MY COCKEREL HAS DROPSY! OH MY!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by UT Hobby Farmer, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. UT Hobby Farmer

    UT Hobby Farmer In the Brooder

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    POSTING GUIDELINES for Emergencies / Diseases and Cures.

    Please help us to help you.
    When you need to post in the "Emergencies / Diseases and Cures" section please make the title of your thread concise and specific. For example, to title a thread "HELP" or "URGENT" or "EMERGENCY", etc., is not helpful for us or for you. Nor is telling us "my hen is sick, what should I do?" A good example of a new thread subject: "Chicken got into the pool-barely breathing! Help!"

    Off topic posts will be moved, with an explanation, to an area better suited to that post.

    Any insight into what I might be dealing with would be greatly appreciated.

    1) What type of bird , age and weight.
    RHODE ISLAND RED CROSS, 3 MONTHS OLD, COCKEREL

    2) What is the behavior, exactly.
    FOUND HIM HIDING IN FAVORITE NEST BOX AND KICKED HIM OUT. LATER FOUND HIM HIDING IN SMALL CORNER. TOOK HIM OUT OF COOP AND GAVE HIM THE WHOLE YARD...HE WON'T MOVE MORE THAN A FOOT OR TWO. HAS NO SPUNK. WON'T RESIST BEING CAUGHT. HE JUST STANDS THERE IN A VERY DROOPY SORT OF WAY WITH HEAD HELD DOWN AND EYES CLOSED. FEATHERS SEEM A BIT PUFFY OR RUFFLED LIKE A BROODY HEN.

    3) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.

    HE WAS THE TARGET CHICKEN THE LAST WEEK OF BEING IN THE BROODER. HIS UPPER REAR WAS PECKED CLEAN AND BLOODY. I SEPARATED HIM FROM OTHER CHICKENS AND WOUND SCABBED OVER AND FEATHERS BEGAN TO GROW, NOW 3 TO 4 WEEKS LATER HE ALL OF A SUDDEN HAS LOST ENERGY AND HAS NO LIFE IN HIM.

    4) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.
    SEE # 3.

    5) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.
    NOTHING SINCE HE BECAME LIKE THIS. BEFORE, HE DRANK WATER AND ATE LAYER PELLETS, WHEAT, CORN, OATS, BARLEY, COMMERCIAL SCRATCH, BROCCOLI PLANTS AND OTHER GREENS FROM GARDEN.

    6) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.
    NO SIGN YET.

    7) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
    OBSERVATION ONLY.

    8 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?
    I DON'T TAKE CHICKENS TO THE VET. IF HE CAN BE TREATED AT HOME I WILL DO IT.

    9) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.

    10) Describe the housing/bedding in use
    STRAW, HAY, SCRAPS, MANURE, DEEP LITTER METHOD MAINLY.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2009
  2. threehorses

    threehorses Songster

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    Wow, thank you for using the guidelines! That really helps!
    Basically we have this:
    "RHODE ISLAND RED CROSS, 3 MONTHS OLD, COCKEREL
    FOUND HIM HIDING IN FAVORITE NEST BOX AND KICKED HIM OUT. LATER FOUND HIM HIDING IN SMALL CORNER. TOOK HIM OUT OF COOP AND GAVE HIM THE WHOLE YARD...HE WON'T MOVE MORE THAN A FOOT OR TWO. HAS NO SPUNK. WON'T RESIST BEING CAUGHT. HE JUST STANDS THERE IN A VERY DROOPY SORT OF WAY WITH HEAD HELD DOWN AND EYES CLOSED. FEATHERS SEEM A BIT PUFFY OR RUFFLED LIKE A BROODY HEN.
    HE WAS THE TARGET CHICKEN THE LAST WEEK OF BEING IN THE BROODER. HIS UPPER REAR WAS PECKED CLEAN AND BLOODY. I SEPARATED HIM FROM OTHER CHICKENS AND WOUND SCABBED OVER AND FEATHERS BEGAN TO GROW, NOW 3 TO 4 WEEKS LATER HE ALL OF A SUDDEN HAS LOST ENERGY AND HAS NO LIFE IN HIM. BEFORE, HE DRANK WATER AND ATE LAYER PELLETS, WHEAT, CORN, OATS, BARLEY, COMMERCIAL SCRATCH, BROCCOLI PLANTS AND OTHER GREENS FROM GARDEN.
    NO SIGN YET (of droppings?)
    STRAW, HAY, SCRAPS, MANURE, DEEP LITTER METHOD MAINLY.

    First on the food. At his age, it would be best to have him on a grower food. That provides the nutrients he needs to have a good foundation of health, which will serve him for the rest of his life. Although you may have previously raised birds this way, this one has apparently suffered an injury and his immune system went down during that time. He healed on the outside, but there's something vague going on that I suspect comes from that time.

    Now he's had a week of not eating - certainly he's going to be anemic and thus weaker, possibly too weak to eat if he wanted to. So you're going to need to help him out with this.

    First, I'd put him inside in an area where food and water are very easy for him to reach and he won't be vulnerable. I'm not sure what "scraps" are for bedding - could you explain, please? In any case, I'd use something like a shavings (non-cedar) bedding so that you can see his droppings. ****THis is very important**** We really do need to know what his droppings are like to tell what's going on inside of him..

    For example, are they at this point mostly clear with white? Are they instead dark green with little white? Are they runny at all, like bad chocolate pudding? Yellowish? Green runny?

    You'll also have to encourage him to eat by slightly forcing him. Make a small amount of mash using pellets (ground in the blender to a crumble), a boiled egg yolk portion (save what you don't use for other days), a dab of plain yogurt. It would be helpful to put in a thing of Vitamin E, one capsule, into that mix. Make it slightly wet with water - without making it too mushy. You can also make it mushier and dribble in the side of his mouth later if he's still not interested in the new mash. If you wet this with pedialyte, even better.

