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My rooster just turned up dead!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by cgarman, Jan 17, 2017.

  1. cgarman

    cgarman Hatching

    Jan 17, 2017
    I'm so upset. I didn't hear my rooster this morning so I went looking and found him laying dead in the coop. His comb and beard were purple and he had no signs of foul play from another animal. I've had him a few months now, best boy ever but he did do this wierd thing I noticed when I brought him home till the time he died, of stretching out his neck and opening his mouth like he was gonna crow but no sound came out. He always seemed fine though, eating and drinking and running around.. his comb did have a purple color that came and went on the top... this is my first flock and I feel so bad that he may have been sick and I didn't find a vet.. I have 6 adolecent chickens as well who are a few weeks off from starting to lay.. should I be concerned for them? What could have killed my beautiful rooster?

  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    You should always be concerned when you lose a bird.
    There is no way to know which of the dozens of things it could have been without lab work.
    If you tell me your state/country, I can give you the contact information for your local poultry lab.

    I've had 3 birds necropsied. A hen had cancer and 2 roosters that died of heart attack.
    I had to know what killed them so I would know if I needed to treat any of my extremely rare birds.
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Free Ranging Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Welcome to BYC. Sorry for your loss. I agree with ChickenCanoe about a necropsy being a good tool. Gaping and a dark comb could be related to heart failure, capillary worms, or even sour /impacted crop. Capillary worms are more difficult to treat that some. Valbazen used once and again in 10 days, or 5 straight days of fenbendazole (SafeGuard or Panacur) will treat them. I would take in a few fresh droppings to a local vet from your remaining chickens to look for worms or coccidia if possible. Here are a couple of links about state vets and poultry labs, and how to send a bird for a necropsy:
  4. cgarman

    cgarman Hatching

    Jan 17, 2017
    I did not keep the roosters remains.. my hens all still seem perfectly healthy and well also and we just got a new rooster yesterday. This rooster seems so much healthier. I had never owned a rooster before to know what normal was but now I see our new guy and realize how off the other one was...
    If the issue were worms, do I need to check my hens for worms? I read that I can mix in diatomacoius earth to their food in a specific amount to deworm them, but not sure what all worms that covers. Thank you for your responses.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017
  5. junebuggena

    junebuggena Crowing

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    What do you feed?
  6. whatdaflockfarm

    whatdaflockfarm In the Brooder

    Nov 6, 2016
    One possibility for a cause would be a parasite call a gapeworm. Gapeworms are red and fork-shaped and lodge in the windpipe. Birds will gasp, cough and shake their heads to try to expel them. Birds can die from suffocation, which would produce the purple colored comb and wattles.

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