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Loner Rooster

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Stacykins, Feb 2, 2016.

  1. Stacykins

    Stacykins Overrun With Chickens

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    I have two roosters. An older lavender Araucana and a younger black Araucana. They've never fought, and seem to both give girls 'attention'.

    The Lavender has exciled himself for the past week each day. The others go one direction with the younger boy to free range, and he spends the day alone elsewhere. Right now he is with my goat bucks.

    I gave him a good look over. He has an old broken toe, he's had that since a young lad. But his feathers are sleek, clean, and well preened. I could find no injury or wound. He moves normally when walking. He eats and drinks, and takes offered treats. His eyes and nose are clear, no signs of abnormal respiratory patterns or sounds.

    In other words, he appears healthy still. I know sick birds can isolate themselves, but he doesn't appear ill. Any thoughts? Is he just becoming a loner?
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    My oldest rooster will often remove himself from the hot zone, with spring approaching the rooster hormones are ramping up a bit. Older roosters will sometimes maintain their seniority but will start to bow out of the mating and leave that to the young ones. I would suspect that's what is happening, otherwise he could be feeling not right and older birds will often isolate themselves to avoid being harassed but you said he looks fine though sometimes internal problems won't show symptoms beyond behavior. How old is he, and how old are his hens?
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I had an older rooster de-throned when he was 4 years old. Pretty much the same thing. I was not aware of any big coup or fight with the younger males, he simply started living on the outskirts of the flock. One of the younger males stepped up and took over as flock leader. One or two older hens liked to hang around with the older guy, but they weren't hugely loyal to him and would go back to the main group on and off. This lasted about 5ish months until we culled him. Sounds like the same thing to me...how old is the older male?
     
  4. Stacykins

    Stacykins Overrun With Chickens

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    They're actually both 2015 birds. The Lavender is only about six months older.

    The only time he interacts with the flock is first thing in the morning when they get fresh food. He dances for the girls, does his thing with them, then wanders off from the group.

    I certainly hope he isn't getting sick and I just can't tell yet. They hide things so well, but all seems normal rather than the behavior change.
     
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    He's not that old, he may have lost his dominant position so he moves off to avoid conflict.
     
  6. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    I'm just going with a hunch here, meaning a wild guess based on what I've observed over the years of rooster behavior.

    Since rooster behavior is mostly hormone driven, I'm guessing his hormones have decreased to a greater extent than the younger one. Hormones do drop off as roosters approach one year. In other words, I'm guessing he's losing the intense sex drive he had as a cockerel, while the other young man's hormones are still going strong.

    Couple that development with the fact there's another roo in the picture, the two have probably reached an "understanding" that both are satisfied with.

    You're fortunate the two boys appear to be in agreement as to their roles in the flock. As long as the "old" boy appears and behaves healthy, I wouldn't worry about it any further.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Good points^^^
     

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