    You don't want to force him to eat - just try to get him to eat. You might just start the process by getting some energy in him - some pedialyte (buy generic, it's cheaper, keep the rest in the fridge), a little honey, maybe blenderize some oatmeal til it's a powder - but a little of that or powder from pellets in there. Make a "tea" with this stuff. dribble into the side of his beak, not directly into his mouth. That'll give him some energy. Actually you could put a little yogurt into that, but make it still quite liquid (like the consistency of a fruit nectar) to jump start some gut healing for him.

    Try this a few times today - offer the other mash via spoon or something you think he might be interested in eating out of. See if that perks up his energy.

    In the mean time, we'll wait for the answers to the other question or til you get a day of info on his droppings for us so we can see where this is going. But it's VERY VERY VERY important to get him hydrated (the pedialyte mixture) and get some nutrients into him for fuel (the stuff in the pedialyte water mixture) so that he doesn't just die from that.
     
  3. UT Hobby Farmer

    UT Hobby Farmer In the Brooder

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    Thank you threehorses.

    Once I'm done with my real job I'll inspect for droppings.

    I'm fresh out of pedialyte...would gatorade work? (I'm joking here. Ironically enough we still have pedialyte from our kids winter sick spells.)

    The bedding in the coop is primarily barley straw. However, over time much has been added to this by the way of garden, yard, farm, and kitchen scraps. For example, when the spring peas were done producing I pulled up the vines and delivered them to the coop with a greeting of hoots, hollers, and whistles. I have also done this with other garden produce, such as broccoli plants, lettuce plants, turnip plants, carrot greens...etc. I also grow fresh grains and feed them plant and all of which any remainder contributes to the litter. My birds get alot of greens and they reward me for it.

    As I am sure you are aware, what once looked like a lush green plant quickly disintegrates into something non-discernible once the birds have at it. I usually do not remove the scraps from the garden/farm/kitchen treats but they usually dry out and contribute to the litter. My reasoning is that I will just haul it all out in the fall and add it to the garden.

    This mixed litter approach is not wet, gooey or anything like that. I live in the southwest desert and it all dries up nicely and resembles a mixed compost that the birds scratch to and fro to reach the sand/soil beneath.
     
  4. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon

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    BOCOMO
    Is this your only cockerel/rooster? If you have more than one, do they have access to one another?

    If they get whipped by another roo they can become really depressed (not quite as bad as beaten turkey toms) and will mope around looking all the world like they will expire in the next few hours (puffed out feathers. tail hanging, hiding out someplace, little interest in food).

    No others? ignore the above.

    Could you also explain the `brooder' problems. And, how long has it been since you first observed change in behavior?

    Thanx again for taking the time to read and respond to the questions posted in the sticky!
     
  5. threehorses

    threehorses Songster

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    Actually you jest, but gatorade will work in a pinch. [​IMG] It saved a number of my (exotic) flock from heat stroke during a really bad hurricane evacuation a few years ago!

    On the scrapts, the one thing to watch for is that none of the vegetables ever sour. Honestly with the wet conditions that happen sometimes in flocks (spilled water, etc) I'd be concerned with it as even the friendly compost pile can sometimes be a source of botulism. So just use your discretion on this. You don't want them to be on a compost pile; safer to add their droppings to a compost pile after you pick up what they didn't gratefully devour as far as veggies go. [​IMG] Just a heads-up.

    But in the mean time, try the pedialyte mixture (good to always have around - kids or not, who'd have known?). And get back to us on the poop. [​IMG] Have a good day at work.
     
  6. UT Hobby Farmer

    UT Hobby Farmer In the Brooder

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    By brooder problems...in the last we week we had 3 chicks begin to be pecked. 2 of them were only superficially pecked and no further injury occurred. This cockerel was pecked down to bloody skin. I responded by separating him from the curious eyes and wandering beaks of the others. Now he has a really old looking scab and everything else looks recovered.

    Thanks for all your help so far.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2009
  7. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits...

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    Last edited: Jun 12, 2009
  8. UT Hobby Farmer

    UT Hobby Farmer In the Brooder

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    The cockerel is only on his 2nd day of droopiness (first full day is today...he began hiding in the coveted and preferred nesting box yesterday evening).
     
  9. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon

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    The only other thing I'd suggest (Three Horses has covered everything else) is, after dark, go get him and examine him for any signs of wounds from picking.

    Good luck!
     
  10. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    I rarely come across such an entertaining post on the emergency forum [​IMG]
    My guess is that it is nutritional (not meaning to downgrade the pschological impact of the social stigmatization of the poor little guy but when they get down or stressed for any reason they will often stop eating and drinking and THAT is serious indeed and not to be underestimated).

    >>> separate to a clean area with no deep litter and no straw (use pine shavings for your sick room)
    >>> provide him with a grower ration or failing that some starter crumble (non-medicated) till you can find a source of grower or finisher feed (in other words NON layer! Your boys should always have access to a NON layer source of feed > the layer has too much calcium which can damage their kidneys and cause gout in the long run)

    >>>childrens pedialyte is an emergency substitute for a proper electrolyte... DURVET is a common brand sold at feed stores > the pedialyte should be diluted.

    If you do not have a general poultry supplement then I suggest you get one ... most illness recquires a vit/nutritional supplement to ensure against deficiencies (I recomend aviaCharge 2000 but that is only available online from McMurry or Strombergs and I know that RoosterBooster products have a general supplement but do look carefully on the packaging > they have several products)

    I am not a fan of deep litter method...if more birds start looking poorly I hope the first thing you do is to get rid of it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2009

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