Rooster acting like a hen

sixlittlechicks09

Songster
11 Years
Jul 8, 2010
332
8
181
Wyalusing
Hey guys, long time no post!
Our rooster is suddenly acting weird and I figured this would be the best place to ask. Hes a 4 year old EE roo, absolutely lovely, very friendly and has always been very good to his hens, making sure to cluck at them for food, keep them together when their out, and doing his roosterly duties like a champ.

The last week or so, he's been off. I noticed first his long pretty tail feather fell out, not a huge deal, they were dragging on the ground, and its fall, but he doesn't seem to be in a molt? Then today I noticed his comb, instead of red and full, it looks much lighter in color and it seems to have shrunk (hes got a rose comb) and at first glance he could pass for a hen! I checked him over, he doesn't seem to be injured or sick in anyway, he's eating well and drinking.
I watched him for a while today, he isn't interested in his hens at all, he also didn't crow at all this morning. I didn't see any display behavior or mounting the whole time I was watching him (about an hour) and he was gobbling down scratch grain and actually pecked the hens away!!! He NEVER does that, he always waits until their totally done eating before he'll eat himself.
Any ideas what could be going on? It is worth noting, our hens have also not laid an egg in ~2 weeks, but they were winter chicks last year and had only started laying in August, combined with the shorter, colder days, I didn't think much of it.
 

K0k0shka

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Jul 24, 2019
3,472
9,460
487
Boston Area, MA
My Coop
My Coop
How chickens molt varies a lot... By breed as well as individually. Some will explode a pile of feathers on the ground and walk around naked, but be done quickly, while others will drag it out for months, one feather at a time. Maybe he's doing the slow and gradual molt, and it's just not as obvious. Also, if his hens are currently infertile (not laying) then it's not worth his effort to mount them. Maybe they are all just taking a break from procreation and focusing on getting ready for winter.
 

K0k0shka

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Jul 24, 2019
3,472
9,460
487
Boston Area, MA
My Coop
My Coop
P.S. I've noticed that my hens no longer squat when they are molting (and not laying). And their combs, which are a visual indicator to the rooster that the female is fertile, are very pale. Maybe, just like a rooster knows when a pullet is laying and ready to reproduce, they also know when a hen is not laying and not worth it, and they don't waste their efforts when there will be no results. Young cockerels rocked by hormones will hump anything year-round, but if this guy is 4 years old, then he's probably wise enough to know when it's not worth the effort. Maybe their hormones get more in sync with the hens' laying cycle when they are more mature. Chickens aren't seasonal like other animals when it comes to reproduction, but they do go through cycles nonetheless, with winter and molting, and a rush of hormones for both males and females in the spring.
 

dct10

Chirping
Aug 24, 2020
99
158
81
Hey guys, long time no post!
Our rooster is suddenly acting weird and I figured this would be the best place to ask. Hes a 4 year old EE roo, absolutely lovely, very friendly and has always been very good to his hens, making sure to cluck at them for food, keep them together when their out, and doing his roosterly duties like a champ.

The last week or so, he's been off. I noticed first his long pretty tail feather fell out, not a huge deal, they were dragging on the ground, and its fall, but he doesn't seem to be in a molt? Then today I noticed his comb, instead of red and full, it looks much lighter in color and it seems to have shrunk (hes got a rose comb) and at first glance he could pass for a hen! I checked him over, he doesn't seem to be injured or sick in anyway, he's eating well and drinking.
I watched him for a while today, he isn't interested in his hens at all, he also didn't crow at all this morning. I didn't see any display behavior or mounting the whole time I was watching him (about an hour) and he was gobbling down scratch grain and actually pecked the hens away!!! He NEVER does that, he always waits until their totally done eating before he'll eat himself.
Any ideas what could be going on? It is worth noting, our hens have also not laid an egg in ~2 weeks, but they were winter chicks last year and had only started laying in August, combined with the shorter, colder days, I didn't think much of it.
Yeah...my rooster and most hens are molting right now too. I haven't seen him even attempt to mount a hen in 10 days. Eggs are almost none. Some hens are sleeping in nesting boxes which is unusual. I read that their new feathers are painful coming in.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom