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Rooster suddenly sick. Please help

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Please help. I'm not very experienced when it comes to raising chickens. But started with 3 in 2014 and now have 8 and 1 rooster. He was crowing just like normal this morning and at about 12:30 in the afternoon, I looked out and saw him laying on his side in the run. He's still alive, but one claw is spread out and the other pulled together. He can't seem to get up. Any suggestions what it might be? Mine are not free range as I live inside the city limits but on a large lot with privacy fence.

I was leaving for an interview when I noticed him, and had no way of doing anything for him at that moment. I am so worried, and just heartbroken and so afraid I might lose him. Can a vet help me you think? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 7

Look him over for injuries and separate him from the rest of the flock (I use a dog kennel). I'd call the local vet if this were me, but we keep chickens like we keep our pets and I know that not everyone does that. When you mentioned his legs wouldn't work and he couldn't get up, I first thought maybe Mareks, but I don't know much about it other than it can cause some paralysis in the legs/wings.  

4 Buff Orpingtons

Dum spiro, spero - while I breathe, I hope

Reply

4 Buff Orpingtons

Dum spiro, spero - while I breathe, I hope

Reply
post #3 of 7

It does sound like something neurological affecting him. Can you look at your feed, and smell it for any mold. Any dead animals or buried rotted vegetation can cause a disease called botulism. Mareks is caused by a virus, and can cause various symptoms such as paralysis of one or more legs or wings, or the neck. Any injury or an internal illness could also be a possibility. Bring him in to a warm spot in a crate or pen where he can be close to food and water. Add some vitamin electrolyte powder to his water, and help him to drink. Add some water to a small amount of his feed to see if he will eat. Egg is also good to offer. Keep us posted on his condition or any other ssymptoms.

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for responding.  I just got home and opened the coop to let them out for a bit.  I helped him up and he started walking but is falling to the right as if his equilibrium is off.  He flaps his wings to help himself balance, so his wings are fine.  He can walk, but continues to fall to the right.  He's real puffed up right now so you can tell he doesn't feel well.  Does this information help with what you think might be wrong?  He doesn't appear injured in any way, unless it is something that I cannot see.

 

Thank you again.  I so appreciate all of the helpful advice.   

post #5 of 7

Dehydration or an injury to his head can mimic Mareks disease, but I would still be suspicious of that. I will try to post some links to read about Mareks. How old is he exactly? Have you added any new birds to your flock in the last couple of months?

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you again for responding. He is about 8 mos old, and I have not added any new chickens. There have been no changes to his or their diets or living arrangements whatsoever.
post #7 of 7
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