Removing Hens - from a small flock with Rooster

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Labebo, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. Labebo

    Labebo New Egg

    Nov 25, 2013
    I have never had a reason to join because I have always found the answers I required from this website before I needed to ask (thank you very much for all of your informative posts and comments). But now I have a question that I can’t seem to find the answer to. I have 2 modern game hens and rooster (who I got first) and two ¾ leghorns (which I added two weeks later as pullets).
    I have had them now for 8 months and it has come to the point where the ¾’s are becoming too aggressive towards one of my modern hens (I have checked her over and poo, comb and feathers appear to be healthy and she is still friendly and energetic with us and the cats =P).
    It has been three months of this now and it is really getting to me. I know pecking order is normal but the size difference and potential damage and unhappiness concerns me. So, in my opinion, it is time to let the ¾’s find somewhere else. Either a friend might take them or the lady who I purchased them off is willing to add them back into her breeding stock.

    Ok, the questions are…
    Will my rooster miss them and more than likely become super crow-ey because of it; what are your experiences with removing hens from small flocks with roosters?
    I would like to add 3 more modern hens in replacement of the leghorn; should I do the swap at the same time; same day, removing the ¾ leghorn and a few hours later introducing the new moderns through the fence?
    Also should I do it through the fence or is it ok with moderns to put them in together straight away?
    Or should I give my 2 little hens and rooster a break before adding the noobies?

    It may be hard to give precise answers because chickens can be so individual in their nature but your experiences and advice would be greatly appreciated :)
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    I don't think that removing a couple of hens will make the rooster any more crowy, it will probably mean the two remaining hens are going to get mated more and that maybe a problem over time.
    Would you be quarantining the new hens? That would make a difference in your introduction timing, unless you can get them and have them quarantined before you place the 3/4s. If I am going to swap birds I like to remove and introduce (through a fence like you said) at the same time (if I am doing birds I already have) figure might as well upset them all at once. I don't like putting birds that don't know each other together straightaway unless they are being closely supervised for a week or so and they have plenty of space to get away, in case it doesn't go well.
  3. Labebo

    Labebo New Egg

    Nov 25, 2013
    I hadn't really thought about the quarantining part but you make a good point; it is probably a good idea either way (who knows what they might bring in..)

    Thank you very much for your thoughts on this :)

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