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Depressed rooster?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I have a silver Wyandotte rooster who is about 11 months old and lives with 7 mixed hens and 3 female ducks.  Until 3 days ago he was strutting around, king of the yard, crowing like crazy, standing tall and proud.  He was fine with me, but would attack my husband anytime he came near, even trying to get at him through the fence.  Then 3 days ago I came home to find the hens chasing him around and pecking at his comb, to the point that it was bleeding.  I promptly separated him, placing him in the same coop but with a chicken wire wall keeping his cannibalistic sisters at bay.  Now he appears to be very depressed.  He sits in the corner and puts his head down;  I've seen him drink a little water, but he's eating very little, if at all.  At night I let the ducks (who are NOT aggressive toward him) into his "room" and they cuddle around him at night.  I have applied antibiotic ointment to his comb, and he seems to be healing, but when I did a trial of letting him back out in the run yesterday, the hens came after him again and got his comb bleeding again.  He didn't even try to defend himself;  it's like his spirit is broken.  Does anyone have any ideas??  I have raised him from a day old chick (all of them arrived at the same time, and have always been together).  I've never lost any of my birds, and I am really worried about him....  : (

post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrkrbee View Post
 

I have a silver Wyandotte rooster who is about 11 months old and lives with 7 mixed hens and 3 female ducks.  Until 3 days ago he was strutting around, king of the yard, crowing like crazy, standing tall and proud.  He was fine with me, but would attack my husband anytime he came near, even trying to get at him through the fence.  Then 3 days ago I came home to find the hens chasing him around and pecking at his comb, to the point that it was bleeding.  I promptly separated him, placing him in the same coop but with a chicken wire wall keeping his cannibalistic sisters at bay.  Now he appears to be very depressed.  He sits in the corner and puts his head down;  I've seen him drink a little water, but he's eating very little, if at all.  At night I let the ducks (who are NOT aggressive toward him) into his "room" and they cuddle around him at night.  I have applied antibiotic ointment to his comb, and he seems to be healing, but when I did a trial of letting him back out in the run yesterday, the hens came after him again and got his comb bleeding again.  He didn't even try to defend himself;  it's like his spirit is broken.  Does anyone have any ideas??  I have raised him from a day old chick (all of them arrived at the same time, and have always been together).  I've never lost any of my birds, and I am really worried about him....  : (


Check your rooster for signs of disease-weight loss, runny nostrils, runny droppings, watery eyes, labored breathing, discolored abdomen, parasites-internal and external, unusual swellings, normal crop, etc.

 

It is possible that the hens act this way because the rooster is ill and can not keep dominance over the hens.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the insights.  Other than acting depressed and not eating, he appears to be healthy.  He's lost no feathers, his crop and abdomen feel fine and he doesn't act like he is in pain when I examine him.  I can find no signs of parasites.  His eyes and ears are clear, and there is no drainage from his beak.  I am a nurse, so I listened to his lungs with my stethoscope, and he sounds clear.  I am mystified.

post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrkrbee View Post

Thank you for the insights.  Other than acting depressed and not eating, he appears to be healthy.  He's lost no feathers, his crop and abdomen feel fine and he doesn't act like he is in pain when I examine him.  I can find no signs of parasites.  His eyes and ears are clear, and there is no drainage from his beak.  I am a nurse, so I listened to his lungs with my stethoscope, and he sounds clear.  I am mystified.

Sorry. Maybe another member will have insight to this.
post #5 of 9
So strange, I'm having a very similar issue with my Roo Nacho! He's 1.5yr old, had him since a baby. He came with a brother (Esteban) and we kept both. Nacho was ALWAYS alpha Roo, Esteban couldn't even look at a hen the wrong way without Nacho chasing him off. Except today I saw Esteban chasing Nacho!! And Nacho wasn't with the flock at all, he was off by himself. If Nacho came close Esteban would chase him off again. I checked everything I could, he doesn't look sick, and he's eating & drinking. But his behavior is definitely strange.
I'm curious, have you heard your rooster crow since he started acting this way?
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 


My rooster Pete crowed once on the second day of his withdrawn behavior, but I hadn't heard him crow since.  I examined him carefully for signs of illness, and physically he looked healthy;  he just seemed depressed and wasn't eating or socializing, and the hens were pecking at him.  Yesterday my husband was home with him, and said that for a while he seemed better:  he was not allowing the hens to peck at him, and he even mated with one of them, but still no crowing.  When I got home last night and checked on him, he had some white runny stool on his backside, and was sitting in a corner by himself.  When I picked him up to examine him, he was calm and compliant, but I would not have characterized him as lethargic.  Because of the diarrhea, I thought he may have worms, and I was planning to go to TSC first thing this morning to get some wormer (I couldn't get it last night, because I worked til 10pm).  However, this morning I went into the coop and found Pete dead. : ((    I checked him over, and still found no signs of illness or injury.  I am heartbroken.  I hope things go better with your boys!!  Hopefully it's just hormonal and they'll work it out...

post #7 of 9
Oh no, I'm so sorry to hear that!!
post #8 of 9
:hugsI'm so sorry for your loss!
post #9 of 9

I am so sorry for your loss :( I have a Golden Laced Wyandotte hen that is harboring the same behavior. She is moving slower, tail down but still pecks at the lawn and drinks .. just at a much slower pace. I've checked for for being egg bound, I've looked for mites .. I can't find anything. She seemed to have gotten better, but this morning is showing signs again. :( 

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