Mentally unstable Chicken

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Banjoplayer, Apr 28, 2016.

  1. Banjoplayer

    Banjoplayer Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 1, 2014
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    Hi y'all!
    I'm having issues with a bantam cochin about 5 months old. He seems a bit confused. I'm pretty sure he's a rooster, (big comb and wattles, pointy adorable rooster feathers, trying to crow.), but all the other roosters are trying to mate with him. He was having some balance issues, toppling over whenever he takes a step, but he is eating and drinking normally. His crow is not a full crow, just an attempt, but I think that is because he is young. And this morning, twice when I tried to pet him, he bit my hand like it was a hen's head and tried to mount me. However, he doesn't try to go after hens. The roosters all gang up on him (they ignore the hens when he is around) and he freaks out and usually ends up upside down and acting extremely dizzy.

    What can I do to help him? I feel really awful about the attacks, and I am keeping him inside for a bit so he can have a break. Is it semi normal for a young roo to be confused in this manner?

    Thanks!
    ~Hope
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    They are attacking him because he's acting very odd. There's something wrong with him. I would isolate him and probably think about culling. Balance problems come from many thing, he could have something like Mareks, or have a brain injury. The others are attempting to drive him out or kill him. Trust your chickens know that something isn't right.
     
  3. Banjoplayer

    Banjoplayer Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 1, 2014
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    I have separated him. How long should I wait before deciding to cull? I really love him, but if he's suffering and could infect other chickens, I will cull him. It has been a closed flock since they were chicks, and no problems until now, so I'm totally at a loss.
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Jul 16, 2015
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    If he's suffering I would cull, otherwise I usually give mine 1-2 weeks to see if I see an improvement before making my decision. Read up on Mareks and see if that's what you are seeing. It tends to show up at 5 months.
     
  5. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Dec 25, 2012
    I have said it before but it bares repeating, Chickens DO NOT LOOK FAVORABLY ON WEAKNESS OR TOO MUCH DIVERSITY. Both are punished relentlessly by the other members of the flock.

    At your cockerels age however I think that he is suffering from low self esteem. This can be quickly cured by penning him with
    pullets about his own age so that he can learn what it means for a young rooster to have a lady friend all his own. I have seen this cure a rooster like yours in under 5 minutes
     
  6. Banjoplayer

    Banjoplayer Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 1, 2014
    Texas
    Thank y'all! I was a bit worried (read: totally freaked out) that it was Mareks, but it is not paralysis, so I think (hope) that I can rule Mareks out. We had an incident with dogs chasing them shortly before this happened, so that may be the cause. There are no visible injuries.
     

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