I everyone! I am new to the forum. I have a 1 year old blue Maran rooster that's displaying weird behavior. He is shaking his head back and forth. He will do this very so often, but not constantly. Any ideas? I have raised him from the egg, so he has always been on my farm.
Hi and welcome!! Does he have a sneeze or a cold? Sometimes they will do that when they have a cold, or a respiratory infection. They can't blow their nose, so they sling snot. Cool, huh? Watch him for other behavior, such as coughing or sneezing, lethargic, drooping wings, decreased appetite. It would probably be best to put him on some antibotics, maybe some water soluble Tylan. You could put that in his water, and he could medicate himself. Watch others for the same behavior!
I'm familiar with Marans.
Do you keep your birds in a coop and is it cold where you are? Combs and wattles can get frostbite. I raise Polish and some of my boys have really big wattles. When the temps drop, some of my boys will start to shake their heads back and forth because the cold is bothering them.
If this sounds like it might be the problem, here is what you can do.
Check the combs and wattles for signs of frostbite. Do you see any greying on the comb tips or around the edge of the wattles? What you can do is spread vaseline over the comb and wattles as it will help protect them from the cold. You may have to apply vaseline twice a day, once in the morning and once at night if temps are really low.
Now if it's cold and you see the comb or wattles are turning black, you have frostbite on your hands. At this point, I suggest take the roo indoors, if you can to allow the these to unfreeze. Warning, your boy at this time will be in pain once they begin to thaw. They will shake their head a lot. You can try using vaseline or polysporin to help ease the pain. I don't recommend a mosturizer as that can irritate making it worse. Warning, the blacken areas may die and fall off in severe cases. Otherwise, it can take a few weeks for the tissue to heal and return to normal color. Usually, once exposed to frostbite, combs and wattles will always be cold sensitive. What I do is when I know the temps will dip to -20C at night, I break out the vaseline and do my boys that have had the problem. When temps go -25C or lower, I simply bring them in overnight. I keep hospital cages set up at all times so they just go in there and back out during the day.
Their coop is in the barn. The temp hasn't gotten below 30* F yet. And he started this when it was warmer. None of my other birds are displaying this. I have notice he does it every time the other rooster crows.
Mine do that too. It's a dominance display. I figured it out when my brother was standing outside the coop and Goliath (jersey giant) stood on the other side of the fence crowing and shaking his head like crazy.
I figured he's waving his redness for all the girls to see. It's a roosters way of saying, "hey baby, how you doin?" (In my best Joey voice)