Dark red comb and lethargic Roo.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chefintc, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. chefintc

    chefintc New Egg

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    Jan 7, 2014
    Traverse City, MI
    Speckles looked fine this morning, moving about. I checked on the coop this afternoon, and he was down, in a nesting box, being pecked by a hen. The nesting box is on the outside wall of the coop, and his head was near the crack to the egg door. It is currently 6 F. The rest of the hens appear fine.

    Any ideas?
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014
  2. chefintc

    chefintc New Egg

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    Jan 7, 2014
    Traverse City, MI
    We have Speckles the rooster in the house warming up for the last two hours, his color appears to be improving. He has had several small sips of water, and pecked at some oats held in my daughters hand, although he did not appear to eat them. He is still weak, but has stood to defecate twice. He is regularly shaking his head, like he is trying to shake off a fly or other insect.

    Is the head shaking a side effect of frost bite?

    Any other suggestions or thoughts?

    Thank you.
     
  3. cosmic chicken

    cosmic chicken Out Of The Brooder

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    May 30, 2013
    Varina, Va
    Maybe electrolytes added to his fluid intake would help. Also, our flock thinks dry cat food is the best thing in the world and I have read multiple places that it is very good for them (someone called it chicken medicine). We use it as a treat, maybe he will like it and eat enough to get his strength up? Worth a shot, or at least a lookup to see if it is indeed a good idea.
     
  4. chefintc

    chefintc New Egg

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    Jan 7, 2014
    Traverse City, MI
    Thank you for the suggestions. He is a lot better this morning. He slept through the night in a pet crate. We then constructed a small pen in the basement and placed him down there. No longer has a dumped tail, eating and drinking well, actually crowed several times.

    He is still shaking his head a lot. Unless he is focused on something like preening, he stands there and shakes his head intermittently, then more, then less… My question is this, are Northern Fowl Mites something that occurs during the middle of a northern winter? There were no signs of this head shaking in the previous weeks, and all seven birds have been acting as normal as chickens can act.

    So… is this a common occurrence in the very cold, northern Michigan region or is there another issue that I should be looking at?
     
  5. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

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    My Coop
    I don't think that this is something that should be expected during the cold, as being caused by cold alone. Frigid temperatures sometimes do put more stress on chickens, though, so that other underlying problems come to the surface. I would be suspect of a more serious issue.

    Incidence of mites can be somewhat reduced in the winter, but as wild birds are carriers, any place that has wild birds can see an introduction of mites. If he is docile, perhaps he will let you examine him for mites more carefully.

    That said, I wonder if the head shaking is due to another problem. Unfortunately, without any other clues, it's very hard to guess from on the other side of the screen, but different illnesses, irritants, parasites and even minor issues can cause head shaking. Can you investigate and see if you can find any other signs or symptoms?
     
  6. cosmic chicken

    cosmic chicken Out Of The Brooder

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    May 30, 2013
    Varina, Va
    Is his comb or wattles frostbitten? It would seem that the discomfort of frostbite could cause him to shake his head... Just a thought. My flock all had spots of frostbite when we brought them inside last night and all seemed more comfortable after we put A&D ointment on them.

    I am glad to hear he is better, I was worried for you guys. Being a newbie chicken owner without search ability on this site (my issue, not the sites) I have been rolling with logic and random info I have come across to give you the bits of my thoughts so far. Hopefully someone with more knowledge will jump in for you soon.
     
  7. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    So, did you ever figure out what this was? Doodle, our 6 year old rooster, had the same symptoms. He was eating at dinner this evening, then started acting like he was having a problem swallowing, and was sort of in a trance...not lethargic, exactly..just acting like he knew there was something wrong, and was afraid to move. I picked him up, and nothing changed. His comb and wattles were dark splotchy red, and he was shaking his head. I put him in a pen, and was wondering about heart problems...so we decided to give him a baby aspirin. I crushed one up, and sprinkled it on finely chopped strawberry. Brought it out to him, and he was seriously trying to get out of the pen...he is very tame and I didn't want to stress him further, so I let him out and offered the strawberry. He tried to call the hens to it, and failing that, ate it himself. [​IMG] After that, he seemed to return to normal. I wonder if he might have been choking? So as I said, just wondering, did anyone figure out what this was????? Doodle has not been sick that I've noticed, I heard him crowing yesterday.. so wth?
     
  8. chefintc

    chefintc New Egg

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    Jan 7, 2014
    Traverse City, MI
    Not sure of the cause. I believe it was a combination of things. Exhaustion, extreme cold, dehydration and a lack of food. He is doing well, and looking fine these days.
     

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