HEALTHY LOOKING ROSTER NOT EATING

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
22,100
30,525
1,102
Colorado Rockies
Thanks for the information. It helps us fill in the blanks.

Do you recall anything about what he was doing right before you noticed this downturn in his behavior? What he was eating, or where he was hanging out? Free range, run and coop only?

Chickens need grit continuously. It's how they digest their food. Without it, they can get constipated. Find some grit and offer it to him. If he eats it like a rare treat, it gives us the clue he may be constipated.

Please read this. https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...w-to-know-which-one-youre-dealing-with.73607/ You will need to understand how crops work and what makes them get sick. You will need to check his crop in the morning before he drinks or eats to verify he has or does not have a crop issue.
 

chicken_ladie

Hatching
Nov 25, 2020
9
5
5
IL, USA
Thanks for the information. It helps us fill in the blanks.

Do you recall anything about what he was doing right before you noticed this downturn in his behavior? What he was eating, or where he was hanging out? Free range, run and coop only?

Chickens need grit continuously. It's how they digest their food. Without it, they can get constipated. Find some grit and offer it to him. If he eats it like a rare treat, it gives us the clue he may be constipated.

Please read this. https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...w-to-know-which-one-youre-dealing-with.73607/ You will need to understand how crops work and what makes them get sick. You will need to check his crop in the morning before he drinks or eats to verify he has or does not have a crop issue.
No matter which flock he was with he was in a coop with an outdoor run attached.
He began acting different when I was completing college applications so I was unable to monitor him.
I hadn’t thought of it as an issue but his face only (frill was red, face yellowish green?), maybe two or three days after that my dad moved him to a coop that has a heat lamp but no run.

He had grit when he was with the large flock, but we had not added any recently. I have now added some to his feed. The hen with him ate a bit, he has still not eaten anything besides bread willingly.
I’ve been adding mush to his bread and he will eat it.
I have checked his crop and do not believe it’s a crop issue. My parents say he’s just a little under the weather and will be fine.
My biggest concern is that he won’t eat, although he still drinks water.
I will continue to give him mush and whatever I can sneak into his bread.
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
22,100
30,525
1,102
Colorado Rockies
Your observations definitely point to this rooster having a health issue. It's hard enough trying to diagnose an illness when the rooster is right there in the flesh to examine and observe behavior, and borderline impossible when trying to do it from skimpy descriptions that are secondhand.

I suggest you start covering a few bases. Sometimes treating for one health issue at a time can begin to rule out things. If we rule out enough possible causes of his behaving sickly, perhaps we can eventually arrive at something that will help him.

Since he eats the bread you've offered him, try soaking a piece in two teaspoons of olive oil or coconut oil. If he eats that, it may help lubricate his digestive system to unblock an impacted crop or gizzard.

Pay close attention to his poop. Take photos and post them here, before you give him the oil and afterward so we can see if the oil has dislodged any fibrous material.

There is a chance he has a bacterial infection. It could be internal or from an external wound hidden on his body that has escaped your notice. Check him over thoroughly to see if such a wound is present.

Next, ask around if anyone has an antibiotic prescription they have left over they no longer need. Or you can buy amoxicillin here.
It would be a good idea to go ahead and order it if you have no access to an antibiotic.

Check inside his mouth for sores or gummy plaque as that would indicate a disease that could be making him sick.

Six years old is really not "old" for a chicken. I have chickens twice as old as that that are in very good health. Chickens die of disease and infection far more often than "old age".
 

chicken_ladie

Hatching
Nov 25, 2020
9
5
5
IL, USA
Thank you, I have checked for external wounds or anything out of the ordinary but have found nothing.
I checked the inside of his mouth and it is normal.
Though he has been sneezing once maybe every 10 minutes.
He has also started breathing with his mouth slightly open:
E69F0C56-8A07-47DE-A7DA-52E96183435B.jpeg

his nostrils do not have any visible wetness or mucus to them.
He also does not make any noise when doing this so I don’t think his nose is stuffed.

In case this is a digestive issue I have been putting coconut oil on his bread and he’s been eating it.
 
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chicken_ladie

Hatching
Nov 25, 2020
9
5
5
IL, USA
If hes willing to drink, I would take advantage of that with either some homemade pedialyte or an electrolyte mix. Theres a bunch of products for chickens but I'm not familiar with them. I did 1 qt water, 2 tbsp sugar and 1 tsp salt, but there are tons of recipes out there that are probably slightly different. You can also scale it down to make less if you want. Just to get some calories in him.

Is his poop still solid or very watery?

I’ve been bringing him inside every morning and night now to hand feed him and tonight he pooped twice between eating.

He’s doing better, and I think he’ll be ok. He’s eating feed and grit on his own. Very little bit at least he’s starting to eat again.
He’s still sleeping all the time, hunched over.

here are the two droppings he had, the first one was about the size of a penny, the other was about the size of the head of a thumb tack.

The droppings don’t show signs that I should worry about. It’s watery because he’s drinking water on his own- I read this was typical chicken poop for chickens drinking water in warm areas. He has a heat lamp in his coop so it makes sense.
1D2D1E6A-57BE-4BB7-9380-621ACA0C649B.jpeg
 

chicken_ladie

Hatching
Nov 25, 2020
9
5
5
IL, USA
My rooster is a 6 year old, black and white booted bantam. He lives with a flock of about 15 smaller chickens.
A few days ago I noticed his face was very pale and yellowish, only him, none of the other chickens.
Two days after that he was moved to a different coop with a heat lamp and one hen (to keep him company).
He returned to a healthy color in a day or two. He has not been eating, I saw him drinking water though.
I was very worried-since he is old- that he’s going to pass soon. But his frill is a healthy red, but his waddle is pink rather than it’s usual cherry red.
He is sleeping a lot, only staying in the same place. During the day he is standing and sleeping on the floor rather than on his roost. But last night I saw him fly to his roost with no problem so he seems to be strong enough to do so.
I have been hand feeding him, he will only eat bread and crackers willingly. My dad gave me bird vitamins that we mixed with a raw egg and I fed that to him- although he did not want to eat it.
I love him a lot, he used to be a house pet but when I entered high school my dad made him live outside, I’m not sure but maybe he is stressed from such a large flock? He’s used to 1-4 hens not 15.
I have been staying with him when I’m not in classes, his droppings were not unusual though.
My family lives right next to the city so there are no chicken vets around, my dad usually treats our birds himself anyways. We’ve never come across this before.
My biggest worry is that he won’t eat and is very inactive but looks physically healthy (no missing feathers, no weight loss), I’m not sure how long he wasn’t eating for before I noticed.

If anyone knows what he may have or if this sounds like he’s just old and ready to go... please let me know he’s been a pet of mine for over six years and I’m very worried for him.
Thank you all for your help, I guess it was just his time to go. He passed away tonight when I brought him inside to hand feed him. He wasn’t himself the past week, I’m glad that his suffering ended.
His frill and wattle were very red when he passed- so I didn’t think he was nearing the end.
Thank you for all your help. He had a nice home and people who loved him.
 

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