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Help with sick/injured? rooster - Updated: He didn't make it...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by bradmck, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. bradmck

    bradmck Hatching

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    I apologize in advance for the length of this, but I'm hoping someone can give me some advice on a rooster of mine that is not quite right. Let me give some background...

    I have a roo that isn't acting quite right and limping some on his right leg. I caught him and another roo fighting a bit on Sunday (he was always dominant) - not that bad of a fight but the previously submissive one was chasing him back and forth across the yard. I caught and separated them and thought all was ok. On Monday morning he didn't want to get out of the cage I put him in inside the coop. I didn't think that much of it until I got home and he still wasn't looking to get out.

    I pulled him out of the coop and brought him in the house Monday night. He was very tired acting but I didn't notice a limp until Tuesday when I put him back outside with the hens (with out the other roo). A few hours later I noticed him limping some. He would also just lay down in the grass (at first I thought just the warm sun...).

    I brought him back in and put him in a cage so he wouldn't move around much. I have looked him all over and can't find anything obvious as far wounds on his leg. Once I settle him down I can move his leg around and he doesn't mind a whole lot. He hasn't been eating much though until today when I mixed up some scrambled e**. I will mention up front that this bird was supposed to be vaccinated for Mareks...

    Here's some details:

    1) What type of bird , age and weight.
    Wyandotte rooster, 28 weeks, 5-6? lbs

    2) What is the behavior, exactly.
    Lethargic, limping on right leg, lays down a lot

    3) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.
    Nothing obvious. He has some scabs on his comb and waddles from previous tangles, but nothing that looks serious to me.

    4) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.
    He got in a fight on Sunday with another roo, but not bad I didn't think. I did change the bedding recently and there is much less now. I wondered if he maybe hurt his leg jumping down from favorite roost? (about 4 feet)

    5) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.
    He hadn't been eating a whole lot of normal food. I have been trying oatmeal and then he really liked scrambled egg tonight. I've been mixing his water 50/50 with Pedialyte

    6) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.
    His poo is runny most of the time. No blood, just more white and more wet than normal.

    7) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
    I started putting Pedialyte in his water yesterday (50/50 mix). I also fed scrambled eggs and oatmeal for easy high protein meals. I have given him 2 doses of the hypericum I saw others talking about.

    8 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?
    I'd like to treat myself...

    9) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.

    10) Describe the housing/bedding in use
    He has lived in a 40sq ft coop with 10 hens and another roo. They free range on all days practical. They have been living on about 10-12 inches of bedding which I recently cleaned out and there was about 4 inches or so. I have since increased that to 6-8" of pine bedding thinking maybe he got hurt from that?

    I'm new to chickens and have spent a LOT of time reading on this forum but obviously have a long way to go before I know what I'm doing. If anyone can offer any ideas I'd appreciate it. I thought about going to TSC to get some antibiotic to try on him as I don't know what else to do. I know that's not the best blanket treatment but again I'm new and don't know what else to try.

    Thanks for listening!

    Brad

    *EDIT* For some reason when I refer to "scrambled e**" it replaces it with "scrambled rooster"!! [​IMG]
    Sorry if that scared anyone!! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2009

  2. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing Premium Member

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    Could be 2 things going on that ring a bell for me.

    Injury - although roos are tough, they do fight with their legs so risk of injury and minor damage is high if they tangle. If this is suspected, it is best to isolate him into a small area where he cannot fly up any height and where he can rest to heal.

    Bumblefoot - sometimes caused by rough stuff or high roosts (4 foot is pretty high for a heavy weight roo). Inspect the foot pad for a black dot somewhere. This would indicate a staph infection either starting or in full swing. If you see this, please take a pic and post for review.
     
  3. bradmck

    bradmck Hatching

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    Mar 23, 2009
    Thanks for the reply hinkjc. I have him in a pet-taxi trying to rest in my basement. I will check his foot really well tomorrow but I looked once yesterday and didn't see anything as far as a black spot. How big of a spot am I looking for BTW? Also, would this bumblefoot cause a change in his poo and energy level?

    There's a bunch of roost poles in the coop BTW, he just always likes the highest spot. I thought about redesigning so they are all lower?
     
