Injured or Sick Rooster? - Mildly Graphic Picture

Discussion in 'Quail' started by ggschulz, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. ggschulz

    ggschulz In the Brooder

    Oct 23, 2013
    I was doing chores last night and found my one rooster with a pretty beat up eye on his right side. I immediately removed him to a box and a heat lamp in the shed. This is what he looks like this morning:

    This is the other side of his head:

    He is otherwise very active now that he has been moved. He was a little wet and "down" when I found him like that yesterday.

    Here are some details that may help:
    -He was fine at 4:30 pm when I checked on him. At 9:00 PM I found him hurt/sick
    -He is 1 roo in with 8 hens in a 24" x 36" converted rabbit hutch (our first quail, didn't intend on breeding them, but of course that changes....)
    -He is an active mater; most eggs have appeared to be fertilized
    -I have lights on them to get them 14 hours of light to keep laying, and have draped the pen with plastic since the weather got cool, but still open bottom and plenty of ventilation.
    -They have a dust bath and straw "nesting box" (small cat litter box)
    -The eye appears completely shut and possibly lost
    -No pus or crust other than what appears to be dried over/healed over flesh
    -Plenty of water available
    -Feed is a mix of TSC's mixed flock feed (20% pro,) Turkey grower (24% pro), oyster shell and a small amount of finely ground wheat

    Does this appear to just be an injury situation? Should I just use the ointment suggested in other threads? At what point can he be reintroduced to the hens, or should he remain isolated/culled? Is a 1:8 ratio so low that it can encourage the hens to turn on the roo? (A stretch, I know, but maybe someone has other experiences.) Are the extended days, or the draped pen, or both causing them to be aggressive, meaning, should I turn the lights off for the winter? This is Central California, and our COLDEST nights will see high 20s, and we aren't there yet.

    Any other insight?

  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hi ggshultz, in my opinion, it could be an injury. From your dimensions, you have a 6 square foot space with 9 birds in it. That is far to small a space for that many birds. And when birds get cramped or stressed in any way, they will fight.

    So I think you need to make more space somewhere. You should not have more than 6 birds in this space, 4 or 5 is preferred. So you might need to start building. :)

    As for this injured one, yes, females can be brutal and attack males. Keep him separated and in with a heat lamp for a day or so as injured birds can go into shock. Shock can kill them faster than the injury. When he has all his senses back about him, he can go back in. Birds are very smart and can sense when another bird is sick or injured and will attack.

    If by chance, you have any Terramycin eye ointment, you can apply that to his eyes. You can also use plain human eye drops to sooth the eye as well. Birds heal quite well. And unless there was a lot of bleeding, chances are the eye ball is still intact. But only time will tell if he opens the eye. Keep him separate until you know if he sees or not and then slowly re introduce him. But please make more space or this sort of thing will happen again.
  3. ggschulz

    ggschulz In the Brooder

    Oct 23, 2013
    Yeah, I was afraid of that... They weren't much bigger than Button Quail when I got them, but they have grown under proper care and feeding[​IMG] and have filled in their space. I have a line of rabbit pens that I have already decided will be for quail and will starting sorting them out now, I guess. I also need to finish the Auto-Water system so I can get that big waterer out of the cage.

    The roo is really doing quite well, so I may give him the drops and just leave him be for awhile. I have a batch of quail in the bator as well, so this gives me some perspective about space moving forward. Probably a lot of meat birds at this point, given my space availability...

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