do this though kk
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    1 person likes this.
  10. harmesonfarm

    harmesonfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Right now we haven't found the breeds we want available at this time near us, so most likely we'll be getting them younger in the coming spring.
    I've researched and read a bit about integration and quarantine so i'll be following those articles and info tips when the time comes, i just was more curious to know how it was with the rooster as no one ever seemed to mention one when talking about it. I guess part of it was to do with the fact their so different in situations depending on your rooster...we'll see how our boy does.

    Seeming as how we missed some opportunities to get pullets of the breed we want, either we'll be finding laying hens or we'll be getting chicks in the spring.
    I'm able to find fertile eggs but unfortunately we don't have an incubator yet, bummer.
    Unless by some oddity were able to come across some pullets now...
    A girl can hope, right? [​IMG]
     

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