Help - I've got a mopey roo! It's like he's being shunned.


7 Years
Sep 26, 2012
Alden, MI (Near Traverse City)
Hey all...need some advice. I have a small flock (15 chickens)...3 are roosters. The original flock was 20 chickens (with the 3 roos), but we lost 5 hens in the move. I have this one roo (the bottom of the rooster totem pole here) who can be a bit of an idiot. I have dubbed him 'Coq au Vin' for that is his destiny!

So, I've noticed that this one roo, is all of a sudden, acting "off". He stays in the coop when the others come out (the food is in there) and when he is out in the pen, he runs around like an idiot (and irritates the others). He's not being chased, necessarily, but the lead roo will go after him when he does something stupid,(like run thru the veggie bowl or something). Then he'll just hunker down by himself in the corner (either in the pen or in the coop). He will go out of the pen and range around, and always goes back in...

This roo will let me get close to him, but not touch him. He doesn't seem hurt. He's moving around well, he's eating/drinking (I've watched him) and I assume pooping (I haven't watched him THAT closely). There's no weird discharge around his nose, he's breathing sounds fine, his comb and wattles are nice and, I'm at a loss.

It's just his mopey-ness that has raised my curiosity. He didn't do this when we first got the flock (about 2 months ago). They're all the same age and raised together. Do roo's just get in a funk every once in a while? He's not getting overly picked on or anything.

One really odd thing though...when I went to put them to bed 2 nights ago, it was strange. I have a 3-rung ladder-type roost. Any other night I've looked in, they've all been up there on all 3 rungs shoved together. But 2 nights ago, I checked in on them and this mopey roo was on the middle rung all by himself. The other chickens were all either on the upper or lower rung (all 14 remaining chickens!).

It made me chuckle he had really bad gas or cooties or something or it was the equivalent of chicken middle-school. It was just really weird. Anyone have any thoughts on this? I'm stumped.

I'm stumped too! Well, I've never had a rooster but I know when one of my hens stays off by herself there is usually a physical problem.
Sounds like your rooster still has a lot of energy though. We have only one hen out of seven who is not a heritage breed. We find that she has no respect for the pecking order and is constantly hungry. When we pick her up her entire body gets stiff. We also have a problem with her flying out of the pen several times a day. This is a fence that is 5 to 6 feet high and after cutting her wings down as far as we could. The other hens are most aggressive towards her and who can blame them? Could this be what is going on with your rooster?

Hope this is helpful :)
Possibly...Right now...until I see something more definitive, I'm chalking it up to him just being a butt-head! There's always one "hey, y' this" goober in a group, right? He seems to be mine!

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