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Introducing a young rooster to a flock of hens  RSS feed

 
James Freyr
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Location: Middle Tennessee
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So this evening I'm picking up a 5 month old rooster from my neighbor. I currently have 13 hens ranging from 1.5 to 3 years old. I've been looking on the internets for information on how to go about introducing the ladies to their new boss and some folks suggest sticking the rooster in with the hens at night and let them wake up together. Some recommend just tossing him in there whenever, let them sort it out. Some say put up some fence in between them so they can see each other but not interact and then remove the fence after a few days. I've done the fence/quarantine thing before when adding young 4 week old chicks to an established flock, but am not sure if it's necessary for a near adult rooster who can fend for himself. Does anyone have any practical experience having done this before and have any suggestions? Many thanks in advance!!
 
Jim Fry
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Location: Stone Garden Farm Richfield Twp., Ohio
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We add various farm rescue roosters to our flock all the time. We keep our hens confined to the run and coop until early afternoon, so they know where to lay their eggs. We let them out the rest of the day to free range. We add the roosters any time , but prefer to confine him with the chickens when they are confined, so he gets a better idea where he belongs, instead of just letting him loose out on the farm. We've never had a problem introducing roosters to hens. They both know what to do. ...We do (very rarely) get a mean rooster. Mean never lasts long.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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I have to agree with Jim, in the overall view point it is more about what makes you comfortable in this case, the rooster and hens won't really care that much.

Redhawk
 
James Freyr
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Location: Middle Tennessee
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Great! I'm pitchin' him over the fence when I bring him home! I'll report back tonight or tomorrow to let those interested know how it went.
 
James Freyr
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Alright so I brought rooster home this morning and of course nothing went as I had anticipated, which is always my case in life. We named him Drumstick, and in the fenced area he went. All the hens were intrigued, wondering who this stranger is. He crowed a couple times, and that's the last I heard him crow all day. The hen at the bottom of the pecking order I guess decided she needed someone to pick on so why not the new guy. She pecked and chased him for a few seconds, and for the most part Drumstick spent the day by himself away from the ladies. And he likes to fly over the fence, but luckily he's easy to catch so I was able to scoop him up and put him back in, four times. The last time he flew over the fence was at dusk with all the ladies already roosting, so I scooped him up and put him in the coop and closed the door. He eventually walked up the ramp and went inside. Interestingly he showed little interest in the hens, perhaps because of his ride home in the back of my pickup this morning and being displaced and in new surroundings. Maybe tomorrow he'll act more like a rooster.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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I would expect it to take the guy about 3 days to establish himself with you hens.
First he has to get over the trama (about a day for a chicken usually) then he has to start getting to know the hens once that's done he will take over or he may be a passive rooster.
Once a week has gone by, you will know if he is the boss or a passive.
Roos that come from a place where they weren't the dominant rooster will take more time to establish themselves as the rooster, this is because they were lower on the rooster pecking order previously.

Redhawk
 
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