Cockerel extremely lethargic & I need some advice.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by themoldypeach, Oct 27, 2013.

  1. themoldypeach

    themoldypeach Out Of The Brooder

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    My 5 month old Wyandotte cockerels free range during the day & put themselves to bed so I don't know if he was showing symptoms last night or not; or if he was injured somehow. When I saw him yesterday afternoon he seemed fine. He wouldn't get up this morning - I had to climb in the coop & pull him out. I gave him a once over & can't find anything wrong. His bottom does have a small amount of white droppings. I have him in a box under the garage with food & water but he won't take either. He will open his eyes and look around but that's about it. I don't see mucus. His crop is not swollen. He is very warm despite this being our first real cold snap. No sign of bumblefoot or mites or lice. I read a few threads & mixed up a molasses flush which he took easily. What else do I check for or watch for? I have Corrid, electrolytes, and probiotics on hand; should I give any of those? And what about the rest of my flock?
     
  2. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    It could be a number of intestinal problems. At 5 months, I would suspect Coccidiosis, especially if they have not received preventative treatment up to that age. The problem I have with medicated feeds is that chicks fed a variety of other foods besides their medicated ration, don't receive enough of the Amprolium. Medicated feed can also lose potency over time, or if stored improperly. Don't give medicated feed and Corid-treated water at the same time.

    This will be difficult to treat if the bird isn't drinking on its own. You have to encourage the bird to drink. Dosage for Corid 9.6% is 2 tsp per gallon of water, or Corid 20% powder at 1-1.5 tsp per gallon for 5-7 days. That must be the only source of drinking water ingested by the cockerel. You can then follow up with vitamins and probiotics in the water for 3-5 days. The problem with advanced stages of Coccidiosis is that protozoa can damage the intestinal tract. I hope this isn't the case for your cockerel.

    The other very effective treatment would be Sulfadimethoxine powder which combats Coccidiosis, Cholera, and some respiratory problems. Durvet brand is 1/2 tsp per gallon for 3 days. I don't recommend Sulfadimethoxine if there is evidence of intestinal bleeding. That would be noticed with bloody droppings.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013
  3. themoldypeach

    themoldypeach Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks, Michael. I will mix up some of the Corrid. Everyone was fed medicated starter until about a month ago. I treated them once during a bad heat spell this summer & gave them plain starter feed during that time.
    My real concern is something contagious.
    He holds his neck at such odd angles that I wondered if it could be botulism? Would he be severely lethargic? And am I making things worse if I treat for the wrong thing?
     
  4. pwand

    pwand Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Bring him in the house as well to keep him warm. As for the rest of the flock, its hard to know until your able to figure out whats wrong with him. Has he been dewormed?
     
  5. pwand

    pwand Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Was he crop flat this morning? I had a chicken who was blocked and later had sour crop and she use to twist her neck in odd ways. Thats when i realized she was blocked.
     
  6. pwand

    pwand Chillin' With My Peeps

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  7. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    The odd angle of the neck or odd neck movements changes suspicions. The germ Clostridium Botulinum causes botulism from spoiled foods, maggots, decaying meats. Some signs are nervousness, sleepy, weak, loss of appetite, difficulty swallowing, and progressive paralysis of neck, wings, legs. Here's a treatment for botulism:
    http://msucares.com/poultry/diseases/solutions.html
    LAXATIVE SOLUTIONS
    The following solutions or mixtures are recommended to flush the digestive system of toxic substances, most notably for treating birds exposed to botulism toxins.
    Molasses Solution
    Add one pint of molasses to 5 gallons of water
    Offer the drinking solution free-choice to the affected birds for about four hours. Treat severely affected birds individually if they cannot drink. Return the birds to regular water after the treatment period.

    So an ounce of molasses per quart should be a good enough solution. You may have to administer solution orally via syringe. Just be careful not to aspirate the bird. Feeding small amounts frequently will help prevent that if you've never tube fed or don't have the accessories for tube feeding.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013
  8. themoldypeach

    themoldypeach Out Of The Brooder

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    We have been giving him small amounts of molasses/water mixture throughout the day but he seems to be doing worse instead of better. I don't see any poop but he smells bad like a cecal poop would smell. His neck has no support at all. I am going to dissolve some aspirin in water per the article Michael linked to see if that helps because the cockerel is very warm. If it is a botulism infection, what is the likely hood that he will improve & how soon? Everyone else seems fine - bouncing around, free-ranging, having a jolly time. This is my first flock & is very young - I have not treated for worms. Is this something I should be doing?
     
  9. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    If he isn't drinking on his own he needs 30ml/kg (30 ml per 2.2 pounds) of water or pedialtye every 6-8 hours to stay hydrated. It easiest and safer to give via a feeding tube, do not attempt to give this volume with a syringe.

    -Kathy
     
  10. themoldypeach

    themoldypeach Out Of The Brooder

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    Cadwell, Ga
    I am just using a regular drinking straw to put give him a small amount of fluid. He lets my husband hold his beak open & seems to swallow ok between each "dropper-full". He opens his eyes for a few moments while we do this put goes back to sleep shortly after we are done. His comb is bright red and he is still very warm.
     

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