When will my hens trust my cockerel

Ryguy3684

Here comes the Rooster
Premium Feather Member
May 29, 2020
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Fauquier County, Virginia, United States.
My flock currently consists of 1, 7 month old cockerel, 6, 1.5 year old hens, and 5 pullets of different ages. A few weeks ago, my alpha rooster, and 1 hen, died suddenly from illness. I'm waiting on necropsy on the rooster to find out the cause, but we had two other sick hens that got better when I treated for coccidiosis. But, that adventure was a different thread. Everyone is healthy now.

My roosters son is now in charge. He's not as good as his daddy, yet, but he's settling in and becoming a good leader/protector. It's been two weeks, and the pullets now follow him & let him mate. Two of the hens are fine around him, but not mating. The other 4 hens freak out whenever he comes near. I assume it's because they are molting and not willing to accept a young cockerel yet. He has been in the flock since he was 10 weeks old, although my old rooster never let him too close to his girls.

How long does it take for hens to accept a new cockerel? He's not overly aggressive towards them. Just normal pecking order/attempted mating.
 

Crazy Maizie

Crowing
Jul 3, 2020
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There's probably not going to be a concrete answer, but my cockerel is just now 5 months and the older hens are semi accepting him. He was hatched here and has been in the same area since just a few days old. I noticed that just this past week they are letting him roost with them. This morning, I saw him eating along side one of the hens that he would previously run from or she would run from him. He's a polish ... so quite quirky. 🤣
It's probably just going to take time and depends on the hens - I know one of mine will most likely protest his advances through the end of time. 😆
 

Ryguy3684

Here comes the Rooster
Premium Feather Member
May 29, 2020
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Fauquier County, Virginia, United States.
There's probably not going to be a concrete answer,
That's what I figured. I guess I was looking for reassurance that they'll settle down. My flock was completely peaceful and under control with my old rooster, so it's odd to see all the bickering now that he's gone. Considering my rooster died, my alpha hen was one of the sick, the hens going through their 18 month molt, and a horny cockerel, I should expect things to be a little chaotic. :lol:
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
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Feb 2, 2009
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In many ways this sounds normal but with a slight twist. There is always some type of twist.

the pullets now follow him & let him mate.
With pullets and a somewhat young cockerel that's not that unusual. With mine, there is usually a phase where he chases them and they run from him and the old rooster ignores all this but at a certain level the pullets and the cockerel settles down. Are your pullets laying? Sometimes the pullets skip the molt their first fall/winter and keep laying.

Two of the hens are fine around him, but not mating. The other 4 hens freak out whenever he comes near.
It's not unusual for some of my adult hens to accept a cockerel before other adults do. The part where some run and some don't isn't unusual. It's kind of strange that he is not trying to mate with those two but that may be a good sign. A good rooster should not mate that much with a hen that isn't laying and if they are molting they should not be laying. He may not be quite as hormonal as many cockerels.

How long does it take for hens to accept a new cockerel? He's not overly aggressive towards them. Just normal pecking order/attempted mating.
I once had a cockerel take command of a flock including older hens at 5 months of age, no real drama. I had one wait until 11 months to take over and that one had some serious drama. Each time it is different but many of my cockerels can take over a flock of older hens at around 7 months old with no mature rooster around. There can be drama before that, usually is, but at some point the drama pretty much stops. I'm convinced the personalities of the hens has a lot to do with that.

You may still see some issues, it's not totally over, but it sounds like you got a bit lucky. Sometimes it is this easy. Enjoy it, the next time could be a total mess.
 

Ryguy3684

Here comes the Rooster
Premium Feather Member
May 29, 2020
773
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Fauquier County, Virginia, United States.
Are your pullets laying? Sometimes the pullets skip the molt their first fall/winter and keep laying.
Yes, the pullets are all still laying. They're only 6 & 9 months old, so they'll probably continue laying this fall.
It's kind of strange that he is not trying to mate with those two but that may be a good sign. A good rooster should not mate that much with a hen that isn't laying and if they are molting they should not be laying. He may not be quite as hormonal as many cockerels.
He is a good boy, so that doesn't surprise me. His papa was a great rooster. That's why we kept one of his offspring. We wanted to make sure we had genetics on our side. He wasn't protective while the big rooster was alive, but I think it was because he didn't have to be. The last couple weeks, he's been doing a great job looking out and transforming into the alpha.

