New Rooster While Brooding

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Anuthatch, May 6, 2016.

  1. Anuthatch

    Anuthatch Out Of The Brooder

    87
    5
    33
    Apr 17, 2014
    Saratoga County, NY
    HI, I did some searches but couldn't find any commentary or advice on adding a new adult rooster to a flock with a brooding hen.

    I know quarantine issues & I know introducing new chickens but what I don't know is if it puts greater risk on the brooding hen to add a healthy adult rooster while she is sitting on eggs. Is it better to wait until after she's hatched and the chicks are well grown? I'm hoping to get a few chicks here and that is my priority.

    My chickens free range and our roo got foxed. That fox is no longer an issue. We like the benefits a roo brings to the flock.

    Advice? Thanks much!
     
  2. chicklover 1998

    chicklover 1998 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,615
    99
    118
    Sep 30, 2015
    Oskaloosa,Ia
    I would say to hold off until the chicks are about a week at least, just so there is no chance that he will try to break the eggs.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    36,603
    10,281
    686
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Boy, that's toughie.......could go either way.
    Would probably be best to wait until chicks are a week or so old.
    Is the broody separated or just in one of the nest in the coop?
    Is the cock a full grown, well adjusted, adult with no aggression problems?
    He may know that she's brooding and leave her alone....or may need to dominate her along with the rest of the girls.
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,451
    3,564
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Agree with this.

    How far along is the hen in her brood?

    I usually advise to leave the hen with the flock, but in this case it may be worthwhile to try to move her and bring the new guy in. I have had roosters try to breed hens that were brooding, and I've had roosters that ignored broody hens and totally avoided them. Just can't say which way your new guy might go. I agree if you have the set up for it, to pull her out and then put her and the chicks back in once they're out and about. He and momma might still tangle a bit, but at least the chicks will be big enough to scatter.
     
  5. Anuthatch

    Anuthatch Out Of The Brooder

    87
    5
    33
    Apr 17, 2014
    Saratoga County, NY
    Thank you, all who responded. Based on what you are saying and what my gut tells me I think I'll just hold off on introducing a new roo for now.

    I have one broodie who has been sitting a week today. But some complications and drama on Saturday of first time broodie and me trying to get her zoned off by herself (i.e. messing around ) and now I'm not sure her eggs will be viable. She's sitting again in her spot of choice in the main coop and I'm not wanting to push my luck anymore. I've got one more who I think is on the verge of sitting and she is in a totally different but safe location of her choosing.

    I suspected there was not an easy answer or guarantee but I was hoping differently mostly because I like the idea of a roo protecting the babies. Do you think week old chicks are reasonably safe for a well socialized not too dominant roo has never had chicks in his flock?

    Thanks again!
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,451
    3,564
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    None of my roosters have ever been aggressive to chicks. Most all of them have been raised in a multi-generational flock themselves, so that may have something to do with it, I don't know. But they seem to have an innate protective instinct toward the littles, they don't see them as a threat. Even the little cockerels, my guys have been fine with them until they're a few months old. My mature rooster is usually more tolerant of the new chicks than the other hens in the flock are.

    I will be testing a newer rooster, I think. One of my Marans hens is thinking about brooding, and I don't really want to move her. She's in a breeding pen so space is a bit tight, and the rooster is new to me. He was raised in a same-age flock, so we'll see how he does. I may have to move her when the babies hatch, but I strongly prefer they're raised in a flock environment. This is where we wish there were absolutes, but you have to stay fluid and make changes for your individual birds and set-up.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by