Will rooster harm chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by sand man, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. sand man

    sand man New Egg

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    Some time this late spring or early summer I was planning on having my hen sit on some pheasant eggs and raise them. I was also planning on buying a rooster to hopefully give my flock some protection while free roaming out of their enclosure. I was wandering if anyone had an opinion on when I should introduce the rooster to the flock as i'm a little worried about if it would kill chicks if he was new to the flock.
     
  2. tadpole98

    tadpole98 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In my opinion, you dont need a rooster to defend the flock. I also dont think it would be right to have a hen raise pheasants, they wouldnt be able to communicate. The chicks may wander off and not be able to come back because they dont understand eachother. [​IMG]
     
  3. Knittycat

    Knittycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It depends on the rooster. Some roosters will practically be a mother hen, and some roosters will see them as a threat, or a the very least an annoyance, and kill them.
     
  4. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm not sure why a chicken and pheasant wouldn't get along when chickens have raised ducks just fine??? No experience but I wouldn't presume that pheasant chicks cannot imprint on a hen.

    As for the rooster... Their behavior is too variable to take a guess. I'd suggest controlled and gradual introduction with supervision. Keeping them separate but in view will give you an idea of whether he's flaring hackles and charging or dropping food and calling. Also, be aware that people often want to unload aggressive roosters. Good roosters are valued and kept if at all possible. So, it might be difficult to find a grown rooster with good manners. Lots of cockerels out there, though, and some will grow up to be good roosters.
     
  5. tadpole98

    tadpole98 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have never actually tested that theory, but some people i have talked ot on here said it didnt work for them. [​IMG]
     
  6. barrettdrka

    barrettdrka Out Of The Brooder

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    I am having a terrible time integrating my juvenile flock in with my current laying flock. The roosters seem to protect them, but then hens attack them. They have currently killed two of the 'newbies'- and I seem to believe they were pullets.
     
  7. I would say go for it on the hen sitting on Pheasant eggs, those babies will know the hens voice before they hatch it does not matter if they speak the same or not they know her sound. I have in years past had hens sit on Goose eggs, Duck eggs Guinea Fowl eggs etc.
    Great mommas and the chicks love her no matter what species difference they are. They all know her voice and her scolding etc. No problem! As far as the Rooster they are all different and I personally would not let him around the baby chicks. You got to know your own Roosters, and then make a decision on that.
     
  8. melody123

    melody123 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your best option would be to find a rooster that was raised by a mother hen, in a flock where broody hens hatching eggs is common.

    Most people buy their chicks today as day old chicks, and the chickens never get to live in an environment with anyone bigger or smaller than they are. So of course there is a problem when you try to add a new bird to your flock. But if the birds have been socialized to understand that baby chicks are normal and part of the chicken community, then you shouldn't have any problem.

    Of course then you have to remove all waterers and put in chick waterers for everyone. Then make sure that all the feed available is okay for a baby chick (not layer pellet.)

    Btw- roosters do provide protection for the flock. I have hawks, so the roosters are a necessary. One word from them and everyone takes cover until the threat has passed.
     
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  9. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    This all depends on the rooster! I had a silkie rooster that let my babies crawl under him for warmth he always let them eat and watched over them. On the other hand had another silkie rooster who would peck the babies any time they got near and wouldn't let them eat. He eventually started spuring them! He was out of here but i don't think its a good idea generally.in case you get a rooster that wants to spur them! I was lucky with my first rooster he was very loving but i still i think that was a fluke.
     
  10. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    You should really start your own thread. But, the same gradual introduction process works for hens too. I read lots of folks recommending sneaking new additions in at night and I believed it would work for my peaceful little flock. I will never try that again. Nobody is fooled -- they'll ID the intruders the moment the sun comes up and either have an acceptable amount of pecking to let them know their place or they'll outright attack. This is certainly not behavior exclusive to roosters. Slowing the process so it is less upsetting as an invasion of their territory does help but the experience won't be entirely peaceful no matter what. This is why it's helpful if the juvies are able to run and hide. Introducing them outside of the coop (neutral territory) several times so they can establish pecking order without any cornering helps. Giving lots of hiding places and multiple food and water stations helps.

    SO, I've built a grow-out pen next to the coop so the adults will see the chicks without being able to reach them until they are ready to start ranging together. They won't move into the coop until they're accepted into the flock. I'll still have multiple food & water stations, hiding spots, plus I'm adding more roosts so nobody sleeps in nest boxes. Fingers crossed that it will go much more smoothly this time.
     

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