New rooster, broody hen

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by aadkins, May 19, 2011.

  1. aadkins

    aadkins New Egg

    Nov 6, 2010
    I have a Speckled Sussex hen who has been broody for a while. I have an Ameracauna hen who was injured by our great big Brahma rooster, who made a fine coq au vin. He was replaced a few days ago with with an Old English bantam who was getting picked on someplace else. The Ameracauna is healing well after my husband stitched her up and she has a saddle now. She and the new rooster are getting along well. My Sussex continued to brood through the drama with the other hen getting mated half to death and was sitting quietly on an egg when the new guy came around. This morning I found her feathers everywhere, the egg broken and her cowering in a corner. My husband is on his way home from work because I think she may be seriously wounded and I can't handle it.
    My question is this. Could I have predicted that the new rooster would react this way to a broody hen who is obviously not sitting on his eggs? He was in a very submissive position before and I was hoping that he would walk on the proverbial eggshells in his new home. This is my first little flock and I am very fond of my hens. Roosters on the other hand have proven to be a challenge. If Dottie (the SS) doesn't survive this hazing, what would be the best way to introduce a new hen to the run? These are my only three chickens.
    Another question is this. How soon after I introduce the rooster should I allow him to free range my yard and expect him to go back to the coop?
  2. trilyn

    trilyn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2009
    East Syracuse
    Honestly? A rooster doesn't know whose eggs the hen is sitting on, nor does he care. Also...he really needs more girls! A roo should have at least 6-8 hens to keep him happy. This may be why he bothered your broody...he wanted to mate her, whether she wanted to or not. If you are not able to add more hens...for the roo's sake, the hens and your own, you may want to rehome him where he'll have more hens to "play" with. Just a suggestion...sorry that your girls have been injured. [​IMG]
  3. aadkins

    aadkins New Egg

    Nov 6, 2010
    Thanks. My husband is currently doctoring Dottie and we have decided that we can't handle having roosters. We are both very sensitive to seeing our girls injured. I really don't know what to do with him.
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas

    I agree with Trilyn.

    I also wanted to add a few thoughts. It sounds like there's a couple of things going on here. Having a broody hen is stressful. Introducing a new flock member - hen or roo - is stressful. I can only imagine the stress of doing/having both at the same time. It's a rooster's job to come in and kinda take over the joint. One of the ways he does that is to make the hens submit to him. It's important that the hens do this, important for their survival down the road. In a predator situation, the roo needs to say "jump" and the hens need to ask "how high?"; no other questions asked. A new rooster comes in, he wants to make the hens submit right away, that's part of his job. Sounds like your fella was a little bit brutal about it; okay alot brutal. If he wasn't the dominant rooster in his former home, he probably didn't get alot of chances to practice.

    Trilyn is also correct in that it takes alot of hens to keep a rooster happy and keep the hens safe from his matings. 10 hens to a roo is good, 12 to 14 hens is even better.

    I have a couple of adult roos, one (Impy) in a coop with a few cockerels (some his, some the offsping of my other, older roo) and a couple of broody hens with chicks (some his, some the other roo's, some store bought). Trilyn is also correct here. My roo can't tell the difference between which chicks are his, which aren't. He is an excellent father to ALL of the chicks. Feeds them, watches over them, continues to care for them long after their mothers have kicked them to the curb.

    The difference between my experience and yours? My roo has already established his dominance as the flock leader long before the hens went broody and started hatching out chicks. Long before his sons started reaching maturity. The flock dynamics were in place and nobody had to get hurt.

    I'm sorry your hens were injured. I hope they can be saved. I'm also sorry your experience with roosters has been nothing but negative. I adore my roosters. Wouldn't take anything for em. I consider them worth their weight in gold for the health and well-being of my free range flocks.

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