Rooster with younger girls

cindy99

Songster
9 Years
Jul 7, 2010
337
0
109
Tioga County PA
Last week I tried letting Henry (Golden Comet - 6 months old) outside into my yard with the girls (B.O.'s - 4 months old - there are 8 of them) and he was a nervous wreck running from one to the next trying to jump on them. The girls were scared and I was upset so everyone got seperated again. Right now Henry only has Snowflake (she is his age - raised together) for female company.

Today I let Henry outside again with the girls. He did great! He followed them - watched them - and when Snowflake went off to the side yard so did he! He didn't seem so frantic today.
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I am hoping to have them all together soon!

Right now they are sharing a large coop but they are seperate by a wall made out of chicken fence. It has been this way for months and I am getting tired of switching them around all of the time. They are allowed to roam the yard when I am home so I have to switch them to be fair. Half the day it is Henry & Snowflake outside in the yard and the other half of the day the girls are out. The ones that are in the fenced chicken pen always act like they are being punished for something.
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Or maybe that is just how I feel... LOL

I have been going through all the posts on how to put them together. I am just scared to do it.
 

gryeyes

Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers
10 Years
Sep 22, 2009
15,506
430
358
My slice of heaven in Somerset, CA
The establishment of the pecking order is far more stressful to us people than it is to the chickens, for whom it is merely nature at work. Chickens simply have to have a pecking order.

I think what you've done so far is a perfect set up to start integrating your girls full time. I bet the worst that will happen is some minor pecking, maybe a feather plucked here or there, a few squawks, and your rooster gettin' all randy with the new members of his harem.

That's nature. Makes ME cringe every time they go through it, sure, but the more you delay it or muck with it, the longer it takes.

Hope this helps you get up the gumption to let nature take its course. Just be around to check for any actual blood-letting - which I SERIOUSLY doubt will occur. You've already laid the groundwork for a good integration!
 

cindy99

Songster
9 Years
Jul 7, 2010
337
0
109
Tioga County PA
I tried them all together again while I was outside working. Henry does ok - he does sneak up and jump on them but worse than that - Snowflake pecks them in the face while he has them pinned down!
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Should I try letting them out with only one of the older chickens instead of both?

edited to add that this is very stressful! I am so worried
 
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sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 3, 2009
123,226
371,510
2,027
New Jersey
They are chickens. This is what they do. You can wait until the hens become more mature to integrate them, but there will always be an unfavorable initial interaction.
 

gritsar

Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
13 Years
Nov 9, 2007
28,906
336
661
SW Arkansas
Is anyone drawing blood? If not, I've found it's best to walk away. Chickens can be cruel, as last in the human sense of the word, but to them it's a pecking order. As they get older and everyone not only knows their place, but is smart enough to stay in it, it gets better...honest. As for the rooster matings, they are never pretty; but as the roo gets older and more experienced, they too get better. Heck I've seen my adult roo mate a hen he's grown up with and she never dropped the piece of bread she was holding onto.
 

Tropical Chook

Songster
9 Years
Jul 5, 2010
283
10
101
Let them all out together and walk away. They really do know what they're doing, and they prefer sorting such matters out between themselves, and without our help. You roo will slot into his role and order will be established.
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WisconsinChickenWhisperer

Songster
9 Years
Jul 25, 2010
191
0
117
Webster, Wisconsin
Well, I had gotten a 6 month old roo and integrated him in with my not quite 4 month old girls: let me tell ya, it wasn't pretty! But, I only interferred one time-when the rooster was literally grabbing the girls by the neck feathers and throwing them off of the roost. Then I got the idea to make him his own roost higher up above the existing one. He roosted up there by himself for about a week, and then one day I went out to lock up the coop, and lo and behold, 2 of the girls were roosting with him! Trust me, it gets better! Recently, I had to rehome the 6 month old roo, as I discovered that one of my "girls" was really a boy, and there was no way I could have 2 roo's crowing all the time! This triggered the start of a new pecking order dispute, and I am sure that once my young unintentional roo matures, another dispute will begin again. I just walk away and plug my ears now. It's much better that way.
 

cindy99

Songster
9 Years
Jul 7, 2010
337
0
109
Tioga County PA
Will all of this change how the girls act? Right now they are so snuggly and love to be held. I don't want them to be nervous all the time and run from people.

I know that I don't have a choice - I need to put them together. I am just having trouble with both Henry AND Snowflake being mean to them and at the same time!
 

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