Since adopting lil' Roo, my Big Roo is on vacation!

cocoloco

Songster
May 31, 2016
106
31
109
I was wondering if other flock owners have experienced this. I have a 3 1/2 year old Phoenix Bantam Rooster (as seen in my avatar). Originally called Roadrunner, because that's what he looked like as a juvenile, we renamed him Braveheart, after he fought off a baby hawk. He is the only bird left from my first flock of 8 adopted in May 2016 (6 were meat birds and did not last long). He is our pride and joy - a great rooster - alert, protective, and always on guard. Three months ago, we adopted a silver duckwing bantam rooster who was born last Spring. After a slow integration, they get along fine - of course, this could change, as lil' roo is still a juvenile. Here is what I have noticed since adding my tiny guy: Braveheart - who NEVER laid down during the day, except to take a sand bath, now seems to be taking it easy. We have a huge patch of dense brush, called the "jungle", where our free range flock hides and hangs out in our yard all day. In the last month, we have noticed him resting - body stretched out, laying down with the hens - while lil' roo stands guard on the edge of the jungle. At first, we thought he might be sick and brought him in, we checked him over, he was fine. He was molting and we had an unbearably hot summer here in Mass. - we figured those were the reasons. In the last 2 weeks, though, temps have dropped - he is still taking it easy. Yesterday, I caught him snoozing mid-day! The day before, while I was gardening, lil roo initiated a hawk alert - Braveheart immediately jumped up, took over, led the flock deeper into the jungle and both sounded the hawk alert until it flew away. His behavior is normal in every other way - great appetite, tail held high, red comb, etc. My husband thinks he is just taking time off after 3 years of sentry duty. It made me wonder: is 3 1/2 old for a rooster? When do roosters start to slow down?
 

LizzzyJo

Crowing
Dec 14, 2018
1,630
4,093
307
The Great Black Swamp
If you don’t see them fighting, he’s still eating, and you haven’t noticed a dominance structure, I’d agree with your husband. He’s just chillin. Taking a sabbatical. Others on here are certainly more versed than me though!
 

Folly's place

Enabler
10 Years
Sep 13, 2011
23,593
39,694
1,106
southern Michigan
He could be ill, or just letting the new guy take a turn at sentry duty.
I always have more than one rooster, and they aren't all on alert all the time.
Just see how things develop, and do have a Plan B if there's fighting with injuries!
Mary
 

cocoloco

Songster
May 31, 2016
106
31
109
Thanks to both of you for the advice. Today, he has been vigilant while my lil' roo is perched on a branch sunning himself. Good to know they can give each other a rest from time to time. We will watch them both carefully.
 

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