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Effect of moulting in a rooster

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by krista74, Mar 6, 2015.

  1. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.
    I have a small flock of 1 rooster and 8 hens. My rooster is approximately 15 months old and he is a Buff Orpington. His name is George.

    In Spring (and for most of the Summer) he was constantly mating his hens, to the point where their backs were bare and they all needed the protection of an apron.

    Now he is going through what appears to be a fairly significant moult (his first one) and he is showing little interest in mating at all.

    He still eats voraciously, crows incessantly in the morning, and is sociable. But I do notice he is slightly less active than normal, and he is sitting with the girls under their favourite shady tree a bit more than usual.

    There is no sign of lice or mite infestations, and he is not puffed up, walking strangely or sleeping more than usual.

    The days are a little shorter now that we are moving into Autumn though, and the whole flock is heading off to bed an hour earlier than normal as it is getting dark earlier.

    So, is it normal for a moulting rooster to lose interest in mating?

    Not that the girls are complaining!

    - Krista
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2015
  2. Puddin Fluff

    Puddin Fluff Overrun With Chickens

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    River Valley, AR
    I am not sure it is the molting as much as he is maturing. I think of year old roos as teenage boys. All they want to do is grab something and mate with it. [​IMG] They seem to mellow out a bit after they are a little over a year. At least that has been my experience. The molting and the shorter days probably play a part as well.

    As long as he is eating well and acting otherwise normally, I would not be concerned.

    BTW: [​IMG] Hello Down under. [​IMG] What time is it there?
     
  3. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Victoria, Australia.
    Hi [​IMG]

    It's exactly 11.18 pm and I can't sleep.

    This is my first ever flock so I'm fairly new to rooster development.

    Both George and two of my hens are moulting very heavily at the moment, with one hen looking particularly ragged! George has lost a lot of feathers from under his hackles, so he looks like he has a mullet. He also lost all but two of his beautiful sickle feathers.

    One hen is near naked, but is growing out little feathers covered in a husky sheathe in all the bald patches, and she is slowly preening them off to reveal new growth underneath. She looks terrible, lol.

    Thanks for your advice, nice to know all is well. [​IMG]

    - Krista
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2015
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    The adult molts, which should be happening for you now, frequently are associated with changes in behavior. Feather loss impacts their ability to thermoregulate so birds will gather together in sunny locations for sun and dust bathing. The new feathers are delicate so birds generally moderate their physical interactions to prevent damage. The birds are also more vulnerable to predators as flight capacity is reduced, at least in the chicken's mindset. Finally, breeding typically slow down during this time of year as nutritional needs for molt compete with breeding; both require more protein.
     
  5. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.
    Excellent, that is exactly what is happening. It's like they have all formed a Mother's Group and just cozy up in a circle together all day and look at each other - George included!

    I think many of the others are staring to evolve into their moult too. For a week now, I have only been getting 1 egg per day from 8 hens. There are still approximately 10 hours of daylight per day but I think that, combined with the moulting, is contributing to a lack of eggs.

    Thank you @Centrarchid for your comments.

    - Krista

    ETA: I have been providing a little bacon and cooked meat to them each day, so hopefully that will help with their protein requirements.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2015
  6. Puddin Fluff

    Puddin Fluff Overrun With Chickens

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    River Valley, AR
    If you think they look funny, search BYC for a thread called - Worst molt pictures - something like that. You will see that some are almost bald and others are very patchy. Some birds you can hardly tell as they just seem to lose a few at a time. I have no idea why, they are just all different. [​IMG]
     
  7. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My girl looks sort of like she blocked her nose while she was sneezing, and blew out half her feathers with the force of it!

    She may be a contender in the funniest picture comp!

    - Krista
     

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