You may still see some issues, it's not totally over, but it sounds like you got a bit lucky. Sometimes it is this easy. Enjoy it, the next time could be a total mess.

I'm considering myself pretty lucky now. I'm not surprised there's pecking order issues considering all that has happened to disrupt the flock the last few weeks, but overall it's not too bad.
 

Shadrach

Roosterist
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Jul 31, 2018
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My Coop
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My flock currently consists of 1, 7 month old cockerel, 6, 1.5 year old hens, and 5 pullets of different ages. A few weeks ago, my alpha rooster, and 1 hen, died suddenly from illness. I'm waiting on necropsy on the rooster to find out the cause, but we had two other sick hens that got better when I treated for coccidiosis. But, that adventure was a different thread. Everyone is healthy now.

My roosters son is now in charge. He's not as good as his daddy, yet, but he's settling in and becoming a good leader/protector. It's been two weeks, and the pullets now follow him & let him mate. Two of the hens are fine around him, but not mating. The other 4 hens freak out whenever he comes near. I assume it's because they are molting and not willing to accept a young cockerel yet. He has been in the flock since he was 10 weeks old, although my old rooster never let him too close to his girls.

How long does it take for hens to accept a new cockerel? He's not overly aggressive towards them. Just normal pecking order/attempted mating.
Anywhere between six months to a year ime.
 

Jenessa_096

Songster
Jul 14, 2021
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Molalla, Oregon
I’m also following this thread because, I have a 5 month old rooster. So far he has been the boss of his flock but not of the big girls. I have three flocks. One that is 1-2 years old. One that is seven months old, and one that is 5 months old. He is a bantam though so maybe it we’ll take him longer? Even though I have other bantam hens? I wanted to hatch some eggs from my bantam hen Lucky which is in the 7 month old flock. When do you think her eggs will be fertile? She started laying less than a month ago!
 

Ryguy3684

Here comes the Rooster
Premium Feather Member
May 29, 2020
773
1,367
236
Fauquier County, Virginia, United States.
I’m also following this thread because, I have a 5 month old rooster. So far he has been the boss of his flock but not of the big girls. I have three flocks. One that is 1-2 years old. One that is seven months old, and one that is 5 months old. He is a bantam though so maybe it we’ll take him longer? Even though I have other bantam hens? I wanted to hatch some eggs from my bantam hen Lucky which is in the 7 month old flock. When do you think her eggs will be fertile? She started laying less than a month ago!
I usually wait a few months after first laying, so that the eggs are bigger. My pullets are usually fertile from the time they start laying, but my rooster might be more randy than the average rooster. :D. I have a couple pullet eggs in the incubator now, and that pullet is 9 months old. Most of the time you can tell if an egg is fertile when it's cracked. Image search the bullseye on a fertile egg and you'll be able to tell. A hen/pullet usually stays fertile for a couple weeks once they are properly mated.
 

Jenessa_096

Songster
Jul 14, 2021
1,047
1,953
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Molalla, Oregon
I usually wait a few months after first laying, so that the eggs are bigger. My pullets are usually fertile from the time they start laying, but my rooster might be more randy than the average rooster. :D. I have a couple pullet eggs in the incubator now, and that pullet is 9 months old. Most of the time you can tell if an egg is fertile when it's cracked. Image search the bullseye on a fertile egg and you'll be able to tell. A hen/pullet usually stays fertile for a couple weeks once they are properly mated.
I’ve never hatched eggs in an incubator so I wanted to hatch some of my own eggs first before buying them online. I’ll try to get a picture of her egg when it’s cracked! Thanks for the advice!🙂🐔🐥🐣
 

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