When hens don't like a new rooster...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by RobG7aChattTN, Nov 28, 2014.

  1. RobG7aChattTN

    RobG7aChattTN Chillin' With My Peeps

    I just wanted to get a conversation started about replacing a rooster. I went looking for information a few weeks ago and didn't really find it. Just now I found a thread about how hens will bully a young rooster if he is not yet mature and that is exactly what happened. The poor boy (a young Buff Orpington) was kept with a much smaller, younger Cream Legbar rooster that matured much faster and really bullied him despite being much smaller so I finally took him out and put him in with the hens and then they bullied him. I had previously had a problem with replacing a young related rooster with an older, unrelated rooster and the hens just did not like the new rooster at all. Several months later they finally seem to be letting him mate. I've had a few fertile eggs and I have a bunch of new ones to candle so hopefully things are getting better. So it seems from my very limited experience that hens might not like a younger or an older replacement rooster. They seem to do fine with roosters that they are raised with...but these tend to be related. I also had moved some Black Stars around and they liked the Cream Legbar rooster that they were penned up with but when I put them in with my Buff Orpingtons they seemed most interested in the Black Australorp who was in the next cage and not the smaller (but same age) Buff Orpington rooster that they were caged up with. At the time the Black Australorp rooster was the dominant rooster (bigger and crowing the most). Are hens more likely to reject a rooster if there is a more dominant rooster in an adjoining pen even if they can't get in with him? I sold the Black Stars so I have no idea if they would have warmed up to the Buff Roo (who I replaced shortly after). Anyhow...I was wondering about what experiences others have had.
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    A new roo will have to work his way up to the Alpha position in the flock just like a pullet or hen would. But, he will work his way up by mating the hens. If he's experienced, he'll also charm them with his tid-bitting and dancing skills. So a young roo has a greater disadvantage. He's inexperienced at charming the ladies, and the old biddies will go to great lengths to force him to earn the right to fertilize their eggs. If they gang up on him or harm him, I'd remove him until he's a bit more mature. You could try putting him with a couple of young gals who are low on the pecking order for a while. Your experience with the Black stars and the BA is interesting. I've found, that, contrary to what "they all say", in my flock, birds of a kind DO flock together. I see similar patterned birds roosting together, and hanging out together, even to the point of disrupting last year's social pattern.
     
  3. RobG7aChattTN

    RobG7aChattTN Chillin' With My Peeps

    You know, I also noticed that my breeds seemed to like to flock together. I raised my Buffs, Black Australorps, and Wyandottes together from hatching and I kept them all together until they started to get sexually mature. It seemed like the breeds (admittedly the individual breeds were made up of related individuals) segregated themselves except for one Black Australorp pullet liked to be with the Wyandottes. I remember years ago reading an article where they were judging how quail were attracted to each other. They found that with quail that they were most attracted to a cousin, but then they would prefer a sibling to an unrelated quail. Funny, my old Buff Rooster didn't dance, tid-bit or ANYTHING but the hens squatted for him constantly and he mated more than any of my chickens. The Wyandotte rooster tid-bits like crazy but those hens would just grab the food and run. Meanwhile, the Cream Legbar roo is the only one of my roosters that I've ever seen dancing but he does it quite a bit practically stepping on his wings the whole time.
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    When my roo tries to dance, he looks like he's falling down! Remember Kramer on Seinfeld??? That's my Jack!
     
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  5. Pooman

    Pooman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When i put the roosters with the hens. I separate what hens i want to breed from the hen flock, let them establish in their new area. Then add the rooster maybe a week or so later. To be honest, while all my roosters seem to do a lot of dancing and treat finding, when it comes to mating time they dont really get the option in most cases. The Plymouth and the Orpingtons, well, they just go and mount them. only issue i have had in this regard is the indian game... He isnt nearly as fast or as agile as the others. And didnt produce well. But im going to try confinement to an open coop next time, for,a,short period next March
     
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