temporarily separating a rooster

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by lablover, Oct 12, 2013.

  1. lablover

    lablover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I will soon be introducing 2 pullets into a flock of 7 laying hens. I believe that the introduction will go smoother if the rooster is not around to scare the pullets, since he will be more interested in them than the hens will be. Is it ok to separate him for a few days while the hens get used to each other? Some of the older hens have bare backs, so it would do them good to have him away for a while.
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    It would depend upon the temperament of the rooster involved. Some roosters actually make integration easier by breaking up 'hen fights'.
     
  3. lablover

    lablover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, he does that with the established flock, but when new pullets are introduced, he sometimes drives them off. I know that some people would say he shouldn't be the rooster of the flock then, but other than integrating new ones, he's perfect.
     
  4. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How do you do your Integrations? That may have some influence on how the rooster reacts to the new pullets and the pullets react to him.
     
  5. lablover

    lablover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are separated by a fence until the pullets learn where to roost in their coop (if I've gotten them at an older age vs. raising them from chicks) Then I just turn them all lose while free ranging. The pullets chose where to sleep for the first few nights. Once the aggression has gone down, I lock the pullets in the big coop, and that's that. During this time, they are completely terrified of the rooster.
     
  6. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think that with the method you use it, it does come down to the way the rooster reacts to the pullets. He seems to be one to chase them till they submit to him type. Separating him won't stop him from doing that when he is put back. It will however allow the pullets to become part of the hens pecking order without his distracting them. Either in or out they will have to go through the period where their newness to him wears off. I think you'll just have to accept that. One thought has occurred to me is that roosters generally ignore a pullet who is not near sexual maturity yet, say twelve to fourteen weeks. If you could introduce them during that period he may well leave them alone and be easier on them when they do mature.
     
  7. lablover

    lablover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yep, you've got him figured right. Separating him will definitely let them get settled with the other hens easier, I just hope he doesn't stress out too much. The last pullets I added were about that age, but he still chased them off and caused them to be pretty skittish even with the other hens once they had gotten used to the pullets.

    I actually went for the introduction today, but with a different approach. I don't trust the new ones yet to free range, so I added one hen at a time to the large run. Starting with the nicest, and adding the top hens last. It went very well, and the pullets remained calm. At dusk, I ushered all of the hens in the coop ( a dog kennel coop ) including the pullets. They roosted on a separate roost, but I think it went well. I know there will still be some pecking, but it was much easier without the roo ( who had already been separated into a small coop)
     
  8. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hope it continues to go well.
     

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