3 hens and our rooster showing pale shrunken combs but acting normal-ish. Rooster has previous injuriues.

chickensins

Chirping
Jul 18, 2016
12
5
57
Hello, first of all let me start out by saying I/we made a mistake by not writing this sooner and that is my fault, I acknowledge that.

Our flock consists mostly of jersey giant mixes and lives in an old stable rather than a coop. We had one jg rooster from a less than savory place who liked to mate with his own daughters/resulting granddaughters so all of our black and grey hens as well as our current rooster is the product of unknown amounts of jg inbreeding.

Around two weeks ago we noticed four of our hens (one acting "sickly") and our large but very panicky rooster had pale shrunken combs. we passed it of as nothing with the others and put the sickly hen somewhere else with food and drink next to her until the sickly hen was dead one morning then we started taking it seriously. We took pictures of the remaining hens (luckily one of each color we own so it's easy for me to refer to specific ones) and rooster and gave the entire flock of 12 birds in total a mouthful each of antibiotics for three days straight. And nothing really changed except one hen who we didn't even think was sick suddenly got an insanely red comb so maybe she had some unrelated issue that was unintentionally fixed. Unfortunately I/we ****ed something up while transferring the photos so the quality is terrible but:
bok1.jpg

bok2.jpg


bok3.jpg

bok4.jpg


The black hen always looks absolutely awful when she's molting each year, going nearly bald with severe comb shrinkage but she usually bounces right back as soon as she gets her feathers, but this time it's like she just kept her molting comb (so maybe she or the others has been pale for longer and we just didn't notice, my memory is hazey and it's usually my family who take care of the birds). She is also one the if not the largest hen and used to be more dominant.

Roosters previous injuries: A few months ago the rooster fell, seemingly flat on his face on a stable floor, from his perch when we accidentally startled him (again, he's a very easily scared) while in the stable at night and he has been unable to jump up there since around that time, but we don't know if that's a leg injury from the fall and his size (he has a bent comb limps a little now) or from a form of sickness because for the longest time he was mysteriously missing his outermost feathers in the middle of his wing. I was told "oh it's growing back out, look!", it didn't, and now it's both wings. But he acts like one wing is sore when held. And he HATES being examined. So we blamed him being unable to get to his perch on a leg injury and missing wing feathers combined with being a heavy bird and the wings on his inbred genetics. We know the fall was very hard on him because for a few days after that he couldn't stretch his neck completely but thankfully that passed. He also had what looked like bumblefoot before the fall wich we tried to operate but he showed too much pain and we let him go after getting of the "scab".

Here are pictures we tried to take of his wings that day we took the rest but I don't know if the quality is too shit.
bok5.jpg

bok6.jpg
 

Krazikatlady64

Crowing
Apr 14, 2020
379
1,435
256
Armenia, SC
Just wild bird mix and foid leftovers?

In my opinion, you may not be giving them enough nutrition. Here is some information on feeding them.
@casportpony @azygous @Eggcessive @Wyorp Rock
do you have any suggestions on her rooster?
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
25,351
38,362
1,142
Colorado Rockies
Wild bird mix is quick energy for wild birds. It's not a balanced diet for poultry. You can't do any better than a commercial feed for poultry. If you pass up the layer ration and select the all-flock feed, such as Purina Flock Raiser, all the vitamins and minerals and protein your chickens need will be provided for a mixed flock.

Perhaps some of the symptoms you've seen are malnutrition and lack of protein.
 

chickensins

Chirping
Jul 18, 2016
12
5
57
Wild bird mix is quick energy for wild birds. It's not a balanced diet for poultry. You can't do any better than a commercial feed for poultry. If you pass up the layer ration and select the all-flock feed, such as Purina Flock Raiser, all the vitamins and minerals and protein your chickens need will be provided for a mixed flock.

Perhaps some of the symptoms you've seen are malnutrition and lack of protein.
Back! and thank you. I'm sadly not American so don't have access to these brands. Most chicken feed we can find is either pellets or laying feed. Our chickens are too spoiled to touch pellets and I've read laying feed can cause issues in non layer breeds like our jg mixes. So what would be the best course of action here? Just go cold turkey with pellets or take the risk with layer feed, neither seems optimal.

I also wonder if the lack of protein might because the garden insects they normally would eat have died and that's why it happened in winter. They also always molt right before it gets cold so that might be why it seemed they "didn't bounce back from a molt", but I just don't know why this hasn't happended before.
 

chickensins

Chirping
Jul 18, 2016
12
5
57
In my opinion, you may not be giving them enough nutrition. Here is some information on feeding them.
@casportpony @azygous @Eggcessive @Wyorp Rock
do you have any suggestions on her rooster?
Thank you, unfortnuatly we can only find either pellets or laying feed available (were Scandinavian so don't have access to most of the brands suggested here, even without covid restricting mail) and our chickens are too spoiled to touch pellets (I wonder if that's why we started with wild bird feed) and your link talks about the danger of giving layer feed to non layer breeds, so were trying to find the best option.

As for the rooster, I really hope the leg stuff is just his fall. It's like a catch 21 with him because if I don't examine him I feel like I'm not doing enough but I keep getting told by family it's needlessly cruel to stress him by handling him so he hasn't been picked up since the antibiotics and rarely ever is. It's like either I feel like I'm neglecting him by just ignoring the problem or like I'm causing him stress just to play the wise chicken doctor hero for my own benefit or some shit, because I like handling him but he dosen't like being handled. I just don't know what to do with him, luckily he's crowing and mating but he's slowed down a little in the winter. Thats normal?
 

Krazikatlady64

Crowing
Apr 14, 2020
379
1,435
256
Armenia, SC
It is normal for them to slow down in winter, and they do a molt then too. That is why they need extra protein for their feathers. Not sure what you can do about the feed where you are. Can you ask someone at the store? I think if they get more nutrition, especially in the winter they can heal and be well. It is hard when they can't get their bugs.

If the Rooster doesn't want to be handled, you probably should not. I wish I could be more help.

Do you know what anyone else in your area does with their chickens?
 
Feb 21, 2021
5
1
9
It is normal for them to slow down in winter, and they do a molt then too. That is why they need extra protein for their feathers. Not sure what you can do about the feed where you are. Can you ask someone at the store? I think if they get more nutrition, especially in the winter they can heal and be well. It is hard when they can't get their bugs.

If the Rooster doesn't want to be handled, you probably should not. I wish I could be more help.

Do you know what anyone else in your area does with their chickens?
Update! I initially thought this had been deleted and wrote a new thread. but turns out it's impossible to see while logged out.

Good news: hens are doing way better, bad news: rooster is doing way worse.

We switched to a mixture of pellets and complete chicken feed in grain form. We also out of nowhere got hit with the weather warning about the coldest winter in years and had to move our chickens from the stable to a much smaller but also much easier to heat building. We honestly should have done that years ago because the old guesthouse/annex whatever you wanna call it is also significantly easier to keep clean.

The hens perked up and their combs look way better, especially the black one below and no more deaths. But the rooster kept getting worse and worse with his comb and wattles being around half (if not less) of the size they were before all this.

This is the rooster now:

baumnu.jpg

And the hen on the left is actually the black one from above.

Thanks a ton for the advice, this is the new thread if you still wanna help out:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...tter-but-rooster-keeps-getting-worse.1446293/
 

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