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#75159 - 08/01/03 03:05 PM Introducing a new roo to an established flock with an older roo.
Larissa Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 06/09/03
Posts: 174
Loc: Oregon
Now that I have established that one of my chicks is in fact positively a cockerel (thanks to the feedback from other coop forum members), I will soon need to send him away to my mom who lives in the country. According to law, you can't have roosters living in Portland, Oregon city limits.

My mom has a large coop and run with 12 laying hens of varioius breeds and one mixed breed rooster who she and my aunt found living in the woods a few years back.

My concern is with the introduction of my RI cockerel to his new home and flock. My plan is to wait until he is almost fully grown or begins to crow (god forbid--my neighbor will not be happy if the crowing starts early) . I am mostly concerned with not knowing whether or not he will fight with the established rooster, who is rather small, or at least will be smaller once the RI is grown.

As far as temperment, I know that my mom's rooster is very gentle and has never attacked or shown any aggressive behavior towards people or otherwise. My Lucille (still haven't decided on a new name) though still young is also a very tame and gentle little fellow but definitely the top chicken in his current home.

Not having had the experience of putting two roos together I'd like some advice as to how and when to make this introduction. Two roosters can live together without fighting....can't they?

Also, I've red various things about when cockerels start to crow. 16 to 20 weeks is what it seems to be. Is this correct?

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#75160 - 08/01/03 06:00 PM Re: Introducing a new roo to an established flock with an older roo.
Rob2 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 03/28/03
Posts: 3068
Loc: Pennsylvania
Take the easy way out, get rid of 1 of them, they will fight.

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#75161 - 08/01/03 07:21 PM Re: Introducing a new roo to an established flock with an older roo.
Anonymous
Unregistered


Two roosters for 12 hens should be ok. Have her watch for over-breeding. I would introduce him as early as possible. That way he won't be sexually active when he first gets there, and the rooster shouldn't care as much about him. The original rooster will be dominant until he (the rir) gets bigger then the original rooster. At that time there will probably be a squabble, but it shouldn't be too bad, as by then they will know each other. That's what I would do.

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#75162 - 08/02/03 11:11 AM Re: Introducing a new roo to an established flock with an older roo.
Spotted Crow Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 07/24/03
Posts: 855
Loc: Massachusetts
Jerry was 8 weeks old when he started to crow. So Lucille may have to hit the road sooner than you want.

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#75163 - 08/02/03 01:01 PM Re: Introducing a new roo to an established flock with an older roo.
Susie Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 1902
Loc: Arkansas
I agree with introducing them ASAP. That will help to (hopefully) reinforce that the young one is NOT top dog, as he will never be with his new flock. I have found it is easiest to bring new roosters into my flock as chicks and let them grow up with the adult roosters I am keeping. It doesn't always work out though so that has to be taken into consideration. I introduce new cockerels with the thought that it may or may not work out. Always have an alternative plan, whether it's to give him away to a new home or butcher him.

Susie

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#75164 - 08/02/03 01:04 PM Re: Introducing a new roo to an established flock with an older roo.
Susie Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 1902
Loc: Arkansas
I have to add, YoYo, they may NOT live. Roosters don't always survive the fighting. Sometimes it's torturous. Sometimes it's not bad and just establishes pecking order. But birds are savages and they very easily can kill each other or leave mortal wounds.

Susie

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#75165 - 08/02/03 06:30 PM Re: Introducing a new roo to an established flock with an older roo.
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8483
Loc: Montana
. . . PS and your mother's kind and non agressive cock may have a change of personality with competition! I wouldn't do it myself! CJR

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#75166 - 08/03/03 10:13 PM Re: Introducing a new roo to an established flock with an older roo.
Anonymous
Unregistered


Nope... not me. Either find another home for Mr. Roo Roo or ax one of them. I don't consider it easy anyway you do it. Better he live elsewhere or die an easy death rather than be beat up and killed by an adult rooster. I have seen it. It is not pretty.

A RIR Standard will probably start crowing from 15-20 weeks. My standard dual purpose breeds generally start crowing about 17 weeks. But remember... generally those first couple weeks of crows are pretty silly sounding and not near as loud as they will get. You will have some warning.

