new young rooster

Herne13

In the Brooder
May 31, 2016
6
1
34
Our rooster recently went to the great beyond (RIP Gentleman Hank, you served us well) and we acquired a new, quite young (9 weeks old) rooster. He is 3/4 American Bresse and 1/4 Rhode Island Red. He is now a bit older than 12 weeks and we were wondering if it was time to let him hang out with the girls? They hens range between 9 month and up to 3 or so years old with one exception of our matronly hen (Big Mamma) who is not much even in the pecking order anymore. most are under 2. Bobby (the new rooster) has been kept in a smaller pen, one normally used as a maternity ward, so has had daily exposure to the girls (which there are 11 of but two seldom breed, Big Mama and our Silky) and all of have checked him out and few try to peck at him anymore. I am mildly worried about introducing him because of the rule of pairs and am concerned he will get the tar beat out of him. So, i turn to y'alls for advice and experiences. Is 12 weeks too soon? He is of decent size, as in as tall, if not taller, than the hens but lacks in girth a bit still. Recent picture attached.
 

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Epiphany

In the Brooder
Jan 7, 2018
23
26
49
Washington
What a lovely rooster!
If your girls are allowed to free range once in a while, one good way to make the introduction easier on him would be to let them all out into the yard together, where he'll have a chance to get away from the worst of the heckling but they can also mingle.
Since he looks like a good sturdy guy, I wouldn't worry about too much damage being done to him, but it's still a good thing to keep in mind if you think your girls would gang up on him.
He's going to have to work his way in at some point, however, so if he seems healthy and sturdy, I think that it's not too soon.
Everyone has their own opinion about this, though, and in the end it really is up to you- he seems like he has a nice little spot right now, so if it truly worries you, there's no harm in giving him another week or two.
Epiphany
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
11 Years
Nov 12, 2009
9,268
12,428
636
western South Dakota
It is a trade off, and he is apt to take a thump or two, but I think it makes for a bit better roosters.

I would make sure there are hide outs in the run, and roosts, so he could get away from them.

I put mine in, when he was about 4 months old, maybe 5. They didn't let him roost for two weeks, he sat on the bench below them. But he is the boss now.

But I am not big on separating chickens. And all roosters are a crap shoot.

Mrs K
 

Ebony Rose

Crowing
12 Years
May 26, 2009
2,500
5,643
471
David, Chiriquí, Panama
Since he's been in a look but don't touch living situation with them, I'd try integrating as suggested... hideouts and such... He's at a good age to mind your older hens, and before full-blown puberty, making your pullets higher in pecking order too... Probably the perfect time to integrate him.
 

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