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He can't crow!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Bresseman, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. Bresseman

    Bresseman Chirping

    Jun 4, 2012
    Durham, NC
    I have a young Bresse Cockerel that I have kept in a breeding cage with an older bigger Bresse Cockerel and a couple hens. I have four breeding cages adjoining one another. I have noticed that this smaller bresse cockerel never crows. He does however have a strange tic somewhat disturbing to watch. He twists his head all the way back and sits down on his haunches. Then he stands back up again and goes about his business. This doesn't seem to be painful to him and I thought it could be due to ear mites or some such malady, no mites were found. Yesterday I was sitting and watching his behavior and noticed that he does this every time another rooster crows. My theory is that the gyration I am seeing is his attempt to crow, yet he is physically or neurologically unable to crow. The gyration I am seeing is his attempt to crow which contorts his neck in a disturbing manner. My first reaction is to cull him. My second and most tempting is to breed him and see if he passes on this non-crowing defect. The idea being if he is genetically disabled from crowing he might pass the gene on and the result would be a breed of great meat birds who don't crow. The uses I know are not so practical as any offspring males would still have to be caponized for meat purposes.

    My first assumption is that this is a non-genetic defect and he won't pass it on. I also am thinking about the ethics of breeding a known defective bird just to see if he passes the defect along. But I am leaning toward the experiment with an eye toward breeding a crowless rooster particularly as folks might be interested in breeding the white Bresse for meat in neighborhoods where roosters are considered a nuisance. I'm sure everyone will have an opinion so lets hear what you think.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013

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