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#75167 - 08/04/03 02:56 AM Re: Introducing a new roo to an established flock with an older roo.
Anonymous
Unregistered


I'm sorry, but I just have to question those of you against introducing the new rooster. I don't many any offense in any of this. Have you guys never successfully introduced a new rooster to an older one? I'm sure most of you have successfuly done so on many, many occassions. It is very true that it could end disasterous. Although currently I only have 3 adult roosters (buff orpintion, buff brahma, and black australorp) with about a dozen growing cockrels, I have had many more in the past all living together just fine. The only reason I only have three adults right now is because I had to remove various others due to the extreme noise they were producing. They crowed all day and night. They had to go. There were fights, I won't deny it, but that is part of keeping chickens. It is one of the reasons I got into chickens, to watch their behaviors. My personal favorite behavior is when two roosters start displaying and struting around. Of course you have to take precautions and be ready to seperate them, as something that works today, might not work tomorrow. It is one of the challenges that comes with keeping chickens.

There are so many car accidents out there on the road everyday. Just because there is a chance you could be in one of those accidents, are you not going to get in your car to go to work? To those of you who keep poultry as your way of life. A crow could fly next to your pens fence, not even in the fence, die of new castle, and transmit it to your entire population of birds, killing them all. Are you going to stop keeping chickens just because it could happen? No, you'll take precautions. You'll wear your seatbelt, drive the speed limit or atleast close to it, vaccinate your birds, and remove dead animals from around your property, among other things. These accidents could easily kill you and your family or destroy your entire way of life, yet you won't place two roosters together that have a good chance of getting along just fine. Take a risk, take precautions, and learn from the experience.

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#75168 - 08/04/03 08:22 AM Re: Introducing a new roo to an established flock with an older roo.
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8483
Loc: Montana
No argument, either, but just to express different points of view. Being practical, there really isn't any reason to keep another rooster, if he isn't needed for breeding--or for butchering, especially,if he isn't one of the gang to start with. Wear and tear on hens is another reason not to have him, just to give him a home. Finding another home will keep a peaceful barnyard, peaceful.

And for those who do not mind a good bloody battle of the roosters (little cockerel tussles don't count), for order of the peck. . . . if you put two strange cocks together, it is not a lot different from "cock fighting", with an audience and the betting. . . . Not my business if you let it happen, but not on my watch!! My 5 breeding cocks live, each with 2 to 6 hens, separately. There are other temporary pairs and trios that each have nice big pens and runs--waiting to be mailed out to new homes. And I have pens of up to 8 cockerels living together with no problems, will be sorted out to go with selected pullets from two other "girl's dorms".
There is no blood-letting, and no harassing of pullets.

After all that--- indeed, some large breed fowl, and some individual birds in most all breeds, are very mellow and do not seem to engage in fighting. Several cocks raised together with the flock do not have a problem. So while I would never consider for a minute (or a second) putting a new rooster in any of my pens, some of which are very large, for some, this is an option that could work out okay! So, when asked the question--my answer will always be? "maybe, if you are willing to face the consequences and are able to make alternative arrangements on short notice--but I would never do it". I do not like bloody animal fights of any kind, if I am their protector! CJR

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#75169 - 08/04/03 11:02 AM Re: Introducing a new roo to an established flock with an older roo.
Anonymous
Unregistered


You could do a "Free Rooster" poster at the local feed stores. I have gotten rid of a few birds that way and I know many of them happily live with ladies of their own now. Just an idea smile

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#75170 - 08/04/03 11:06 AM Re: Introducing a new roo to an established flock with an older roo.
Anonymous
Unregistered


No offense taken. Yes, Jason I have. And I have had them die in my arms too. It is amazing how that docile, sweet rooster can turn into a killer in a moment.

I learned from experience and it taught me an ounce of prevention was worth a pound of cure.

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#75171 - 08/04/03 11:39 AM Re: Introducing a new roo to an established flock with an older roo.
Anonymous
Unregistered


Space is the biggest factor in a new roo sucessfully getting along. If the new bird has space to get away, he'll run off before he gets killed, if they fight that severly to begin with. Another thing that helps is moving him in with a hen, for some reason the established birds dont seem to pick on the new one as much.

