Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: When to introduce a cockerel  (Read 443 times)


  • Joined Jan 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
When to introduce a cockerel
« on: September 13, 2020, 02:58:50 pm »
a friend in the sticks wants one of our cockerels from this years hatch (as heís not got enough complications in his life already  ;)). He has three ~2year old large fowl girls already. The cockerel he wants is a good looking bird and friendly like his dad, but at the bottom of the pecking order (like his dad).
To avoid him getting attacked/bullied too much at his new house do you have any suggestions as to how long to leave him till he gets taken to his new house?
Heís now about 16 weeks old.


  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: When to introduce a cockerel
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2020, 04:37:51 pm »
I would put him in the hutch at night or at dusk and place him on a perch. My experience is that they don't fight in their hutch. The following morning let them out and I would hope that your run is big enough for him to keep out of their way!


  • Joined Jul 2010
Re: When to introduce a cockerel
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2020, 08:48:20 pm »
I would never put a new bird straight in. Best is to have the new one next to or in with the existing flock but protected so that the new bird cannot be beaten up, for example in a large dog crate within the run, add food and water and a roof against sun and rain, and let them get used to each other for a week before letting them mingle. Or a separate coop with run right next to the girlsí one. I have large runs with space for several coops (each with their own small run) so I give them a fortnight of being able to see and hear each other but not touch, your friend may have a large garden where he can place the cockerel next to the hens, and later on let him have a wander around the garden by himself to get to know the place before they mingle. When they finally get to mingle, scatter some wheat or other food around as a distraction.
As for the age of the cockerel, it depends more on his size, some 16 week olds are quite lightweight, others are nearly the size of a large fowl hen. The older, the better, but as soon as his dad starts fighting with the son. Itís nice to be able to rehome a friendly cockerel!


  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: When to introduce a cockerel
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2020, 07:03:45 am »
Hens chose their cockerel, so as pointed out, he needs chance to prove himself and needs to be kept separate but in sight of them for two weeks at least. When introduced I'd put him where he has a lot of space to escape as the hens will initially see him as an intruder. To gain their trust and respect put treats in front of him so he can call the girls over. They will quickly see him as a food provider and welcome him in- this approach has never failed for us.


  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: When to introduce a cockerel
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2020, 02:58:59 pm »
I have normally put a new adult cockerel straight in with his new flock, even during the day and never had any problems. Only problem I have had that last year I got a white Leghorn type cockerel and the Maran type hens would not let him anywhere near them, but the white and brown ones were ok. He was badly bullied by the Maran girls, but put in a new Maran boy and all hunky-dory...


  • Joined Jan 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: When to introduce a cockerel
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2020, 04:22:36 pm »
Iíll let my friend know to keep him away but in sight till the girls are used to him. The tip about putting food down for him to show them is great. Sounds like about 16 weeks isnít too young to introduce him.


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