Select a Rooster and Introduce to a Flock of Hens

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The easy and simple course of for selecting a cockerel or rooster to introduce to an current flock of laying hens.

Rocky the rooster free ranging in the grass

I’ve chronicled my yard layer hen journey on this weblog for the previous 10+ years.

It’s been a enjoyable and really profitable endeavor, which has supplied our household with top-quality eggs with minimal points for over a decade.

Regardless of the outdated saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t repair it”, my husband and I not too long ago determined so as to add a rooster to the combination…

The next causes are why we made this main change after so a few years:

  • I need to hatch my very own chicks to make sure the long-term viability of our flock with out reliance on the more and more dystopian chick hatcheries.
  • Elevating my very own chicks from fertilized eggs to full-grown hens will produce more healthy birds that aren’t traumatized by the medicalization of chick hatcheries and the inhumane transport course of.
  • The watchful eyes of a rooster will assist defend my hens from red-tailed hawks which have moved into our space over the previous yr.
  • I need to take our residence egg-laying operation to the subsequent degree of sustainability with none reliance on the business egg trade.

Selecting the Greatest Rooster

If you resolve to get a rooster to your laying flock, it is rather essential to decide on correctly.

I’m lucky to have a rooster sanctuary not removed from my residence.

This farmer takes in younger cockerels from individuals who had been elevating chicks and inadvertently bought a rooster as an alternative of a hen from a feed retailer or hatchery.

Thus, I had the chance to look at quite a few roos earlier than I settled on Rocky (pictured above).

Rocky is large, however very light and doesn’t cost individuals (a typical aggressive habits to be careful for).

As a result of I used to be going to introduce Rocky to an current flock of grown hens that had a longtime pecking order, a younger cockerel or small rooster wasn’t going to chop it.

I wanted a giant man who would be capable of maintain his personal from day 1.

I additionally wanted a big rooster who would be capable of fend off hawk assaults on my women. This has grow to be an more and more distressing drawback for me over the previous yr (by no means was a problem in years previous).

Though Rocky is barely a yr outdated, he match the invoice on all counts.

Is Quarantine Needed? Sure and No

Many on-line sources will let you know {that a} two-week quarantine is critical earlier than introducing a number of new chickens to an current flock.

Nonetheless, the farmer who runs the rooster sanctuary instructed me that this was not crucial below some circumstances.

First, my flock was all hens with no current rooster that might compete with Rocky.

He can be the alpha from the get-go.

Secondly, since he had cared for Rocky for a lot of months and his chickens had been all wholesome (residing in the identical group as mine), I may introduce Rocky straight away to the hens with little or no to no probability of communicable sickness.

Third, Rocky is large and would be capable of simply maintain his personal towards any bullying techniques a cantankerous hen would possibly strive.

Introducing a Rooster to a Flock of Hens

After contemplating what Farmer Del instructed me, I made a decision to introduce Rocky instantly regardless that I already had a quarantine space arrange for him as crucial.

I additionally determined to introduce him in the course of the day as an alternative of at night time after all of the hens had been roosting as some sources really helpful.

The explanation for this was based mostly completely on Rocky’s measurement.

He was not going to get bullied, so sneaking him into the coop at night time whereas the hens had been asleep was not crucial.

How Did it Go?

Rocky the rooster meets the hens

Rocky’s introduction to my hens was nothing in need of hilarious.

After I opened the journey cage and let him free within the free-ranging space, the hens appeared fully shocked and amazed.

They actually didn’t know what to do with themselves 😂

Rocky match proper in instantly. No ruffled feathers or emotions in any respect.

My one grumpy hen has tried to problem him a few occasions, however Rocky’s massive measurement retains the scenario below management with none fear.

Within the coming weeks, I might be writing about my adventures with Rocky and the hens.

I’m trying ahead to amassing fertilized eggs to match them with unfertilized eggs for style and storage variations.

I’m additionally excited to start hatching my very own chicks.

Keep tuned!

What’s Rocky’s Breed?

By the best way, if any of you’ve gotten a clue about what Rocky’s breed may be, please let me know your ideas within the feedback beneath.

Farmer Dell thinks he’s a mix.

My guess is an Orpington/Plymouth Rock combine?

rooster in a flock of hens