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Depressed Rooster? Or -- as I fear --dying?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Toetwo, Oct 11, 2015.

  1. Toetwo

    Toetwo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    HI,

    My Rhode Island Red Rooster is not acting normal. He is three years old. He's been top (um,only) Roo, strutting and crowing ever since he morphed from a she to a he at age 5 months in September of 2012. Each of the subsequent summers, one of our hens has gone broody and hatched four chicks. The first year we had three cockerels that eventually we had to kill as too much blood flying around. This past year we adopted four auto sexed, Cream Legbar pullets (sic) two of whom turned out to be cockerels. One died of natural causes. One remains. I only say all this because I am wondering if Big Red is feeling upstaged by this new roo, Little Big Man?

    Little Big Man runs away when any of the older hen's or Big Red approaches; we basically have two flocks now. Big Red's and his 8 hens, and Little Big Man and his two pullets (who are not laying yet.)

    About a month ago, Big Red moved from top roost to coop floor, where poo fell on him from the hens above. Shocking and bizarre. We thought at first it was protective behavior but now . . . He no longer clucks to the girls to say "TREATS!". Only eats the treats himself. Big Red was still ahem laying a week or so ago. Not sure if he still is doing so (we've been away for ten days) but he has lost a lot of weight, his crow--when he crows--is very weak and pathetic craw. He kind of eats but not really. And his wings are all droopy. He lost his beautiful tail feathers. We thought he was molting but not convinced about that now.

    When this all started a month or more ago, he held his wings away from his body. As if hot. It was hot so I didn't think much about it. He hangs out with the girls but no longer leads or proudly strutts or looks to the sky for hawks. I've not noticed poops being different (just read about worms and mites) but will check this afternoon. All in al lye is a very very different rooster and I am worried about him. I would be more than happy to rheum these three cream leg bars (any takers? I'm in Jaffrey, NH) if it meant getting his ego back to normal. But I fear it is more than just ego.

    Any thoughts, as ever, are appreciated!

    Thanks.

    Toe
     
  2. IrelandEyes

    IrelandEyes Out Of The Brooder

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    Goodness! I feel so bad this is happening to you.

    First off, since his eating is not up to par, it can't hurt to try and give him a poultry vitamin drench. You can buy it in a bottle with black dropper at any Tractor Supply Store. You can put it in their water container or even if you can catch him. give him some directly using dropper.

    Big Red may be sick, or definitely with the introduction of another Roo , this is changing up the chicken pecking order and if he is on the floor that is about the lowest you can get on the hierarchy of the chicken world. Have you seen the new Roo pick on him?

    I wonder if you could separate Big Red and his girls without the presence of the new Roo and see if his behavior changes.

    Otherwise does he look pretty normal? No issues with feet or notice mites and such by face?

    I found that night time is best time to catch a rooster and I throw a towel on them and immediately can pick them up, and then pull back towel so I can see their face and they can breathe. Towel just keeps them from flying away or pelting me with their spur. I also found when you do pick them up--- hold their wings against them (obviously not overly hard pressure) it makes them feel more secure and they are less likely to totally freak...however like people...your Roo still may be very unhappy you are trying to pick him up.

    Let me know how it goes...sending you the best get well Roo thoughts!
     
  3. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your rooster is ill; consider taking him to a vet. He needs to be separated from the flock in case he has something that will spread. Good luck.
     
  4. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    My Coop
    What are you feeding your flock?
     
  5. Toetwo

    Toetwo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Big Red and I have a um relationship from three winters of me picking him up and putting vaseline on his frostbitten comb. I can go right up to the guy and pick him up no problem. He's easier for me to pick up than any of the hens! Too, I think he likes me as he (used to) dance at me as he does his hens. At which point, I'd remind him I'm bigger than him by picking him up and chatting with him. So no towel is necessary.

    The new roo RUNS from Big Red. I can't imagine him being the aggressor. But wonder if all the fancy plumage has given Big Red an inferiority complex. ;-)

    I will pick up some vitamins today. I hate to separate Red from his hens, all of whom hang out and seem to comfort him. We have a great set up that the coop can be separated from the "nursery". They free range all day but maybe I will start separating Little Big Man and his two gals from the others at night. See if it makes a difference.


    In terms of separating him from flock--how does one work that? Put in a large dog cage (empty of dog!) and keep him on porch near our house? How separate is separate? Won't he get more depressed by being lonely? (Yes, I do believe chickens/animals are sentient! But that's a whole other conversation!)

    I feed them organic pellets. Put Apple Cider Vinegar into their water yesterday.

    I absolutely plan to call my vet tomorrow.

    THANK YOU ALL!

    Toe

    Little Big Man:
    [​IMG]

    Big Red:

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Layer pellets?
     
  7. Toetwo

    Toetwo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, sorry. Should have made that clear.
     
  8. Toetwo

    Toetwo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes! Layer pellets.
     
  9. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Last edited: Oct 11, 2015
  10. Toetwo

    Toetwo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi,
    The final update: we took him in to the vet again today and had him put down. A necropsy showed that he had a large tumor around his stomach and intestines. I am relieved he is not in discomfort anymore, and that it wasn't, per se, my fault. Thank you all for your suggestions and time. I only wish I had known it was that so he didn't have to suffer quite so long.
    Toe
     

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