Cure for Seizuring Rooster?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by SpaghettiMilk, Nov 26, 2016.

  1. SpaghettiMilk

    SpaghettiMilk New Egg

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    Nov 26, 2016
    Hello, I am fairly new with raising chickens and I extremely fear for one of their lives. About 3 or 4 months ago, I purchased 5 chickens. Two Rhode Island Red hens, 2 Black Sex Link hens, and one Welsummer rooster. Everything had gone fairly well up until this week. On monday (Nov 21st), I had noticed that my rooster was acting strange. His head was hunched over, wing feathers dragging against the ground, having trouble making noise, and seemed to be having trouble keeping his balance. Other than that, nothing else seemed to be wrong with him, so I talked with my family about it and they suggested that it might be a cold. They told me to wait and see if he could recover on his own. Today is Saturday, Nov. 26th and my Welsummer has what appeared to be two seizures. Over the few days I tried to let him recover on his own, I never noticed any signs of improving or getting worse. I did however, notice that he began to decline his food and water. Whenever I tried to get him to eat he would just stare or tilt his head slightly away from my palm. I only saw him drink a few times aswell. But today was one of the hardest days of my life. I had let him walk around with the hens to try and regain a little strength into him and after a while I went to check on them, he was nowhere to be found. As I began to search around, I finally came upon him, laying sideways on the ground. I had thought maybe he had fallen, so when I went to go pick him up he started rearing up and jerking around. I lay him down and he began spinning in circles, struggling to breathe. I took him into my arms and propped him up to try and get him to calm down, holding his neck with the tips of my fingers to aid in his breathing. Eventually, he calmed down, breathing came back to normal, and I didn't let him out of my sight for a good 2 hours and let him rest. After he had attempted sleep for a bit, all seemed fine, so I rounded up the hens and put them in the coop with him. After about 2 or 3 hours had passed, I had went to check on him again, just to make sure he was alright and resting well. He was sitting on the ground of the coop, so I picked him up to inspect if he had discharge coming from his nostrils or any other signs of sickness when he began to have another "fit" or seizure. His beak was wide open, gasping for air as I held him and tried to calm him down some more. Eventually he did, and now he is asleep in his coop. After those two episodes I greatly fear for his life. Other things I noticed about him included that he was shedding a lot of his skin. The feathers on his back, neck and wings were lightly covered with little white flakes. He has never experienced anything like this before, and was a very healthy rooster. I am not exactly sure what is causing this to happen, but any help or suggestions will be greatly appreciated. I can't thank you enough for taking the time to read and try to help me get down to the bottom of this phenomenon that has suddenly plagued him.
     
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Flock Master

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    Welcome To BYC.

    How old is he?
    Was he vaccinated for Marek's?
    What type of food/treats do you feed?
    Can he walk? Is he laying down in an peculiar way?
    Any photos or video?

    You may want to separate him if you can so you can monitor him. Make sure that he is drinking well. Chickens can dehydrate quickly. Offer him some poultry vitamins in his water. Once you have made sure he is drinking, then offer him some wet poultry feed.

    It's always hard to determine the cause of illness. Seizing can be from so many different things. If you have a vet that will see him that would be best.

    Marek's is one illness/disease that comes to mind. This can cause going off feed and leg/wing paralysis which can sometimes look like seizures.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2016
  3. SpaghettiMilk

    SpaghettiMilk New Egg

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    Nov 26, 2016
    My rooster is about 18-19 weeks old, and I am pretty sure he has not been vaccinated. I usually feed all my chickens organic pellet feed, they all really enjoy it. They also however, eat bugs & plants around the woods, peck at flowers plus the cat and dog food, and eat some vegetable scraps every so often (j guess that could be considered a treat). Yes, he can walk, but not very well. I've noticed If he tries to go up small gravel hills he will loose his balance and tip over a bit. He always lands on his feet though, and can sit semi-fine. On flat land, he waddles around hunched over with his feathers dragging around. Sometimes if I place him in one spot he will just sit there and not move for a while. And when he lays down, it's almost like he's unable to rest his tail feathers. The always stick straight up or partially. When I hold him, he doesn't fully sit down. I have to kind of support his chest area around the neck to try and get him to relax a bit better. I currently do not have any photos or videos of him in his sickly manners, I will try and get some as soon as I can. I will hopefully be able to let him see a vet soon, maybe then the problem will be diagnosed and he'll get back to being his old self in no time! I very much appreciate your help & suggestions. Whatever the sudden cause of this is, I hope he'll be able to fight through it. Oh, I should of also mentioned, whenever he had his second fit, his eyes kept rolling back into his head and his pupils would suddenly get big and shrink again. I thought he was going to die right on the spot, since he would have breif moments of pausing in between his fits with his eyes fully shut. But no, he kept fighting to keep his eyes open and to try and calm his breathing. I admire his bravery and willingness to keep holding on. He's a true fighter.
     
  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Flock Master

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    Your feed - is it a chick starter or all flock/flock raiser/grower formula? If you are feeding layer pellet feed to him then switch feeds. At this age 18-19wks he should not be on any layer formula.

    What does his poop look like? It's possible he could have Coccidiosis which can cause weakness, not eating, diarrhea with mucus or blood, loss of balance, and puffing up, and is treated with Corid in the water for 5 days. You can find Corid at your local feed store - the dosage for is 1 1/2 teaspoons Corid powder per gallon or 2 teaspoons of 9.6% Corid liquid per gallon
    Give for 5-7 days - make sure this is the ONLY water available during that time period. Mix a fresh batch at least once a day.

    After you finish treatment offer some poultry vitamins and probiotics/plain yogurt.

    It doesn't hurt to treat for Cocci. Hopefully this is the problem, but the symptoms you describe sounds more like an illness or possibly a neurological/developmental disorder.

    Keep us posted.
     

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