18 month old rooster acting unstable and listless

Melfento

In the Brooder
Oct 17, 2021
9
2
11
My rooster was acting completely normal and fine yesterday. He was crowing and running around with his hens. He went to bed last night and when I went out to feed them this morning he was still in the coop but hiding in a nest box. I reached in to pick him up and pull him out but he wouldn't stand he would just flop down. Normally he wouldn't let me near him but he seemed too weak to care. When he does try to walk its like he's unbalanced or drunk. He has a thick saliva coming out of his beak. He wants to eat but takes a bite and spits it out or holds it in his beak. We are finally getting him to drink a little water. When he is laying down his wings are hanging loose not tight by his side like normal. He sits for a bit tries to walk a few steps and sits back down. There are no psychical injuries. His crop is not impacted or sour. We aren't sure what's wrong. I'm hoping someone has seen something like this before and can help.
 

MysteryChicken

Unique minded, open minded Chicken Lover
Premium Feather Member
May 31, 2018
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East, Tawas Michigan
Sounds like Marek's Disease.

I'd check his ears for an inner ear infection to rule that out. It will cause a bird to be unsteady on their feet most of the time. What to look for is crusty yellow, cheesy like pus.

The saliva can be from sour crop, if he has it. You can tell if his breath smells funky.
 

Eggcessive

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Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
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How old is he? Do you have another rooster? I would separate him in a dog crate with food and water to observe him. He could be injured. I had a 6 month old cockerel who had been the leader of the pack of my first chicks, and he did the same thing. He was also vaccinated. We put him down, eventually, and I never knew exactly what was wrong. Mareks is something that can occur even in vaccinated chickens. Injuries are very common. Try to get him eating and drinking, and I would also give some human super b complex 1/4 tablet daily in a spoonful of water or food, just in case of a deficiency. If you should lose him, have your state vet do a necropsy to find out what was wrong. Are you in the US?
 

Melfento

In the Brooder
Oct 17, 2021
9
2
11
We did receive a lot of rain a few days before, but their feed was dry. No smell of sour crop and his crop was filling and emptied correctly.

He unfortunately, passed in his sleep last night. He did drink water well before bed and it appears he just went to sleep and didn't wake back up.

Thank you for all the replies and help, hopefully it can help someone else in the future.
 

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