Dead Rooster... Lethargic and black comb... What happened?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by acemario, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. acemario

    acemario Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So, two days ago, I came home from work only to find my rooster nearly dead. He had been free ranging the yard, like always, with the other hens. He was lethargic (couldn't stand up), his head was bobbing, his eyes were closed, and his comb and wattles were cold and nearly black...

    I thought that all of this had happened in one day, because the previous day, he was doing fine... completely normal. So I tried to give him some electrolytes, and perk him up, but he was already long gone. He also let out one huge diarrhea LIME GREEN poop.

    He died that night... What was it?

    Oh yeah! So I went back to look at pictures I took of him on Sunday night, and I noticed looking back that his comb was already starting to lose color... Here is a pic:
    [​IMG]
    I didn't even notice this at the time.

    He was only six months old... HELP!

    I already bought anti-biotics and electrolytes and put it in the waters for the ladies just in case. Along with poultry dust.
     
  2. Kassaundra

    Kassaundra Sonic screwdrivers are cool!

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    Did you do any kind of necropsy?
     
  3. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    I'd say it was either kidney or heart.

    Seeing that he was only six months old I'd say it was genetic and unpreventable. You don't mention his breed or where you got him. I am sorry for your loss.

    Rancher
     
  4. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

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    Poor guy... so sorry that you lost him! Sadly without more details I am not sure what to suggest. A very dark/purple/black comb suggests vital organ failure, especially heart. Beyond this it's very hard to say. If you are concerned, you can consider necropsy... an established avian vet or your state's poultry examiner (state extension office or agriculture office) would have the best chance of a diagnosis but even a home necropsy can sometimes reveal what went wrong if you have the stomach for it. I understand if you can't do this.

    As far as heart or organ failure goes, if that was the case there can be many causes, from serious disease to "simple" genetic problems. There are just too many variables to even guess without more information.

    Use caution when using antibiotics without a clear reason, especially broad spectrum water soluble antibiotic, as you may make it easier for future disease to take hold. Tossing antibiotics against unknown problems can cause more harm than good. Keeping things clean, providing a good diet, and keeping the birds stress-free will go much further toward their health. Best wishes!!
     
  5. acemario

    acemario Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hey Rancher! He is a French Black Copper Maran... I got him from a local BYCer. Yeah... I'm going to hatch his offspring (FBCM x White Leghorn cross). We'll see what happens. I guess we'll see if the eggs are fertile... and if so, i'll just pray they dont have genetic problems... if that is what my roo had... but why would it appear at 6 months?!?

    Very good point. I didn't even consider that! Gosh, you guys are invaluable! When I went to salvage his saddle feathers, I noticed some little orange/tan bugs in his feathers... Could this be what it was? I am so shocked cause I keep the coop soooo clean!

    I didn't do a necropsy... when I saw som eof those little bugs it grossed me out (i know... i can butcher roosters... but the little bugs freak me out)!
     
  6. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

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    Hmm.. I'm not sure! Usually, from my understanding (which is admittedly limited), severe mite or lice infestation tends to cause anemia and would make him more pale instead of dark. It generally doesn't happen overnight. Can you check your live birds for critters? The insects you saw on your passed roo may also have been part of nature's "clean up crew"... lots of insects are tuned in to death, which is morbid and gross but one of those processes that recycles the body. If you are concerned about bugs maybe you can try to get a photo so we can help you ID them.
     
  7. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    Well much like humans heart problems can be present but as the heart grows the problem becomes worse. DS had open heart at four. It hadn't presented itself til then. Much like we have a heart attack so can chickens.

    There are many who breed to closely. Even when we buy chicks we can't be sure how closely they are related.

    I doubt the cooties were the problem. If they were the would have presented gradually and not so sudden.

    Even if the coop is clean mites can hide in cracks and crevices. I for preventative reasons, rubbed Bag balm on all the legs of my BR coop and then on the wooden roost too. When I cleaned I tossed DE heavily every where making sure to get it in corners. I dusted all the nest boxes and tossed it on top the new chips.

    I also wormed using Eprinex which is also good against mites. You might be surprised to know the ingredients in Eprinex is also in some dog and cat pour on flea medicine.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2013
  8. acemario

    acemario Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Rancher and Nambroth, you guys are so great! So far the rest of the flock is looking good. I'll have to look into the Eprinix for the flock. If I try to hatch his babies... is there a pretty high chance that they have bad genes?
     
  9. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    I doubt it. Since they'll be a "hybrid" it's probably not likely.

    I wish you well,

    Rancher
     
  10. hosspak

    hosspak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nambroth and Rancher, you both sound pretty knowledgable and I put this question here for the viewers, I don't want to step on someones thread. Would hanging flea collars in the coop help control small flying and crawling bugs?
     

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