Rooster an issue in introducing new girls?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by aryanromo, Jul 3, 2016.

  1. aryanromo

    aryanromo New Egg

    Jul 3, 2016
    We have a rooster (unknown breed - given 18mo ago as a bizarre gift to my husband) and a Specked Sussex that we took over from a friend who was unable to keep her. Happy chicken couple. 4mo ago, she clutched & went broody. At 22 days, nothing was fertile, but hubby & daughters really wanted to see the Speckled (Veronica) raise chicks (yes, I know we waited way long). We went to the local feed store & bought 4 day old chicks & tried a swap out. No luck. Veronica didn't fall for it. She attacked the chicks & abandoned the best.
    So, the chicks went in a brooder.
    We started introducing them 4 weeks ago, when it was warm enough, in a controlled situation.
    They're 8 weeks now, and I want them out of the playroom, but whenever we try to get them together, the rooster goes crazy & attacks - even when placing them in the coop after dark. He tries to chase them out of the yard, too.
    Suggestions? What are we doing wrong?
  2. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 25, 2015
    Your gonna just have to make a set up for the chicks and let the others see,but not touch.We they are about 3 1/2 months old,try putting em in there.
  3. aryanromo

    aryanromo New Egg

    Jul 3, 2016

    We've done that. The chicks go into one part of the coop every day - a place where it's safe. The rooster goes crazy. He paces back and forth, he charges the fencing.
    We've also tried free-ranging them in the backyard (which is what the hen & roo do all day) and he tries to chase them away.
    Do they just not look enough like girls yet?
  4. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    You do have a problem. Usually roosters behave neutrally with chicks. This problem can be headed off by brooding chicks alongside adults in coop or run so they are accepted as flock members from the very beginning. But it's too late for that in your case.

    Now you will need to slowly get the chicks and adults acquainted and used to being all one flock. A lot depends on the self confidence of the chicks. You can help them get this confidence by providing them with a panic room, a refuge where they can go to be safe from the adult chickens. Food and water are placed in this enclosure that has entrances (more than just one is recommended) that adults can't get through. I make mine 5 x 7 inches. To see how I set this up in my run, read my article on outdoor brooding linked below my post.

    This affords the chicks the ability to learn the pecking order but still have a safe place in which to relax from it. I prefer these panic rooms to be in the run where the chickens spend most of the day. After about a week of the chicks learning how to use the panic room, you can then move them into the coop to live and sleep. They will generally be safe enough at night since everyone is more interested in sleeping than causing mayhem.

    Getting the chicks to go into the coop at night on their own with a hostile adult chicken present may be a challenge, but you and the chicks will overcome obstacles as they pop up as the process unfolds. We'll help.

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