I lost my rooster to a predator a couple of nights ago. I have 9 hens and I bought the flock all together about a year ago. How do I introduce a new rooster to the flock or should I just let it be. Mike
Do you want a rooster for fertile eggs, or protection, or because you miss the crowing, or why? That's the first question.
If you don't need one who is on-duty immediately, maybe you could find someone with a young cockerel (big enough to hold his own, but not yet mature) and add him in. This time of year plenty of people are discovering "oops, that was supposed to be a pullet!" in their chick orders. Make sure he's large enough, because the hens will bully him to begin, and keep an eye on them, but when he matures he will gain status.
Here is a link that might be useful: My place: Busy Solitude Farm
I don't care about the fertile eggs and I enjoy the crowing. I'm sure he died protecting his girls since we let them free range during the day and he was the one taken, but my wife keeps my 2 year old granddaughter and he was pretty testy and would flogg you if you came near. I would like to not have to replace him, but a friend of mine said the hens will not lay as much without a rooster. Is there any truth to this? Mike
No truth. They will lay with or without a rooster.
Hens lay whether there is a roo present or not, and if they lay MORE with him around, I don't think it would be so much that you'd notice it. If you want chicks or just enjoy the little family/flock interaction, then get a roo. And NEVER tolerate flogging. I regularly pick up my two boys and pet them and carry them around, so they are sweet and tame, and have never flogged us. But I have no doubts as to their ability to defend their girls. There are plenty of very calm breeds out there and life is too short to have a floggin' rooster. :)
We have two roosters with about 16 pullets. They have never flogged us, but our two previous roosters did. When one of them actually put a hole in my jean's pant leg with his spur, it was time for the dinner pot. I refused to have to watch my back on my own property. Our newer roosters have never been threatening to anyone. I attribute it (perhaps wrongly) to being of mixed breed since we hatched them ourselves from our hens eggs. The previous rooters were full breeds, one leghorn and the one that attacked me was a black andalusian. But I like to keep roosters because they look so nice.
I have never had a problem with introducing new chickens to the flock. Just make sure they are old enough to put up with some harrasment from the other chickens. They eventually will all get along.
Be careful the predator doesn't return. I raise a small flock and have found that once something tastes chicken it will come back repeatedly. I usually lock my free range hens up for a week or so and then always at night after an attack. Might want to invest in a live trap too. Regarding roosters, I think most become mean after 2 years. I had a black austrolorp who did not but was eaten by a possum in 2008. I have one banty rooster now (bart the bad banty) who is mean but too small to be intimidating.
Thanks for all the info. My wife and I have decided to try it for a while without a roo to see how it works. We liked having a rooster but my wife keeps my 2 yr old granddaughter and she saw the roo flogging me and it terrified her. We plan on spending a lot of time outside this summer and don't want to worry about what could happen. So Roo's on hold.