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Rooster Changing

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chefman4u2, Nov 22, 2016.

  1. chefman4u2

    chefman4u2 In the Brooder

    Sep 17, 2012
    Knoxville TN
    We have a Jungle Fowl Rooster that is five and a half and has completely transformed his looks and colors. Instead of looking like a Rooster, he now looks like a Jungle Fowl hen. He is still crowing and I think his spurs have stopped growing and his comb has shrunk. Anyone know what's going on?

  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    5 1/2 years old?
    Can you post before and current pics for comparison?

    Hormone production does decrease with age in all species,
    and it could affect plumage,
    could be the old dude is just running low on testosterone.
    Just guessing tho, really have no idea.
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Show a current picture of him. I have had a three year old game rooster do as you describe during an eclipse molt. He has gone through 3 eclipse molts; one before and two after where he did not. Makes me think health issue involved.
  4. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    You may have the rare chicken who is going through a sex reversal. Usually, when this occurs, it's a hen that turns into a rooster.

    The reason this is possible is because chickens possess both male and female sex cells. When a hen has a damaged left ovary, for some reason, it produces less and less estrogen, and soon the right gonad activates and starts producing testosterone. This cause the plumage to change into that of a rooster and the chicken may begin to crow and mate other hens.

    It's not as easy for a rooster to change into a hen, however, but not impossible. If your rooster, when he was a freshly fertilized egg, was slightly chilled for the three days following fertilization, this favored the development of female sex properties. Even though he developed into a cockerel and he's been a rooster all these years, if something has damaged his gonads, thereby drastically reducing his testosterone levels, since his early egg development was subjected to the right environmental stressor, he may now be reverting to favoring those female sex cells in his body, and taking on a female appearance.

    I'm not saying this is what's going on with your rooster. There may well be another explanation as centrarchid mentions. It's just an hypothesis given the interesting biology of chickens and what may be possible with the fascinating little creatures we love so much.
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    When I have seen this, fertility of affected bird in no way tested. Fertility before and after seems fine but single mating used, not flock where you are more likely to challenge male fertility.

    Line I have that has done this tends to develop definitive male coloration late. Spur development is an earlier indicator of gender in that case.

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