will my rooster kill my new chicks

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sarahbeth003, Dec 30, 2014.

  1. sarahbeth003

    sarahbeth003 In the Brooder

    Nov 5, 2014
    I have four chicks who are in my brooder that is in my garage. At my coop i have two goats, two hens and one protective rooster waiting for them. My rooster is protective of the hens, never tried to get into it with my goats, but when people come into the coop he tends to attack their feet. Now that you have a background on my rooster do you think that he will try to kill my new chick when i try to introduce them? Thanks for any imput.
  2. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator

    Aug 16, 2014
    Yorkshire, UK
    My Coop
    Yes there is a very strong possibility he will kill them. Even your existing two hens could attack and cause death to your chicks. As he already sounds quite aggressive toward things he sees as intruders in his space I would not put them him with him and your hens.

    Once your chicks are fully grown and strong you can start the introduction of them to your existing flock members. I would suggest the look and don't touch method. This is where you have them seperate by using wire or a fence so that they can see each other but can't get to each other. This therefore eliminates the risk of injury or death to your chicks. This should be done over several weeks so they get fully used to seeing each other and keeping the same company. After the several weeks you can put them together and hopefully with just a few pecking order scuffles they should get on better. Supervision should be done when they are first together incase you have to intervene if it gets too rough for the younger birds.

    Wishing you the very best of luck :fl
  3. Amina

    Amina Songster

    Jul 12, 2013
    Raleigh, NC
    I'd say you need to worry more about your hens killing them than your rooster. How old are these chicks?
    1 person likes this.
  4. RikkiMarie

    RikkiMarie In the Brooder

    I agree with the other answers here, especially if your rooster is aggressive. He is going to look at the chicks not as new members of the flock, but also a possible threat and therefore he would most likely try to defend the hen and that could result in killing the chicks. Yorkshire Coop made a really good point - once they are fully feathered, slowly introduce them using the separation method. I did that a few weeks ago with my new hen and pretty soon my other five hens don't really care to much for her!

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Hens biggest threat. I routinely introduce chicks / young birds to adult roosters with no problems. Hens are consistently aggressive towards chicks not their own. The roosters aggression towards feet is not an accurate predictor as to how he will treat new chicks.

    If no hen involved to protect chicks, then I rear without adults or with a rooster.
    2 people like this.
  6. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Even the most mannerly roos are inquisitive chaps. If you do decide to introduce the chicks to the flock by way of a secure pen inside the run so everyone gets acquainted, make certain you cover the bottom of the fencing with minimum half inch mesh screening so chicks little heads can't poke through. I had a chick get scalped by a rooster with a very inquisitive, but powerful, beak when she was poking her head through the chicken wire.

    Yes, she survived, but it took her six weeks to grow a new cap on the back of her head. It was a painful lesson, to be sure.

    I still introduce new chicks to the flock around age two weeks in a secure play pen. By four weeks, they are merging with the rest of the flock through 5" x 7" pop holes from their play pen, returning to safety when they get bullied and chased. By six weeks, they are seasoned enough to move into the coop with the adults, while still utilizing their playpen as a "panic room".
    1 person likes this.
  7. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Songster

    Jul 18, 2013
    Any time you are dealing with living things, you might have a good idea what should happen, but you can never be 100% sure. Initially I started with chickens from two sources than incubated eggs and added the chicks when feathered to the flock, and I have been pleasantly surprised.
    I had the younger birds in a chicken tractor where the others could see them and get near and eventually I would open it up with no problems.
    Another time I divided my run for a month, added a smaller coop inside it and one day took down the dividing wire. Then after a few days when they were all using the large coop, removed the smaller one. You'd never know the chickens had been introduced.
    My final introduction came late fall when I wanted all the birds in one coop for the winter. The younger ones had been in a smaller coop and run within sight of the large one. One night I carried the five over and put them in the nesting boxes.
    The older hens sorted the pecking order in their favor (Which I suspected they would), but in all the introductions the rooster was fine. He actually was the peace keeper. The hens will put younger birds in their place. The rooster hasn't.
    This year I might see if any of my broody hens will hatch eggs and then the peeps will be with the flock from the beginning.
    1 person likes this.
  8. sarahbeth003

    sarahbeth003 In the Brooder

    Nov 5, 2014
    The chicks are only 4 weeks old. Im going to wait a few more weeks to move them to the coop. I have a separate area staked out for them. I just want to be as prepared as possible!
  9. Amina

    Amina Songster

    Jul 12, 2013
    Raleigh, NC
    I have not integrated chicks that young, but I have allowed chicks that young to interact with my flock through wire. This typically results in the rooster trying to feed them goodies that he finds. Meanwhile, hens and any adolescent birds act like they want to peck them through the wire. When I finally do integrate them fully with the flock, this pattern holds. Although the rooster will occasionally put them in their place, he is mostly a gentleman with them. They had better not get too close to the hens, though. I'm glad you're going to wait a few weeks.
  10. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    Amina, it sounds like you have a wonderful rooster. I can't wait to see what my roo does when confronted with chicks.

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