I have over 20 full grown cocks, from various hatches and sources, and have not lost a bird yet, and its a mix of standard and bantam and assoted breeds. Cochin crosses, sex-links, white leghorns, unknown mutts, autralorop, rhode island red.

Introduce him before hes trying to mount hens, ive never know of a cock to attack a baby, and if hes in the peck order before hes sexually mature he'll be fine.

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#75172 - 08/05/03 07:54 AM Re: Introducing a new roo to an established flock with an older roo.
J. Henderson Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 08/16/02
Posts: 674
Loc: New York
I am not sure where I stand on this issue. We have successfully introduced an Andalusian rooster with two hens to a flock of 30 hens and a Brahma roosters. But the introduction was a very slow process, and the birds were entirely separated for several weeks, first.

But we have had several roosters injured in fights, with son turning on father, and brother on brother. And in support of what CJR suggested, we have seen roosters' personalities change significantly depending on where and with whom they are.

As for CJR's comment "there really isn't any reason to keep another rooster," I would agree in theory. In practise, we have been too chicken-hearted and busy to do our excess roosters in.
New to butchering, we have friends who have offered to share a butchering day to show us how it is done, but for close to a year, we haven't come up with a good date to get together.

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#75173 - 08/05/03 10:33 AM Re: Introducing a new roo to an established flock with an older roo.
Larissa Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 06/09/03
Posts: 174
Loc: Oregon
Whew!, thanks all. That was quite a lot of differing opinions and debates to wade through.

I probably should have mentioned in my first entry though that Lucille is a pet. All of my chickens are and that is the main reason why I got them. For me personally, they are not just for eggs and even though I eat chicken, these ones are definitely not for meat. That would be almost as bad as eating my cat. So butchering is not an option I am willing to go with.

I will try it out with my mom's flock. I may do it slowly with separate pens at first and I will probably do it sooner than later as the point made about introducing before sexual maturity seems to make sense (and most of you also seemed to agree on that point as well). I also have considered sending Wilma, one of my pullets with him. However, putting up signs in the local feedstore to find another roosterless home is also not a bad idea altthough I may have to go farther afield as most of the people who go to my feedstore are in the same boat as myself in not being able to have roosters. Giving Lucille to my mom is my first choice though so that I can at least visit him from time to time and watch him grow up. I can already tell that he is going to be a beautiful RI roo.

If there is a lot of fighting with my mom's roo then I will find another home for Lucille. I suppose this may sound like a lot of trouble to go through for one rooster for some, but I know it will be worth for me in the end when I find a good home for him.

Damn city laws. I'm not exactly sure why roosters are not allowed other than the noise factor. I'd have to say though that if that's the only reason then all the dogs that live around me make just about as much noise if not more.

I also wondering if some hatcheries (I'm not going to mention any names) could perhaps be a little more accurate in sexing their chicks. Lucille came from pullet run of RI that was supposed to be 90% accurate. What the hell?...I only got five chicks! I'm suspicious that I could be that unlucky to get one roo out of five on my first go at getting chickens.

Anyway, thanks again.

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#75174 - 08/06/03 09:18 AM Re: Introducing a new roo to an established flock with an older roo.
Anonymous
Unregistered


luck of the draw, dont complain. Its very hard to correctly sex chicks, people are bound to get miss sexed chicks on occasion. If you dont want the risk of miss sexed birds get adults.

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#75175 - 08/06/03 10:45 PM Re: Introducing a new roo to an established flock with an older roo.
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hey... talk to your district councilperson about the "no roosters" rule. You might try explaining the "dogs make noise at all hours of the gosh darn day and night" arguement and see if it gets you anywhere. If you kept your big guy up in the mornings so he didn't crow until way up in the day... it is not bad at all. Better than a big dog barking for hours on end!! Chickens are getting far more popular as urban pets. smile

We urban chicken keepers gotta change the world one cock-a-doodle-do at a time!!!

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