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#76741 - 12/06/06 09:50 AM Reintroducing a Newly-Healthy Rooster
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hello! Our sub-dominant rooster has been living in our laundry room for several weeks, recovering from malnourishment. (EEP!) All the other chickens are A-O.K. so our best guess is that he was being chased off the feed by the dominant rooster...? (I haven't observed that, but since he's recovering, and none of the other chickens took ill, that's our best guess.) At any rate, he's almost 100% after a lot of whole-wheat honey toast, oatmeal, and vitamin B supplements, and we are looking forward to reintroducing him to the flock. I am concerned that he will get picked on by the rest of them, particularly our dominant rooster. What are the best ways to get him back with the flock, or do we need to look into setting up a separate chicken run, coop, etc.? (He can't live in the laundry room forever.) :-) My DH made the ill-advised attempt to "let him spend some time with his friends" earlier this week, and they chased him aggressively until he pulled him out. :-(

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#76742 - 12/06/06 03:40 PM Re: Reintroducing a Newly-Healthy Rooster
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8483
Loc: Montana
Find him a new home for his safety. You do not want him damaged--unless you can free range your birds, he has little chance of growing and thriving. If you can make another coop, that is a solution. There are no secrets of success--it either works or it doesn't! And your experience indicates it doesn't. Sorry to be so pessimistic, but I care about the birds-- CJR

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#76743 - 12/06/06 04:00 PM Re: Reintroducing a Newly-Healthy Rooster
Anonymous
Unregistered


Thanks for your reply. We might try a mini-coop and a smaller run for him and see if we can get a few of his favorite hens to be his friends again. :-)

One thing I'd read is that it's reasier to reitroduce them in the late evening, when everyone is bedded down for the night. Would that make any difference?

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#76744 - 12/06/06 04:49 PM Re: Reintroducing a Newly-Healthy Rooster
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8483
Loc: Montana
Worth a try if y ou can be there to watch when they get off their roosts, but a dominant rooster seldom gives up. Reintroduction of any bird to a flock is nearly always very difficult and blood and severe damage are often the result--hens or roosters. A bird that must live in fear of attack, seldom is a vigorous healthy bird, not a good situation for any bird. But each flock is a different experience--and you will have to try--learn the hard way, perhaps--or with the slimest margin, might have success??? I wouldn't risk a bird, myself. Each one is important to me. If the situation occurs, I try to find a new home as soon as possible. AT the moment, I have 15 roosters. Most have one, two or three hens with each--NEVER would I put two roosters together AFTER they have been separated. Cockerels grow up together with no fighting, without pullets or hens, but one at a time, are sold or chosen for a mating pen with selected females--NEVER are they together again. (Yes, 15 pens-- not cages--each pen has lots of space, roosts, nests, room to scratch and enjoy window with sun==if there is some--and outside runs on occasion, when the weather is fair and the grass is green! Two coops would be very easy. Good luck.
CJR

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#76745 - 12/06/06 05:08 PM Re: Reintroducing a Newly-Healthy Rooster
Anonymous
Unregistered


I am already envisioning how I could add a small run next to the existing one. Would it be better to have him live the life of a bachelor or should he have some company? Maybe move a few of the most docile hens in with him? Or maybe some new hens this spring? (My daughter has been wanting some of the showier breeds like polish top-hats or silkies.) Is there such a thing as a "one chicken coop"? I've read that some folks use those "Dog-loo" plastic doghouses for their chickens. Is that really a good solution since they can't get up off the ground?

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#76746 - 12/06/06 07:51 PM Re: Reintroducing a Newly-Healthy Rooster
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8483
Loc: Montana
Chickens are flock animals and a rooster, especially if along side a pen with hens, would not enjoy life without a hen or two for company. Moving your present hens is not a good idea either, as they will be conditioned to the dominant one and will not like to be moved.

Any time I switch birds in my breeding pens, I move the hens first. They then "own" the space. Adding the rooster after a few days, then works out much smoother, although they will try to avoid him at first. My pens have flight room. Two shelves, one high, that has the roost box, another a little lower for the nest box, and a "day roost" about 36" above the window height, so all birds have some exercise and any can have time by themselves if they want to. A single bird just doesn't thrive for very long. The Igoo type houses are for dogs, not really for a chicken.

What breed is your "lone" rooster? Polish hens probably would not like him and he would pull their tophat feathers. Better to find him a new home and get a trio of Polish for your adjoining pen.

It is hard to make these decisions, but tough love is best for the birds! CJR

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