Please advise on typical behavior of rooster introduced to existing all-hen flock...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Henraiser, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. Henraiser

    Henraiser Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 11, 2012
    Background Info:

    I have a flock of 11 hens, 23 months old. 4 White Rocks, 5 Barred Rocks, and 2 Blue Andalusians. Up until recently, the girls had always been alone and never had a rooster with them.

    Eighteen days ago, I introduced an 11 month old Barred Rock Rooster to the flock. The rooster came from a friend of mine and the roo had been in a pen with three other roosters and no hens. He has no spurs and is slightly larger than the largest of the hens.

    Upon introduction, there was some chest bumping for the first fifteen or so minutes and then the rooster proceeded to isolate himself from the hens. When they were outside, he would go inside. If they were in one corner of the pen, he went to the other. This behavior lasted about 3 or 4 days at which time he began to eat and intermingle with the hens. Now he moves freely about with them and behaves pretty much the same as all of them do. He crows every morning and periodically during the day.

    QUESTION:

    Given the information above, when can I expect my roo to take charge and begin breeding the hens? He has shown no signs of interest in breeding them and they do not display any subservient behavior. I have a window from which I can see the pen and have watched him quite a bit and seen no frisky behavior. Also, I have checked the eggs over the last few days and none have been fertile. Is he likely to take charge as spring approaches? We are in Mississippi and the weather is beginning to warm and the days are getting longer.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 15, 2011
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    I would have thought that he would have been frisky by now. He may just need more time to court the ladies. Or it may be that being in a bachelor pad he may not have figured it out. He is acting more like a four month old then a eleven month old.
     
  3. Henraiser

    Henraiser Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 11, 2012
    I am happy to report that my new rooster, "Papi," has discovered his purpose. I just witnessed him doing the deed. Last weekend, I put an artificial light in the henhouse to come on a couple of hours early. I think that little teaser must have convinced Papi that it is spring and that he has a job to do! Hopefully in the next few days I will be seeing fertile eggs.
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    It takes time for him to earn his place in the flock. He doesn't have that top place just because he is male. With some hens, it will take longer. He'll have to earn their respect. With younger pullets it is easier for him to exert his superiority, not so with older hens.

    I've seen older hens slap a younger cockerel silly for even thinking about it. He's young, at 11 months. He won't be a true rooster or cock bird for a while yet. Little by little, if he demonstrates his maturity, he'll rise to the top and fulfill his role.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2013

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