Rooster changing colour
QI have a seven-year-old rooster that I hatched out. I’ve noticed that he has been changing colour gradually over the years, but he has just been through a moult and the amount of white is considerably more noticeable now.
None of my other chickens have changed colour. He has the same diet as everyone else and seems to be in very good health.
Why has he changed colour?
AJulie Moore says: Factors that affect the changes in feather colour can include: the diet of the bird, its age, sex, seasonal changes caused by moulting or the absence or over-abundance of one or more pigments.
I don’t believe that this is a dietary issue given that your rooster has the same diet as the rest of your flock.
However, it’s not uncommon for darker coloured chickens to turn white. As the bird gets older, it does not produce the pigment melanin at a ‘normal’ level or in a normal pattern. The resulting colour patterns are referred to as being: albino (pure white and completely missing the melanin pigment), leucistic (patches of pure white) or with dilute / faded plumage.
When birds produce too much melanin, they are referred to as melanistic.
... but now he looks like this.
When he was young, he looked like this