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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 4:07 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Hi all! I hope everyone had a nice relaxing Easter!

I have a quick question regarding a Rhode Island Red rooster I bought from a local auction about 2 months ago.

As yet, I have not seen him mate with any of the hens, not even once. He has also lost most of his long tail feathers (I assumed due to malting), but as yet they haven't seem to have gron back at all. As the weeks go by he is looking more and more straggley.

He also keeps to himself, and basically ignores the hens....

I was wondering why he does not seem to be sexually active, and whether or not we should 'retire' him, and get a younger, more active rooster.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Cheers,

Titan

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 5:17 pm 
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Flock Master
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He would be in a full moult and they don't care about the hens to much at this time, are your hens laying? or are they moulting aswell?

I would take him away from the hens and let the moult finish this way your rooster will be nice and fit/randy when you put him back in a month or so. Its still early to be breeding.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:51 am 
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Thanks William. I was wondering if that might have been the reason. I was just confused because the last rooster we had (unfortunately killed by a fox... RIP) was randy ALL the time and was really attentive to the hens. Maybe he was the exception to the rule!

I have a separate pen I can put the rooster in, so I'll move him tonight.

The hens aren't laying atm. I think their pen might be slightly over crowded, and I guess they still could be moulting. Their feathers are in much better shape than the roosters though.

I'm hoping to sell a couple of hens this weekend, so hopefully that might make a difference in the crowding issue..

Thanks again!

Titan

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 6:25 pm 
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Golden Cockatoo
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The other thing to consider is whether he just like an audience! :lol: :lol: I have a couple of boys who I haven't seen do it but the eggs are fertile so.....

NellyG

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 6:37 pm 
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Quote:
I was wondering why he does not seem to be sexually active, and whether or not we should 'retire' him, and get a younger, more active rooster.


I guess another question is ... how old is this rooster.

I think they will stay fertile for life but I hear of people retiring their roosters after a couple of years.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:54 am 
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Good point NellyG!! I know I wouldn't like an audience!!!

As for his age, I couldn't tell you. Its a bit of a lucky dip when you buy from auction. Every time I go there I tell myself I wont buy anything, but I just can't seem to help myself!! Haha :)

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:26 am 
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I'd give him half a coffee cup of black sunflower seeds every morning, in addition to his regular diet.

This really fixed up our "long term" moulters, they really feathered up after a couple of weeks.

We were told that it gives them the oils they need for good feather growth, but too much is no good. Don't know if this is correct.

Not much "sexytime" (or eggs) at our place either. I think it might be the time of the year.

Maybe if you can range them a bit on grass every day.

I'm not expecting much action now till spring.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 11:51 am 
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Sunflower seeds are high in protein which is essential for feather growth. The percentage of protein in something though, can be a bit misleading because the quality of the protein can vary. Protein is made up of amino acids and these need to be properly balanced to be effective. If any of the amino acids are in short supply the performance of the food isn't as good, despite the high 'protein' level in it. For example, sunflower seeds have poor lysine availability which can make the protein less useful to poultry. It's all about balance. A well balanced food containing 15% protein will perform better than an unbalanced food containing 20% protein. Also, oils (while important) should also be limited in poultry feed.

I would use sunflower seeds as a rare treat. Small amounts are obviously going to be fine. If you think about the quantity of feed that a bird eats in a day - a layer eats 100-120grams (about a cup?), so a rooster would eat a bit more, then half a cup is a very large percentage of the day's feed. It could dilute and change the balance of the feed that you are giving them. If you are diluting a balanced feed at all, you could consider a bird vitamin such as Soluvet if there is a possibility of deficiencies. There are lots of ways to boost protein for a bird in moult. I use meat meal, butcher's bandsaw dust, mince, cat food and cooked eggs. I've heard of others using milk, fish meal, and other things. As long as they are high in protein, reasonably low in fat and salt, the birds will gain from it.

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Last edited by Chicken07 on Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 11:59 am 
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I wonder how old he is - apparently moults get worse as they get older? Make sure he's not got lice or needs worming etc too. If he's otherwise healthy probably just needs a bit of time and nutrition. Sometimes hens can be dominant too and the rooster needs to 'assert' himself - which if he's a bit worn out from the moulting he may not be up to yet.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 2:40 pm 
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Thanks for the input everyone!

Chicken07 - I actually just read the other post about the bandsaw meal yesterday, and decided I was going to get some for my chickens today if I can...

I'll post an update in a few weeks when all his feathers have (hopefully) grown back.

Cheers!!

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 2:59 pm 
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He may also have been bottom of the pecking order in his old place and thus not "allowed" near the hens. He'll get the hang of it in time. Even our oldest roo here gets a few hens now and then.

Fee I really get what you mean about the older ones moulting the worst. I have an old RIR here she would have to be 6 years old or more and let me tell you this year when she moulted she was pretty much pin feathers from head to tail (or at least where the tail should be :rofl: )

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 4:23 pm 
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Yep, I rekcon I could sell half my flock as special exotic rumpless featherless chooks at the moment. Til thier tail feathers grow back anyway. :D


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:56 pm 
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Feed him some fish, like tin tuna and mix a bit of wheat germ oil into his feed.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:01 pm 
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I have just started using Grey stripe sunflower seed!! Does someone know which is better grey stripe or black?

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