Old roo with young pullets?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Banriona, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. Banriona

    Banriona Chillin' With My Peeps

    I currently have five pullets and 1 cockerel that are six weeks old. I recently was gifted a roo that is 16 wks old that is currently in quarantine. Is it safe to introduce him to the girls in just 3 weeks (when the girls are 9ish wks) or will he hurt them? I'm assuming that since they are so young he won't try to breed them. Am I wrong?
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2013
  2. Banriona

    Banriona Chillin' With My Peeps

    Anyone?? Just need to know if I should expect more than the pecking order reconfiguring or if I should wait until the younger ones are a little more grown out. I am totally new at this chicken keeping thing and want to make any transitions as smooth as possible.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2013
  3. Jrose

    Jrose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not really that knowledgable about roosters, but I just recently introduced a 3 month old rooster to my 1yr+ girls. He immediately tried to dominate them. I let the girls tussle with him and beat him up a bit first, then stepped in and harassed him myself. Poked him, grabbed at him, chased him around. At one point on that first day he was getting seriously rough so I snatched him up by the ankles and incapacitated him for a minute before letting him go again. I guess I kinda claimed the hens as mine, not his. It took two days for him to settle down and back off, and it was probably 3 weeks before he tried to breed again, and this time the girls were okay with it so I didn't intervene. Don't know if that helps, but I think you can put your own own beak in the pecking order there to help keep the peace!
     
  4. Banriona

    Banriona Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks for your reply! He and I already "had a chat" about who is head of the flock and he seems to accept that it's me so far. But right now he is by himself so not much challenge going on. Sounds like if I just repeat the process if any problems arise during introduction things will be fine.? I spose I'm more worried about the younger roo than the girls.

    The plan is to give the older roo and 2-3 of the pullets to a friend but it will be 3-6 months before he's ready for them. I want the roo to get to know "his" girls before they go so that they'll all transition together. I don't want to have to maintain two coops/runs any longer than necessary. Plus he just seems lonely. Do chickens even get lonely?
     
  5. Jrose

    Jrose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hopefully someone here will correct me if I'm wrong, but I would think that if you consistently corrected any dominance from the roosters they should fall under you in the pecking order. They may have squabbles between them to establish their own hierarchy, but if there's no bloody battle I would think you'd be fine letting them sort it out.
     
  6. Banriona

    Banriona Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hope so! Thanks again for your reply. I'm sure I'm worrying over nothing, but then if I didn't worry I wouldn't care and then what's the point?
     
  7. SSAcres

    SSAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Here's how it worked w/ our flock. We had an older established flock of 9, 8 pullets and 1 cockerel (the big boy in my avatar.) This spring we bought 16 chicks. The older ones just turned a 1 year old last month. We gradually introduced the babies during free range time, as they're much faster and could easily run and hide under cover if need be. They were right around 6 weeks old and very tired of being in the brooder (flying out all the time.) They had their feathers and were around 3lbs. Old enough, big enough and protected enough to be introduced.

    It was a complete NON issue!! For the longest time the older ones completely ignored them and they stayed in two groups when foraging. I was also feeding them seperately. After a few days the babies started mingling in w/ the older ones until they became one large group.... safety in numbers type of thing. The cockerel would eat w/ them and not pick on them at all. The older girls did pick on them some while feeding and drinking, occasional head peck saying "that's mine, get away" and the babies learned quickly to stay clear of them while eating and drinking.

    The older ones are now over a year old and the babies will be six months old on the 14th. They've been together since the end of May. They're one big happy family and get along fine doing anything at the same time now. Even when I hand out treats. They all share or take turns.

    As for breeding. My babies are little hussies. They squat in front of the rooster, like 3-4 at a time sometimes, and he completely ignores the poor girls. I think he's racist!! The babies are black and he and his girls are white w/ black. LOL These are all LF, as well. The rooster is 3x bigger than my baby girls. I'd be afraid he'd squish them.

    Good luck and HTH.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2013
  8. Banriona

    Banriona Chillin' With My Peeps

    T

    Thank you!!
     
  9. Jrose

    Jrose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My buff orpington rooster will breed my NH Red hens, but completely ignore my pheonix and auricana.
     
  10. SSAcres

    SSAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    You're welcome Banriona!

    Interesting Jrose. We aren't the only ones w/ a picky rooster. :)
     

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