Barred rock cockerel acting “off”

DogIsMyShepherd

Songster
Jul 12, 2019
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Canada
My 3 month old barred rock cockerel Chico has been acting “off” today. Maybe I’m just worrying over nothing I don’t know. But I’m so new to chickens, little changes make me worried. Chico lives with 2 muscovies ducks, 1 khaki drake, a speckled sussex cockerel, a silkie pullet and a Easter egger pullet. All birds are around 3 months, except one of the muscovies are around a year old.

They live in a baby barn that’s around 14x10 feet. And have a covered run that’s around the same size. They have an unlimited amount of game bird food. Unlimited water, grit. They get the occasional blueberries and grapes. They have shavings as their bedding. They can go out in the run whenever they like through the day but are locked in the baby barn at night. I’m not with the birds all day. They’re at my house, my dad has cancer and so I’ve been staying with my parents, I just come back twice a day to feed chickens, ducks and my indoor cats. So this morning when I let the birds out I stayed and watched them for a few moments. My barred rock Chico just seems weird today. His posture seems slightly different. His steps are slower the usual, like he’s really having to think about every step. He bent his head to eat a piece of grass then didn’t. He went in the barn, stood still and seemed to be falling asleep but then went back outside. He ate a piece of his food and was able to swallow it but seemed like he was having a hard time.

Maybe I’m just imagining things, but my chicks and ducks are my pets and I’m worried.
 

Wyorp Rock

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Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 20, 2015
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My barred rock Chico just seems weird today. His posture seems slightly different. His steps are slower the usual, like he’s really having to think about every step. He bent his head to eat a piece of grass then didn’t. He went in the barn, stood still and seemed to be falling asleep but then went back outside. He ate a piece of his food and was able to swallow it but seemed like he was having a hard time.
Can you post some photos of him and his poop?
How long have you had him?

You mention Game Bird Feed - do you have a photo of the label for that? (nutritional analysis)

I would check his crop to make sure it's empty first thing in the morning before he eats/drinks. Look inside his beak for any yellow/white patches, canker, etc.
Do you think he may have been fighting with the others? It may be worth checking him over for any injuries.
 

slordaz

hatchaholic
5 Years
Apr 15, 2015
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hormones may be kicking in to for the cockerels, and if one is dominant it may be he's just being submissive as there are pullets with them.
 

Wyorp Rock

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Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 20, 2015
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Southern N.C. Mountains
I’ll try to get some pics when I go back this evening. I’ve had him since he was just a few days old.

I’ll try and post a link to the feed.
https://www.purinamills.com/game-bird-feed/products/detail/purina-game-bird-flight-conditioner
I would still check him over really well. If you feel something is not right, then generally there is.
I also think I would transition the flock to an all flock type feed instead of game bird feed. Chickens and Ducks have similar needs but the game bird feed is formulated more for game birds (pheasants, quail, chukars, etc.) and may not have the vitamins/minerals required for chickens. If @ChickenCanoe can chime in on this I would appreciate it.
https://www.purinamills.com/chicken-feed/products/detail/purina-flock-raiser-crumbles

If he's still "off" when you get home, then see if he will drink for you, then eat. Feel his crop to see if it has anything it to indicate that he's eaten today. If you have any poultry vitamins give him a direct dose of those. If possible, collect some of his droppings for testing of coccidiosis and worms.
 

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