Cockerel not maturing and a mystery sickness

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by inilog, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. inilog

    inilog Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 5, 2013
    One of my cockerels has grown and next month, he is going to turn 1 yr. old. But he still isn't mature and is also afraid of those other hens and his foster sister. I was wondering, what is the problem of that cockerel?

    On the other hand I have 6 chicks that are very light, weak and their feathers are a sort of very uneven. I have noticed nothing wrong in their droppings. What medicine should I use to treat those 6 chicks?
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    What breed is the cockerel in question? Are there other cockerels or roosters in the flock? When you say he is not mature - are you referring to physical appearance, behavior or?
    With regards to the chicks -- what breed(s) are they and how old are they? We can't begin to advise on treatment without some further information to make a potential diagnosis.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Yes, the more information we have the better we can guess.

    You said “one of your cockerels”. That implies you have more males the same age or older. The dominant rooster will take on certain responsibilities in managing the flock. When you have others, some may help him but some really low in the pecking/dominance order don’t. For a hen to allow a rooster of any age to mate with her, he has to impress her. They will often mate with a subordinate male as long as he has the right stuff, but will reject any that don’t. It sounds like your cockerel just doesn’t have it.

    When I bring in a new cockerel of a breed I want to be become the new flock master, I don’t get just one. I get several chicks so I can choose which one I want. I hatch a lot of chicks when I want to replace my head rooster. That way I can choose which one I want. Even with the same breeds there is a big difference in growth rates, final size, maturity rates, and behaviors. A couple of years back I brought in 18 Buff Rocks to choose from. Only three made the final group I chose from. The rest were rejected for some reason.

    I butcher the rejects. Often the ones that are slow maturing have very small male organs. They are probably not getting the hormones they need for maturity. They are small and don’t stand up to any other chicken, male or female. They are always going to be at the bottom of the pecking order. It’s possible if they are the only male in the flock they will develop enough to become a flock master, but with other males in the flock, they will always be subordinate.

    To me it sounds like you may have one of those, but of course that’s just a guess.

    As far as the chicks go, some things that can possibly help us in addition to age and breed are how are they behaving? Are they eating and drinking OK and pretty active or are they standing around fluffed up and lethargic? Have you checked for mites or lice? Photos might help. What are you feeding them? Anything you can think of to tell us might be a clue.

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