  4. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing Premium Member

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    The stress of being alone can cause changes in diet, stools, etc. Yes, bumblefoot can be serious if let go too long. It can send staph infection thru his bloodstream and eventually kill him. That's why it's important to take a look and make sure that is not going on. The black spot can be any size, but it will be evident and typically placed center of a pad on the foot.

    I'm leaning more towards the fighting injury to be honest, but a quick look won't hurt.
     
  5. bradmck

    bradmck Hatching

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    Well I really looked him over again this morning and don't see any black spot on his foot. He doesn't really want to stand much at all now. He can stand and walk ok, but then he will just want to drop. His wings droop on the way down and he kinda sits on his breast. I'm not sure if that's due to pain? Or something worse.

    I can pick him up and handle him and he's fine but doesn't like to put weight on his feet.

    He's still very tired too. His eyes look ok to me when they're open - he's responsive and all. He makes some noise but isn't really crowing now. His color looks pretty normal to me too.

    I went to TSC and got some Duramycin-10 I'm going to try starting him on as I don't know what else to try. It was the only powder they had.

    Any ideas from anyone? I'd really like to save this guy if I can. He's really a cool bird.
     
  6. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Thank you for taking the time to answer the questions so completely (really helps). The antibiotic is probably not necessary (good to know what one is aiming at before pulling the trigger - just what `bug' are you after?). You might consider adding one half of an 81mg. baby aspirin in one cup of his water. If inflammation due to injury is the primary problem, your roo might start exhibiting a higher activity level (at the very least standing more).

    You mentioned that your other roo kicked his butt (no longer alpha). This might also have something to do with his `puny' behavior. Roos can sulk, not as much and as long as whipped tom turkeys, and mope. Maybe a case of insult and injury.

    With any luck this is a sprain/strain and nothing is broken (another way to check for incipient bumble foot is to compare the size of one foot to the other-early swelling with no other sign).

    Keep a close eye on the rest of your flock just in case this is something other than it appears to be.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2009
  7. bradmck

    bradmck Hatching

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    Thanks for responding. I did start giving him baby aspirin last night. I agree with you about the antibiotics, but was at a loss about what else to try (and thinking he may be dying). I know they are way overused in general. I am new to chickens and his behavior had me questioning whether he was just hurt or had some serious infection going (or even Mareks - though supposedly vaccinated).

    Good to know about checking the size of the feet - I will check that too. I hope something I'm trying will working.

    The rest of my birds are all acting normal (including the other roo).

    This isn't the best picture, but I took this on Saturday when they were all hanging out. He was totally normal.
    [​IMG]
     

  8. jjthink

    jjthink Crowing

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    Beautiful fellow. I agree with trying the aspirin for pain relief. You can use 1 baby aspirin crushed per cup of water, the rough equivalent to five 325mg aspirins per gallon, the usual dose recommended on BYC. I am told by a poultry expert that this is a low dose. Mix up a new batch twice daily if you can. It may take a number of days to see improvement if he is just injured from battle. In addition to what you've been feeding him, you can try to cheer him up with some sunflower seeds and other yummies to take his mind off the pain. If he's not drinking yet due to pain, try cutting up bits of fruit like grapes and blueberries and dunking them in the aspirin water and hand feeding him to get some of it in his system to try to take the edge off so that he will eat and drink on his own. If he starts to improve it's importnat that he not do any significant jumping up or down from things until he is pretty far along in healing. He'll need more space than the cage but space where he can't jump up and down. When my roo gets leg injuries I literally lift him to his perch at bedtime and am there to lift him down before he can jump. Until I'm sure he's okay. (it is an effort to beta him to it, especially at the crack of dawn!)
    I hope your fellow will be okay.
    JJ
     
  9. morelcabin

    morelcabin Songster

    Feb 8, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    Wow, those are absolutely gorgeous birds!
     
  10. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    So long as he's eating and drinking there's hope. If you can pick up some meal worms that might get his attention. If any other symptoms appear let us know.

    I lowballed the aspirin dose as I don't know if this is a simple case of bruised and beaten. When our guy was kicked by one of our grandkid's friends (no longer a visitor here). I'd crush a 81mg. Aspirin, divide the powder into four equal piles and give him a grape with ~20mg. stuck to it. I'd then observe the roo's activity level (it did make quite a difference - following his hens around instead of lying by the firepit). But, as always, YMMV.

    That looks to be a fine roo you've got, hope he improves!
     

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