14 wk old roo's odd behavior....wing & leg stretching/stumbling.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by valley, Nov 19, 2016.

  1. valley

    valley Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 14, 2015
    My 14 wk old maran/easter egger mix rooster has been exhibiting some odd behavior over the last few days. I'm thinking it might be due to him coming to sexual maturity but i'm not sure.

    First, he is crowing all throughout the day for the last 3 days, which I know is normal for roos. The main oddity i'm seeing is that he randomly stretches out his right wing and stiffens his right leg and then stumbles a single step and then he goes back to normal. I've seen him do this 4 or 5 times over the last 3 days but I assume its a regular occurrence when i'm not around. He also is getting feisty around me. He has always run away from me but in the last few days, he has been running up to me like he wants to fight.

    Is it possible that the wing and leg stiffening is a response to becoming over-excited now that he is approaching sexual maturity? He is still smaller than my 1 year old hens so he cannot mount them. I'm guessing he is just feeling overcome by hormones but I wanted to ask everyone here incase it's a symptom of some sort of known disorder or disease.
  2. FoodFreedomNow

    FoodFreedomNow Chillin' With My Peeps

    The stretching behavior you describe sounds to me like normal wing and leg stretching - he might just be a bit off balance when he does it and does that "stumble" to regain his balance. Have you noticed any other behavior that accompanied that stretching that seemed odd?
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    Is he dropping his wing and doing a bit of a stumble in front of one of his girls? If this is what he's doing, he's "dancing" for the girls. I can't for the life of me figure out why, but it's supposed to impress them! When my roo dances, I swear that one of these days, he's gonna trip on that wing and fall flat on his face. I really should have named him Kramer. (of Seinfeld fame) As for him rushing you, it's time for you to do some dominance training. You need to CHASE him. Run him away from the hens when you take them some treats. Chase him till he runs for the hills. Carry a thin long stick, like a fiberglass fence post, and use the side of it to give him a nudge in the heiney to get him moving along. Never walk around him. Where ever he happens to be standing, make him move out of your way so you can stand there. Never let a roo "dance" or do any posturing towards you. If he gives you any visual contact, run him off. Your boy is already showing signs of human aggression. If you don't nip it right away, you might as well plug in your crock pot.
    1 person likes this.
  4. valley

    valley Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 14, 2015
    Thanks so much....and YES, he only does it when he is right in front of the hens. I saw him try to mount them twice yesterday. Also, when he tried to mount one of my girls that is in full molt, he pulled a ton of her feathers out so I grabbed him and carried him around for 10 minutes....then I sat and pet him until he was docile....at the end, I took away my arms and he stayed on my lap, totally submitted.

    Yesterday afternoon almost convinced me to put him down...I hate seeing my girls abused!

    The dance makes so much sense...what a relief. I was worried he might have some sort of neurological problem!
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    OhBoy.....better get ready for chicken sex, it ain't sweet and gentle.
    Especially with young cockerels just getting started and same age pullets not ready.
    Cockerels reach sexual maturity a couple months before most pullets do....it can get ugly.

    BTW.....semantics, but can be important communication terms when discussing chicken behavior.
    Female chickens are called pullets until one year of age, then they are called hens.
    Male chickens are called cockerels until one year of age, then they are called cocks(or cockbirds or roosters).
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Agree with lazygardener.

    Here's a good video I found on you tube. This is usually referred to as "dropping a wing" or something like that.


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