Roosters are full of personality, making them interesting additions to any chicken flock. If you want fertilized eggs to raise new chicks or simply desire a boisterous new member of your feathery family, roosters are great ideas. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when you’re adding a rooster to your flock. Read on to learn all the tips and tricks for how to keep a rooster in with laying hens.
Reinforce Your Coop
Roosters are generally more aggressive than hens, especially if they think their flocks are in danger. If your rooster suspects an animal or other intruder is wandering outside the coop, he’ll try to escape to follow it. Before adding a rooster to your flock, take extra care to reinforce your coop. Repair any gaps or holes in the coop and the surrounding fence. Make sure you fill in any holes beneath the fence as well so that your rooster can’t escape underneath.
Give Him a Perch
Just like hens, roosters like to sleep off the ground. Give your bird his own perch by installing a new roost. Roosters are usually larger and heavier than hens, so make sure the new roost is sturdy enough to handle the extra weight. Adding a roost specifically for your rooster will give him a safe place to perch while preventing squabbling with other members of the flock.
Introduce the Flock Carefully
Once your coop is ready, the next step of how to keep a rooster in with laying hens is a successful introduction. One way to help your birds get used to each other is to place your rooster in a wire cage within the coop. This will let your hens meet him without starting any unnecessary squabbles. Once the flock’s curiosity has lessened, open the cage and let your rooster come out at his own pace. Keep an eye on your birds. You should expect some bickering and pecking, but you want to be able to stop them if someone draws blood. If the initial introduction doesn’t go well, remove your rooster and try again the next day. Once your rooster makes himself at home, he’ll likely take charge of the rest of the flock. Your hens will naturally cluster around him and follow him around as they eat, explore, and enjoy their days around the coop together.
Are you interested in keeping your own rooster with your hens? Make sure your coop is ready to go with the right fencing, chicken feeder troughs, and other essential equipment from Stromberg’s Chickens.