Rooster Cohabitation -- What is possible?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by govega, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. govega

    govega In the Brooder

    Nov 7, 2008
    Allentown NJ
    Hi everyone

    Our baby chicks are about 1 month old (white auruacanas) and they are doing quite well. From what we can ascertain, we believe that we have one rooster and two hens. They are currently still in a brooding box indoors.

    Outside our flock consists of seven hens and one rooster, Billy Bad Ass. Billy was the last bird we got, about two months ago.

    We have an option of expanding our coop and we could either segregate our new hens and rooster or not. However, if we do not have to segregate them, it would be much easier and the pens would be more fairly distributed.

    My question is, is it possible to introduce a new young rooster into an established flock, or will he get killed? If I can attempt to integrate them together, what are the methods of determining aggression? Billy Bad Ass has his spurs cut off. I believe the auruacanas are going to be bantams.

    Any suggestions, or cautions, please let me know. I have never tried this before and don't know if it will work.

  2. The young rooster will be seen as an intruder by BBA (I love the name [​IMG] ) more than likely. If you do try to keep them together, the young rooster MUST have room to get away from BBA. If BBA is standard size and the new rooster is a bantam, BBA is really going to have the advantage, at least for a while.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2009
  3. lilchick

    lilchick Songster

    May 23, 2008
    Williamsport In.
    I have put a roo into the flock and let them work it out. Some fights and chasing but usually settle down pretty quickly...
    My favorite way is to place the roo in a cage right in their barn. Feed and water and keep an eye on him for stress levels..
    The rest of the flock will get used to him and after a few days you let him loose and watch how they act.
    It helps to have a place for him to hide or get up on for escape!

    Mine get along well in the winter but when Spring comes they usually start the fighting and chasing around the yard.
    Rarely do I have a serious injury. I have a small barn called the Bachelor Barn and there's not a hen in sight!

    hope this info helps you.....[​IMG]
  4. Good question govega. From my experience with gamefowl, I`m gonna clear this up for you. Most of my chicks have been penned with a mature cock after they were weened by their mother. The cock will act as a policeman and prevent any serious fighting among the males. The theory is, if anyone is gonna whip butt it`s gonna be the big guy. Just about 5 months of age I remove the pullets and leave all males in with the cock. In this method, all males can be kept peacefully with the cock until about 8-9 months old.

    I`m telling you this to show you that the cock and cockeral as well as the pullets will be fine together.

    The major problem is gonna be the older hens. They will run the younger ones ragged unless you have plenty, as in PLENTY, of room for them to escape their tormenters. The hens will chastize both male and female youngsters. Peace will happen when the old girls tire of the game and go about their business. They will always assert their position in the pecking order. Can`t say how long that may take. Could be weeks. Just make sure there is plenty of escape room.
  5. govega

    govega In the Brooder

    Nov 7, 2008
    Allentown NJ
    Thanks, these are all great thoughts and will help us sort out our situation. Thankfully, there is plenty of pen space.... there are several "rooms" with doors into the next pen and then next, and the pens almost run the length of my property (1/2 long).

    I really like the idea of putting the new cockerel in the general coop or next to the coop in it's own cage.

    As it stands now, we have a shed converted to a coop, with about the back 1/3 penned off to be the coop, the middle area storage and human walking around room, but with one side that we can convert upwards and make our coop actually L-shaped. What I think we will do is construct the side coop with a temporary wire between that and the main coop, stick the new peeps in there (when they are ready, in about another month) and let them all check out and look at each other for a while. When they seem to be adjusted and have sniffed each other out, we will try to integrate them on a long weekend when we can watch them all. They already have a very specific pecking order.

    And like I said, I think we have plenty of room. I think I feel a lot better now.


  6. dave_Cash69

    dave_Cash69 Songster

    Feb 15, 2009
    alot of it depends on BBA's temprament.
  7. estpr13

    estpr13 Songster

    May 18, 2008
    Lexington, Ky
    As young as they are you might have more problems with the old hens rather than the roo. I have introduced new chicks to the flock by putting the chicks into a small tractor in the middle of the ranging flock and let them get use to seeing each other.

    Then after a couple of weeks (or less), I'd let the chicks out only while I was there to protect them. There will be some head pecking by the older birds but eventually the young ones will prefer their company.

    Then when they seem to be accepting each other leave them alone for the day. Eventually the young ones will go into the coop and spend the night with the older ones. Until then keep rounding them up and bringing them back inside where it is warm.

    Do head counts because some may run and hide after being pecked on and not be in the coop or the tractor.
  8. govega

    govega In the Brooder

    Nov 7, 2008
    Allentown NJ
    Quote:Well, BBA does a lot of chest puffing and strutting around, but it is mostly show. He is very good with the hens but a very good protector, he sounds the alarm all day long, when we come out of the house, when our dogs dog, even when he hears a loud noise sometimes. But he has never pecked at anything, including us. And we try to handle our chickens and even pick him up and pet him and try to give him love, which I don't think he dislikes.

    As we bought him as an adult, I don't know how much handling he had before, except to say that the man we bought him off of appears to handle most of his hens and roos daily.

    I love the ideas I am getting on this situation, keep them coming :)


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