Lethargic rooster w/ blackish comb and runny stool...help please

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In the Brooder
11 Years
Feb 7, 2008
My 1 year old rooster isn't well. His comb is more blackish than red, especially at the tips. He has runny stool; I cleaned him up last night and it didn't look too bad today. He is lethargic and just doesn't feel well. This same bird had crop problems right before Christmas. Then, the vet (not a poultry vet but one who has bred parrots, patched up birds of prey, etc) put him on an antifungal and an antibiotic. We kept the bird inside and after 4 days or so, his crop was emptying on its own and he gradually regained his strength and weight.

He isn't the top dog around here - another rooster is and #1 does run the sick one around the yard a bit - but nothing lethal. One day last week, I had one of the kids let out the chickens and he didn't notice the chicken's water was dry - so the birds did go without water for at least 12 hours, probably not more. Anyway, his crop is not pooling w/ water as it did during his Dec illness - not yet anyway. I bought some Neomycin Oral solution at a feed & tack shop a few months ago but never used it. Today, I gave the rooster 0.2 ml. It isn't labelled for poultry but I was told it was good to occasionall put in 1 Tbsp per gal of water. I haven't done it because I didn't see the need and didn't want contaminated eggs.

My questions:
1. What do you suppose is ailing this Rhode Island Red and can I fix it without a trip to the vet?
2. Why does a comb blacken?
3. Could dehydration started this or do you think this fellow is prone to illness?
4. Is neomycin typically used for shotgun approaches to poultry illnesses?

Thanks so much!
Bells, Neomycin in poultry use is pretty much limited to killing enteric bacteria, e.g., e. coli. The whole of it's activity is limited to the GI tract. I'd probably try to get the guy to eat some unflavored, live culture yogurt (ours hate it, but will eat it if I dump in enough mealworms and let them get slathered up), this will help get the crop back in order (if it's not), and would quit giving him the Neomycin (what antibacterial did the vet have him on last time?).

The comb discoloration (don't know your location, but I'll guess it's not frostbite) could be due to poor circulation/lack of oxygen.

I'd guess the easiest `broad sprectrum' AB to get a hold of would be Terramycin. But I'd try the mealworms/yogurt first.

Good Luck!
Thank you. I live a long way from the vet so I'll check w/ some other poultry people I know to see if they have terramycin (in the meantime, I ordered some). I am embarrassed to say I don't remember the name of the antiobiotic he was on - it was a mycin I do know that.
Again, thanks for the suggestions.


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