Listless cockerel (8 weeks old)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Leah, Jul 28, 2008.

  1. Leah

    Leah Hatching

    Apr 14, 2008
    Central Missouri
    I noticed this morning that one of my GLW cockerels is acting a bit strange. He seemed sluggish this morning and wasn't interested in the lettuce that I fed the others (which is very unusual). He is walking around and looking at things, just seems very listless. I did catch him and felt him over and the only thing I noticed was that his crop feels very mushy, almost jellyish.

    As for other info, he turned 8 weeks old yesterday and is in a pen with 29 others of the same age. (I am just heading out to separate him from the others) All of the others are acting perfectly normal. He just started this today - yesterday, he was active and full of life.

    Also, he is still on medicated starter/grower as are all the others (18% protein). The only other option I have is layer, and I don't want to feed that yet.

    Any suggestions or guesses at what might be wrong? What can I do?

  2. sammi

    sammi Songster

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    describe droppings..color and consistency

    keep a good check on the crop...see if it is emptying..

    he might have something going on there if it feels mushy..could be sour crop, or he could have eaten something that is "doughy"..or starchy or has an obstruction....
    sometimes giving a small piece of oil soaked bread can help along with massage..

    might try giving him some plain active culture yogurt, or some apple cider vinegar in his water..2 tablespoons per gallon..

    are you able to check his mouth his throat?
    if so..look for whitish or yellowy sores ..
  3. CarlaRiggs

    CarlaRiggs Songster

    My six week old blue cochin just died because of an impacted crop. She was still eating, just not as much, so I didn't notice. I think this had been going on for more than a week perhaps, because she was skin and bones when I realized what was what. She had always been smaller/lighter than the other four chickens.
    Is your chicken getting plenty of grit to help with emptying his crop? You may want to give him some infant vitamins in water; the medicated feed has nothing to do with impacted crop. Be sure to monitor what he will eat, though it may not be much. You don't want anymore fibrous items to become entangled.
    I'd keep him on mash, offer him grit and plenty of water. As noted in the above post, some say that plain yogurt with live cultures may help; sprinkle some oatmeal or other treat on top to make it more inviting.

    Good luck and please keep us posted.

  4. Leah

    Leah Hatching

    Apr 14, 2008
    Central Missouri
    Thank you both for your replies!

    The cockerel appears to be a bit better this morning, still a little sluggish, but there is improvement, I think. As for droppings, they look like they are colored normal, but are very loose - almost watery. I checked his crop and it has gone down almost completely from how it was yesterday. He is pecking at his feed a bit this morning, something I hadn't seen for two days. I am still having to force him to drink (dipping his beak in the water), as I haven't seen him show any interest in that.

    For grit, I have been giving them a heavy type of sand that we buy by the ton. That is what their entire run has on the ground. I have read that that is sufficient - is that correct?

    Could he have just had (or still have) a small blockage or something? I will try the bread with the oil on it this morning.

    Thank you again!


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