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Excessive Head Shaking

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by eggscetera, Nov 21, 2013.

  1. eggscetera

    eggscetera Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 12, 2011
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    It's been very cold here. My rooster has begun shaking his head all the time. He can't seem to stop. I'm worried. This is not normal. It's below freezing outside - should I bring him inside in a box to warm up? His hens seem just fine and are laying eggs.
     
  2. luvmigrls

    luvmigrls Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not suggesting this but seems like I just read another post a few days ago suggesting it might be a respiratory illness, maybe do to colder temperatures. How cold is it? We are in the teens here, so we put a heat lamp/bulb in our coop.
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I have been pouring back over threads here on BYC about "rooster shaking head," and many point to frost bite, respiratory infection, ear mites, or northern fowl mites as the culprit.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2013
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    It could be something lodged in his esophagus or he's simply adjusting his crop. You can give him an eyedropperful of olive oil to swallow, then gently massage downward from his throat to just past his crop. He will either pass or puke whatever is stuck...if that's what it is. Ear mites could be an issue. You should be able to see what appears to be black specs or dirt in his ear canal, those will be mites or mite feces. Use an eyedropper to put a few drops of olive oil in the ear canal to smother and suffocate the mites. Repeat as necessary a few days later if needed.
     
  5. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    Yes I agree with dawg its possible he has something going on with his ears. How is he doing now? Please update.
     
  6. eggscetera

    eggscetera Out Of The Brooder

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    Palmer, Alaska
    Thanks for all the info. I appreciate the help. I've looked up respiratory illness in chickens. He doesn't seem to have any of the other symptoms. It's back up into the 20s today and he is doing better but still shaking his head occasionally. I will check his ears tomorrow put a dropper full of olive oil in them just in case. I'll also look up the treatment for frostbite- it got to minus 5 and his wattles may have gotten frostbit. They look a little swollen. I'll keep you posted. And thanks again - what a great bunch of chicken folks we have here.
     
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    If you are getting frostbite, you may want to add overhead venting so the moist air will drift out of the coop--moisture is the biggest cause of frostbite along with dipping wattles into bowls of water, then the air instantly freezing them. Chickens can tolerate the cold in the coop, but not moisture, so ventilation is important.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. NYSAHMof3

    NYSAHMof3 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 28, 2013
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    How did it go? Did you find a resolve for your rooster? Did you do the oil treatment? I have the same problem going on. Definitely frostbite on his comb, but he has been doing this since before that happened.
     

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