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Sick bird

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
One of my roos is sick and I don't know what's going on with him. Yesterday, my son took treats out and realized the roo, Willow, was the only one not participating, but instead was laying in the coop. He picked him up and noticed he had fowl mites. He also had a limp.

I felt around his legs and couldn't identify any injury. His feet were fine, too. We gave him a permethrin solution dip and cleaned his bum where he'd been laying in his poop. No other chickens had mites, so I suspect he's just not been cleaning himself.

Today he was still laying in the coop at treat time, but now his wings are splayed out and his brother has done a number on his comb. We removed him because his brother wouldn't stop attacking him.

He's the only one sick in a flock of 19. I would spare him the misery and just process him because he's a right jerk, but I'm not keen on eating a mysteriously ill chicken.

Any suggestions? Things to check?
post #2 of 9

Hi Jess,

 

I know what you mean by jerk roosters!

 

I used to volunteer at a wildlife rescue & the first thing they'd do with every bird, sick or injured, was warm them--funny I can't remember if they used heat lamps or heating pads. Either way, you need to have part of the box or cage heated & part not, so he can find the right temperature for himself. For sure get him away from the other chickens in case it's contagious, & also you don't want to get cannibalism going in your flock. One other thing they taught me at the wildlife rescue was that by the time a bird really looks sick, it's usually pretty serious. In case you never heard this (sorry if you have!) since birds are prey animals they hide symptoms of illness for as long as they're able or the predators will know they're an easy meal. So he may have been sick for quite a while.

 

I don't have a lot of other suggestions, but if a sick chicken isn't eating or is thin my vet recommended canned cat food. Also red foods seem to appeal to chickens. I had one get sick & all she'd eat more than a couple bites of was cherry cheesecake! (Well, at least it had lots of calories! ;) )

 

So, I guess all I can really offer you is kind of the basic general care for sick or injured birds, but maybe if you provide a little more info somebody who is good at diagnosis & treatment can help you. Some helpful info might include the bird's age, is he eating or drinking, what do his droppings look like, can you hear any breathing sounds, is his "bottom" dirty, anything coming out of eyes or nostrils, or any other observations.

 

A thought just entered my head-if he is limping & you are seeing his brother attack him, he may well be injured. Is his brother older? One thing I just learned about roosters is that they can take a year or so to mature to the full "macho jerk" stage. That's when my last bantie rooster started attacking me & the guy at the feed store explained it. So, if the age of either rooster is around one-ish, they may have started fighting even though they had previously got along OK. On the bright side, if he's just injured you can still eat him!

 

Sorry I haven't been much help, but as you hadn't had any other responses yet I thought I'd mention these things at least--things can go downhill with birds pretty fast.  Good luck!

 

Catharina

post #3 of 9
How old is he, my first thoughts with limping or wing dragging is Mareks.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the replies.

He's nearly six months; his brother hatched within days of him.

He will eat and drink if food is brought to him, but wouldn't leave the coop to seek it out.

His stool was a little looser than normal yesterday, but I attributed that to his lack of food.

It's hard to tell if he's lost weight because he's the offspring of a cornish x. He's rather meaty.

His comb (where his brother, Juicebox, hasn't torn it up) is still bright and upright. His pupils look fine, but we are surrounded by lots of backyard chicken enthusiasts, so it's possible marek's made its way here. He doesn't have any URI signs.

He's currently in our sun room, in a plastic tote. He doesn't seem distressed.
post #5 of 9
He's about the right age for Mareks to show itself. Being a Cornish cross he could also be suffering from some of the problems that that breed, leg and heart problems, I would keep him warm and comfortable, and offer him food and water, and see what happens, if he has Mareks than I'm not sure if he's still edible, I would ask on the meat forum.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
I think his heart's fine because his comb is a healthy red, his mother never suffered heart or leg issues, so I'm hoping that's not quite the case. He's pretty light on his feet when he's up. He can even fly a bit, about 4 feet in the air.

I think I read marek's doesn't harm the meat, but I'll definitely double check. I'm really worried because I have a flock of 19 and my neighbor has a flock of 12. Marek's would be bad news for sure.

Thank you for the advice.
post #7 of 9
I think most flocks will occasionally see Marecks, and it doesn't always mean much except for the few birds that show it, I had some a few years back but haven't seen any since, other poultry around you will definitely affect yours as the feather dander can blow far on the wind, so it's very possible you share diseases with your neighbors.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Well I feel awful! We decided to keep him alive to monitor his condition in case it was contagious. He worsened, had green-liquid stool, his comb started to turn black, and he lost interest in food and water.

We decided to crop feed him, and he instantly improved in alertness and his comb was red again. We were so pleased. We fed him again, and things were about the same. But when we fed him a third time, I guess I misjudged the fulness of his crop (it felt loose, mostly empty), but when my son tried to tube him, his tongue curled back so we stopped. He sat with his head down for a minute, as though gagging. Then he violently flapped and aspirated. And that was it. It was horrible.

And the worst part is, for all his suffering, I still don't have a definitive answer as to what was wrong with him!
Edited by hotmessJess - 2/9/16 at 7:11pm
post #9 of 9
Sorry
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
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