Not an emergency - cockerel can't stand up

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by RedIII, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. RedIII

    RedIII Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I noticed this morning that a 5-mo-old cockerel I have isn't standing up. This is the first I've seen this problem, and I picked him up to check and see if anything was wrong with his legs. His legs and feet seem fine, other than that his toes are curled. This makes me very worried that he may have Marek's, so I am keeping him separate from the rest of the flock until I know.

    His comb is still small and pink for his age, but I had figured that that was because there are dominant roosters around him and he's lower on the pecking order. Diet wise, he has been getting water to drink, no vitamins or supplements, and whole or cracked grains to eat - red wheat, corn and barley with molasses (sweet feed for horses) It's the same food the rest of my chickens and turkeys get. He gets let out with the two pullets he was raised with to forage every so often. They mostly eat grass and whatever they can find around the yard right now, with it being wet and icy. I can't think of anything toxic he would have gotten into, unless he tried some berries off our English ivy and they didn't agree with him.

    He is usually kept in a large dog carrier with the two pullets, as they are small and I've been worried about it being too cold for them. They have pine shavings in there and I try to make sure they have enough and that the litter is clean enough. I remove it when it gets too damp from them knocking their water over or when it's too soiled from use. The pullets are fine. I may start the cockerel on some vitamins and yogurt to see if it helps.

    Advice?
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Chickens should be eating chicken feed since it has all of the right balance of ingredients including correct amount of protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals. I think it could be Mareks from your description, but because of his diet, it may be a vitamin deficiency. For that reason I would definitely put the flock on poultry vitamins--Avian Super Pak is a good brand available online. 1/4 teaspoonful daily per gallon of water is the dose.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014
  3. RedIII

    RedIII Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you. I do have some Sav-a-chick vitamins for the time being that I will give him for the time being.
     
  4. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    I agree with Eggcessive. The feed your are giving him may not contain all of the vitamins and minerals that he needs, so he may have a vitamin deficiency. Unfortunately, his symptoms do sound a bit like Marek's, and 5 months is a common age to get Marek's Disease, so it could be this as well. Definitly try the vitamins; if they work, it was probably a vitamin deficiency. If not, you've at least ruled out that possiblity and you'll know that it is probably Marek's.
     
  5. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    I would start feeding your flock real chicken feed, as a balanced diet is best. But that may or may not be his problem. I would suspect Marek's disease, or possibly a vitamin deficiency. Try giving him some vitamins (either Sav-a-Chic or polyvisol), and keep him isolated from other birds. Is he still eating and drinking on his own?
     
  6. RedIII

    RedIII Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, he's eating and drinking on his own, thank goodness. I gave him some of the Sav-a-chick vitamins and a small handful of the game bird feed I give my turkeys every morning. Left for a few hours to do other stuff and when I came back, he was standing. He wasn't walking, though, and when I gave him a little more food, he sat down to eat. I'm hoping that this is a good sign, though. I'll be picking up some all flock and making sure everyone gets enough of that from now on. I'm sure going to feel stupid if this was caused by a problem with his diet [​IMG]
     
  7. RedIII

    RedIII Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just a quick update. He's still standing some of the time, but he's standing very knock-kneed, as if it's awkward to stand. He took a wobbly step to greet me when I opened the cage, but other than that, no walking. I gave him some more of the game bird feed, since it's either that or the vitamins that seem to be helping. Double checked his legs and feet and they seem to be fine, no swelling or wounds that I can see or feel.

    Thank you all for your help and support with this.
     
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    I would rather that you feel stupid than he have Mareks disease, LOL. I'm glad to hear that he stood for you this evening. Please keep us informed on his condition.
     
  9. RedIII

    RedIII Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good news! I just checked on him when I got home from work, and he is not only up and walking, but jumping as well! What a relief. If he starts to relapse after I take him off the vitamins, I think I'll give him regular supplements for a while and see if that's what he needs.
     

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