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Replacing My Roo

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Scorchedtrumpet, Nov 21, 2010.

  1. Scorchedtrumpet

    Scorchedtrumpet Hatching

    May 4, 2009
    West Mansfield, Ohio
    My rooster was just killed. I believe by a Coyote but I am not sure. He and my three hens have full roam of two acres. He was kind of an ass but I liked him and the hens seem to be lost without him. Can I replace him with an adult Roo or will that cause all kinds of turmoil? Can I replace him with a young Roo? If so How do I go about finding (sexing) a young roo?

  2. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing Premium Member

    Jan 11, 2007
    I'm sorry you lost your roo. If your hens are adults, there should be no problem introducing a new roo. How old are your girls? If they are fully mature, I wouldn't go too young with a new boy, as they will beat him up. Lots of folks looking for homes for extra roos. You shouldn't have any problem finding a new one.
  3. Scorchedtrumpet

    Scorchedtrumpet Hatching

    May 4, 2009
    West Mansfield, Ohio
    Thanks for the info. one of the girls is almost two. the other two I do not know their age but they are mature. If I introduce an adult male he will not beat up the girls?
  4. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

    Jun 11, 2010
    York PA
    I started with a mature roo in my small flock. He is a very well behaved roo and has never beat up any of the girls. In fact they were more prone to picking his feathers when I first got them. I would start with a mature roo any time since you know how they behave. Try to find a good one, there must be plenty out there with good manners just not needed for a flock. Then just introduce him to your girls slowly. There are many threads out there about quarrantine (you have to do this first or you could regret it) and then introducing a new member to the flock.
  5. artsyrobin

    artsyrobin Artful Wings

    Mar 1, 2009
    Muskogee OK
    Consider the breed too- can't recommend a brahma enough= they are called gentle giants- won't beat the hens up, won't get aggressive to people and we haven't had a hawk attack since having ours= he's not a 'pet' but i don't have to watch my back- anyway, point is, do a little research on breed and what you are looking for- also, your ratio is a bit thin of hens to rooster- that will affect how they are treated

    also check your state thread here, https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewforum.php?id=26
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2010
  6. abhaya

    abhaya Songster

    Nov 5, 2010
    cookeville, tn
    look in the adds here seems like always loys of free roos. You should be ok with an adult or young adult bird with a mature flock.
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Any time you free range, you are taking a chance something like this will happen. I'm sorry it happened to you, but it is possible the rooster died defending his girls. If a predator (coyote, dog, fox, whatever) found a meal there, it will probably be back. There is a sticky at the start of the predator section on here that may help you identify what it was by the signs it left. I feel your others are in danger unless you either change the free ranging or deal with the predator. That is not always easy. Good luck.

    If Artsyrobin's comment about the hen - rooster ratio bothers you, you might want to read this thread. I find that the personality of the hens and rooster are much more important than the hen - rooster ratio in determining how they are treated. This is another reason to get a more mature rooster since an adult is less likely to cause problems.

    Breeders managing roosters

    The dynamics of adding a mature rooster to a flock of hens without a rooster are different than other integrations. They are living animals and have different personalities, so anything can happen. I find it is usually best to just turn a mature rooster loose with the hens. Usually, he will mate with them to establish his dominance, they accept him as head rooster, and things usually get peaceful fairly fast. Sometimes a hen will strongly resist the rooster, either trying very hard to resist his efforts to mate with her or actually challenging him for flock dominance. They usually work those issues out pretty quickly, but it can get violent for a while. Sometimes the rooster is a brute and does not deserve to live. As I said, anything can happen, but usually it goes pretty smoothly.

    Quarantine is another issue. Many times people introduce a new chicken to their flock without any disease problems. Sometimes the flock gets wiped out. It is certainly a risk and certainly worth considering. Just quarantining the new chicken is not always effective. Sometimes chickens are carriers for diseases but are immune to the disease themselves. In these cases, quarantining the new chickens does absolutely no good. The symptoms will not show up no matter how long they are quarantined. I think coccidiosis is a good example, but there are others.

    Some of the times where a quarantine is effective. If they have parasites, you can catch them and treat them before you introduce them to your flock. Many people treat any new birds for mites, lice, and worms before introducing them, whether symptoms are noticable or not. If the chickens have been around other new chickens in the last month, they may have been introduced to a new disease. An example would be where the chicken came from a chicken swap or a chicken show where it was exposed to many other new chickens. But if the chicken is coming from a flock that has not had any outside exposure to other chickens for a month or more, then a quarantine by itself will probably not do much good. Some exceptions to this are if the previous owner did not recognise the symptoms so did not even know that his chickens were infected or the previous owner is unethical enough to sell a diseased chicken. Wild birds can introduce a disease to a flock at any time. There is always a risk in not quarantining. I'm not arguing that. I take these issues serious enough that I personally do not add any living chicken to my flock. I get hatching eggs and hatch them to manage this risk.

    I suggest a more effective means of quarantining is to put one of your existing chickens in with the new chickens. That way, if the new chickens have a disease they are immune to but can give to your flock, you are putting one of your chickens at risk instead of the whole flock. It is also possible that your existing flock has a disease that they are immune to and will infect the new chickens. If the new chickens come down with something and your old hen does not, this may be an indication. With three hens you may decide this is not worth the effort and you will accept the risk. That is purely a personal decision. We alll have different risk tolerances.

    Good luck however you proceed.

  8. StormyMoon

    StormyMoon Songster

    May 1, 2010
    Alvarado, TX
    When I introduced my new rooster I put him in a cage up off the ground for 30 days away from the flock but where he could see them from a distance. I also free range my chickens and lost a rooster. After the all clear and he appears healthy during the night I slipped him into the coop. In the morning when they came out they all acted as if they had always been together. I now have 7 roosters none of them fight this is how I have introduced each one. Several of my roosters are rescues and were either left to fend for them self or were about to hit the freezer cause someone couldn't have them in the city or they just had to many roosters. I love each one but only 1 is dominant and only that 1 has the hens. The others just forage roam but never fight. We are around them as long as the day is. They do really well together even pair off into 2's or roam alone. What ever you decide I have found that Light Brahmas to be very very kind. I also have a Buff orpington he is my head rooster the girls love him they follow him and forage together.

    But I love my Light Brahma Roo cause he will come sit on my lap or my shoulder when I go out to feed he has 1 girl to him self and they always go every where together. They were hatched at the same time and have just bonded together and no matter who is in the flock those 2 stay together throughout the day.

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