Roost for flightless roo

Tigurary

Chirping
Aug 7, 2018
17
28
61
Hello

I have a 5 month old buff brahma bantam roo that can not "fly" He won't use the roosts provided and when I let him go after I visually check him over he just face plants into the ground unless I place him completely on the ground. He doesn't even deploy his wings when's he falling.
I'm OK with him not flying but I'm worried his feet will get cold this winter if he doesn't leave the ground. (Cleveland winters can be harsh). Any ideas on a roost for a flightless bird?
(I've tried placing a wood beam just flat on the ground and he walks over it)
 

SueT

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
May 27, 2015
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It sounds like there is something wrong w his wings, if he can't use them to balance....maybe some of the experts can offer their wisdom on that...
Also is there a reason you are keeping him, if he has a defect he should not be used for breeding. What are your plans?
But anyway about cold feet, I don't think that's a problem. All birds have a special kind of circulation in their legs/feet so they don't freeze. You can offer a low roost, but you probably can't make him use it.
 

Tigurary

Chirping
Aug 7, 2018
17
28
61
Ive never thought about defects. He just seems really dumb. Like he doesn't know how to use them. He tried once when he was younger and got an inch off the ground and just fell flat. Never tried since that I've seen.

I have friends with buff brahmas and they all say they're pretty bad fliers. Seems to be a trait of the breed. He's a bantam and my hens are standard and as of now he can't even get on top of them when he tries so I doubt he will be able to mate.
 

Brahma Chicken5000

Araucana Addict
Sep 26, 2017
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I’ve seen a similar behavior exhibited by sparrows that ate a lot of my chicken feed before I finished covering my run. The birds would seem as if they were drunk. They would flit about, but when they went to land they would crash land breast first into the ground.
Does your rooster flap his wings? Will he jump for treats?
Where did you get this Brahma from?
Did he act this way as a chick or when you first got him?
It sounds like either his wings are atrophied or he has balance issues that stem from a possible neurological disorder.
 
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GrannyHeeney

Songster
Apr 18, 2018
588
1,644
247
Upstate SC
My Light Brahma is 7 mos and has been out with the big girls for a few months now. Pearl was--and still is--an absolute cow LOL but it seems she instinctively knows it. She wouldn't try to get onto anything out there at first, and if I put her onto anything, she would cry until I'd get her down! I found a chunky little wooden ladder-looking thing on the property (only a couple rungs) for them all to clamber on; the first rung is maybe a foot off the ground but it was months before Pearl figured it out. These months later, she can now get to any part of the coop but still isn't fond of being "up." I think the only reason she "learned" to get around and up was out of self-defense; the 2 Barred Rocks are darlings with people but are hags to the other chickens, so they chased the crap out of her in the beginning. (Pearl now understands that she is the size of a U-Haul and no longer takes their guff ;) ) A vet fella on the interwebz told me a couple weeks ago that chickens are born mimics, so she might also have figured that wee ladder out by watching everyone else sitting on it...?
 

Aunt Angus

Free Ranging
Jul 16, 2018
4,648
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Nevada County, CA
Can he balance on a roost that is elevated? My girls have to flap around a bit to get settled. If he can't flap, does he have trouble balancing?

I have two very large birds who need ramps to get up to the roost in the coop. I have a zig zagging ramp to hep them get up and down so they don't hit walls or do face plants. You can kinda see it in the pic. There are rungs on the ramps now. They use them all the time to put themselves to bed each night and get out of bed every morning. Don't know if something like that would work...

20181120_150221.jpg
 

SarahGfa

Songster
Jan 26, 2018
624
709
211
Bay Area, California
Ive never thought about defects. He just seems really dumb. Like he doesn't know how to use them. He tried once when he was younger and got an inch off the ground and just fell flat. Never tried since that I've seen.

I have friends with buff brahmas and they all say they're pretty bad fliers. Seems to be a trait of the breed. He's a bantam and my hens are standard and as of now he can't even get on top of them when he tries so I doubt he will be able to mate.
You can try holding him with your hand supporting his stomach and his legs between your fingers, and then move your hand in a tossing motion, like you are tossing a ball up and catching it. The dropping/tossing motion usually gets them to start flapping. I did this with my bird who was paralyzed and it took a few weeks for her to learn to use her wings again.

She still can't roost so she sleeps on a small doormat on the floor by herself. I will put a heat lamp nearby when it gets colder.
 

New2Chicks97

Songster
Jul 3, 2018
561
1,437
166
Washington State
I have a full sized light Brahma that has no problem with lower roosts but she prefers flat shelf type roosts. We have one that is probably a 10-12” wide roost (it was a built in shelf in the shed we repurposed) and that is where she makes her home. She has never been real fond of the narrower roosts.

Our Buff Brahma lives with the Silkies and has since they were all chicks. She is very bonded to them and she sleeps with them in a pile on the floor of the coop. I have a lot of straw down there for them to burrow into so they stay cozy and warm.

Maybe you could just put a box with some straw down on the ground for him to sleep in? Or maybe a low platform type roost that he could easily get on and off without the need to use his wings?
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
95,254
126,351
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SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Something is wrong with this bird.
Have you pulled his wings out to make sure they are articulated?
Can he jump at all?
Does he walk OK?
Has he ever used his wings, I assume you've had hi since he was a chick?
Wonders if this is a neurological issue.
I'd put a low roost 6-8" off floor, and put him on it after dark.
 

MANNA-PRO

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