Lethargic, Low-Ranking Cockerel: Need Advice!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Gresh, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. Gresh

    Gresh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 9, 2011
    North Carolina
    Hi, all.

    I have a Buckeye cockerel that is about 10 months old. He used to be a healthy, active bird until about four months ago when I got a very dominant rooster for my flock. This rooster began to severely harass my Buckeye until the latter began to experience a total personality change. Instead of being friendly and active, the Buckeye began to wander off away from other chickens and from humans and foraged slowly about in isolated sections of our property. Recently (as in a day or two ago), this Buckeye began to show signs of lethargy and weakness. He is not very eager to eat, and it has been awhile since I saw him drink anything (though we keep a lot of fresh water available at different spots on our property). This morning I came out and his eye looked like it was a little swollen, and he has kept it shut. He is lethargic and looks like he has no incentive to live. I have isolated him from the rest of the flock. None of the other chickens seem to be developing any such symptoms.

    Do any of you know what I should do with this cockerel? He has been unhappy ever since I got this other rooster. Should I put him out of his misery? I would prefer to sell him to a good home but he is so run down and unimpressive that I doubt anyone would want him. Butchering him is out of the question because he has lost a good deal of weight due to a decreased appetite. Is he so stressed out that he has contracted a disease? What should I do? Please give me your thoughts and advice. I really don't want to put him down but honestly he is just not improving. I think he would be happier dead than alive.

    Thank you for your help.

    God bless,
    ~Gresh~
     
  2. Gresh

    Gresh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 9, 2011
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    Will someone PLEASE read this and reply??? It's urgent.
     
  3. hiddenflock

    hiddenflock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Don't cull yet. After reading your first post, it sounds a lot like depression. There are two things you can do if you want the buckeye to get better:

    1: Divide the flock in two, and build a fence between them. The buckeye can be dominant of his side, and the other one can be dominant over his.

    Or, 2: Get rid of, or cook the rooster harassing the buckeye.

    If your buckeye has his flock, or at least part of his flock back, I believe he will improve.
     
  4. Gresh

    Gresh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 9, 2011
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    Thanks for your advice, but there are a couple things I forgot to mention in the first place.

    One, we very much like the rooster that harasses the Buckeye, but we don't like how he harassed him. We could never sell--let alone cook--this rooster [​IMG]

    Two, this Buckeye is literally terrified of nearly every other chicken--male or female--on our property. The only chickens he doesn't fear are one small bantam hen, a crippled pullet (who must be separated from the rest of the flock), and a very laid-back Leghorn cockerel. Other than these three, our Buckeye runs away from our other roosters and hens and shows no dominance over anyone. He used to be dominant over an Orloff cockerel we have, but this Orloff cockerel got high on himself and beat the Buckeye down another rung on the ladder of the pecking order.

    Based on these qualifications, do you have any more suggestions? Thanks for your advice [​IMG]

    ~Gresh~
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    southern Ohio
    I had exactly the same problem with my favorite young cockeral last year. He started out as dominant roo, friendly, a great leader, then another became number 1, and the first roo never challenged him. As time went by every hen and the other roos began to bully him and he would end up cowering in a corner or a nest box. He started acting sick as though he had a heart problem and depressed. They strted pecking his feet causing them to bleed, even after moving the other roos out to another pen, the girls chased him. Finally at 8 months we had to put him down after our little banty hen viciously attacked him. We knew he would not live, and he was miserable. Sometimes chickens are born with health problems, and as hard as it is we have to deal with them.
     
  6. hiddenflock

    hiddenflock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oh, yes...we have five orpingtons, and even though they're mostly meat breeds, we would never, ever, ever eat them. Nor our ameraucana rooster.

    I would suggest putting the buckeye, and the other chickens that it can go with in a fenced area. Or, if you have a barn, you can put the three of them in an unused stall.

    If the buckeye is with all the chickens he likes, his depression symptoms might pass. It's definetely worth a shot.

    Good luck! [​IMG]
     
  7. Chickybud

    Chickybud New Egg

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    Hi, just reading your thread, my cockerel (bruce) seems very sorry for himself, he is a really sweet natured and was looking after all his hens, we had 7 chicks in april sold 4 and have 2 left as one of the older hens attacked one of them the other day and she died next day, but the cockerel was always busy looking after all of them, then in august we had a further 7 chicks. the cockerel is in with all these hens, 15 in all (2 of the young ones look less hen like than the others so could be cockerels) he comes out of the coop last and stands with his tail feathers lowered and his feathers puffed up he"s not stretching his neck, he doesn't look like he has a neck, he looks like his head is joined directly to his body, he used to call the hens when there was food given now he ignores it and waits out the way until the others have eaten it all, disinterested. Its really sad to see such an impressive and handsome bird so down in the dumps. we are not certain how old he is, as i took them off a friend who couldn't look after them andy more, along with a guinea pig too. He could be 5 or 6 yearsold. any advise would be very welcome.
     

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