We have a flock of 7 laying hens just over a year old. We added 6 more chicks in April all were supposed to be female, but the SS has turned out to be a roo. At 14 wks, he has just started crowing. We decided if he isnt too noisy, and isnt overly aggressive with us or the girls he could be a good addition to the flock. Though I do have vivid memories of the many foot races I had with my grandmothers rooster when I would try to collect eggs. Both old and new chickens are together with no real problems though the hens are still dominant and none of the younger ones have challenged their authority. Even though they are together, the young flock pretty much stays to itself. So as a new and somewhat reluctant roo owner, I have some questions about roos: 1. At what age do roos normally start trying to mate and will he go after his brooder buddies first before challenging the hens? 2. Is there anything DH and I can do to help ensure he doesnt become a meanie? We treat him the same as the others, offering treats etc. He has never been handled a lot because after about 4wks of age, he decided being a lap chicken was not his thing. He will eat out of our hand though. 3. At what age do they start acting protective toward the flock? Right now, he is the first at the treat bowl and will peck some of the pullets kind of hard at times for no apparent reason. Any other advice and/or info is appreciated.