Rooster doesn't want to leave roost?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by calyb, Sep 23, 2016.

  1. calyb

    calyb Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 26, 2016
    We have a rooster, a pretty aggressive but manageable guy who is in complete control of his three girls so I know it's not because he is being picked on. He is very much top dog. We built them a new bigger coop/run and for the first few weeks he was happy as a clam running around and having a great time but then about two weeks ago he got up on the roost (inside the coop) and will not get down unless we coax him into it. At first I thought he may just be surveying the place but he can't really see a whole lot, just through the 2 inch gaps in the wood. I have been feeding him and giving him water while he is up there b/c I am concerned for him especially in the heat (I am in NC and it is still fairly hot and humid). We do have three juveniles in a pen close to the big chickens coop but completely separated, they are only about 3 months and one is also a rooster. He started crowing recently (little weak baby crows but still) could this be why he doesn't want to get down? They have interacted through the fence and all the big Roo does is give him a peck every now and then and go about his business. I am just worried he is going to get sick not eating or drinking unless I bring him food or water.

    Does anyone have any idea as to why he may be doing this or advise on what to do about it? Thank you!
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2016
  2. CluckerCottage

    CluckerCottage Chillin' With My Peeps

    sounds as if he is ill as this is definitely not normal behavior for a flock leader.
    have you examined him thoroughly? what does his poop look like?
     
  3. calyb

    calyb Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 26, 2016
    As far as I can tell it is as it has always been, a little runnier than usual maybe but I thought that was normal with more water intake. He was startled earlier and fell off the roost and is now walking around with his hens as normal but I am not sure I would be able to examine him too closely unless we were able to grab him and hold him upside down, which I thought was bad for them so we've only done it when we had no other option. He is very aggressive when off the roost and I can not get within a foot of him or the hens without being attacked. While he is up there he will make his normal noises and if we do something he does not like though he will just walk back and forth and make his "angry" noises, in the past he would jump off the roost and rush us. It's almost like he is afraid to jump down.

    He was given to us about 4 years ago and was so aggressive we almost just put him down but I have worked hard to get him to a reasonable level. It's not ideal but I do care about him and just give him his space most of the time.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Sounds as if he is ill....or suffering from the heat, is he panting and holding his wings out?
    Where did the juvies come from....did you get as day olds or how long ago did they arrive??
     
  5. calyb

    calyb Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 26, 2016
    He is not panting or holding wings out, it is cooler in the coop where he is. The chicks were hatched by one of my hens, they are his although I know he probably would not recognize them as such. They were kept close to our old coop until we made them a larger enclosure further away but brought them back in a separated area once their mother started laying eggs again and was getting to the point she no longer took care of them. We have been slowly introducing them to the older ones and it is going well. He does not act any different other than not wanting to leave the roost. I did notice today though that although his poop does not look different they are smaller like the babies. That is the only thing that is slightly off other than him staying up there all the time. It is the highest point of the coop and he can see more than I originally thought but I still believe it is odd. When I bring him food and water he eats and drinks like normal. I just do not understand why he is not getting down and eating drinking on his own. He can get up and down fine because he did it without issue the first few weeks he was in there. Although he started doing it when the young rooster started crowing, given his aggressive behavior I can't imagine that, that is why he doesn't want to get down. I would have thought he would want to get down more and show his dominance. I just do not know what to do. Thank you for your replies, I really do appreciate it.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    That is odd.
    Poops might be smaller because he's not eating as much.
    How is his comb color?
    Wonder if his heart is giving out, literally and figuratively, being he is over 4-5 years old?
     
  7. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Once you get him down off the roost does he go right back up or does he go on about the business of being a normal roo? When you do "coax him down" is he moving down under his own power or are you taking him down and setting him on the ground? If it's the former, how does he go about getting down? Can you describe or, better still, show photos of the interior of the coop? Have you examined the bottoms of his feet and/or his legs?
     
  8. calyb

    calyb Out Of The Brooder

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    I have noticed it looks more "floppy" than normal but doesn't appear to have much change in color. His is older than 4 though, he was maybe 2 or three when we got him so he could be 7 or 8. I am not 100% on his age. Honestly, I have trouble with time so his being that old didn't even occur to me that could be the issue. Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2016
  9. calyb

    calyb Out Of The Brooder

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    I have managed to coax him with treats a couple of times and he jumps down to a platform we have about 1.5 feet to the side we gave them for getting on and off the roost. Do you think a latter might make him or apt to get down? His feet and legs are fine as far as I can see, I have never been able to touch him. He was abused before we got him, which is why I think he is so aggressive to people. He is very good with his girls though and yes, when he does get down he acts totally normal roaming around his area and does not get back up until the sun goes down. But then he just stays up the next day. I can get pretty close while feeding him and they do not appear to be injured. He lost a toe before we got him to frost bite but it has never deterred him.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Might want to get him off the roost at night and give him a good looking over.
    Part the feathers down to the skin around vent, head and neck, and under wings look for pests.
    Google images of lice and mites and their eggs beforehand so you know what to look for.
    He may just be feeling his age...maybe approves of the young cockerels coming up and is settling into retirement.
     

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