Rooster not crowing

by Rhonda
(Arizona)

Question

Rooster loss of voice & hopping: I have a 1 year old bantam rooster. I haven't heard him crow in over 3 days. He is eating and drinking and pecking as usual; but not crowing.

Answer
You haven’t said if he’s your only rooster. If he’s housed with another or other roosters, he may be deferring to their dominance and not announcing his territorial “rights” or drawing attention to himself.

Roosters crow to call and claim hens and to communicate their presence.

If you live in a rural area, where flocks exist in neighboring properties, you may hear roosters crowing before dawn, back and forth.

This seems to start the day off right for them and rarely results in confrontations, as each has claimed his territory, and that’s good enough for them.

If you have more than one rooster, this one may just be trying to stay out of trouble.

It’s very good to observe your flock, notice anything that seems unusual, and take action right away.

This may be nothing, or it could be a sign he isn’t feeling quite right. You might consider giving vitamins to your flock.

The winter months can cause some deficiencies that could lead to more obvious health problems later.

Make sure your flock has access to fresh water, vegetation, enough protein and good fat. The nutritional needs of a rooster are different than those of laying hens, but they are usually required to eat what they are served with the hens.

You might consider treating him to a breeder feed or other nutrient rich conditioning poultry feed and see if that gets him crowing again.

There are supplements designed for roosters. In usual domesticated chicken environments a less dominant rooster doesn’t have the option of leaving and starting his own flock.

The more dominant rooster or roosters may keep him from feed as well as the hens, which can lead to his eventual demise.

Watch his droppings for signs of worms or intestinal problems.

Catch him and give his body a good going over, looking for boniness, any injuries or possible parasites under his feathers.

Listen to his breathing, it should be free from any clicking or rattling. Make sure his vent area is clean, eyes and nares free of congestion.

If you find anything wrong that the vitamins haven’t or won’t cure, like parasites, best to treat right away and check the rest of the flock.

A thorough cleaning of the coop is always a good idea. As temperatures rise, bacteria and possible parasites will be more active and able to adversely effect your flock.

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Rooster Change in Voice

Question:
Rooster Change in Voice: My rooster is healthy and eats good.

I have noticed his crow has a raspy sound to it and it hasn't been that way. He is a banty.

Answer:
It's possible he has throat or air sac mites, or gape worms.

I prefer to use Ivermectin as a good broad spectrum anti-parasitic treatment. Treatment would be given according to his weight.

There are other medications that can treat this, available at most feed stores or from a poultry vet.

If he has this problem, others in your flock may be affected, too, though not as noticeable in hens.

Continuing treatment as recommended should eliminate the problem. Having him tested by a poultry vet should tell you for sure, if he has any parasites.

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