Please help me help my rooster :(


Apr 16, 2020
Alberta, Canada
*slightly graphic photos - the one where he looks amazing is how he looked about 2 weeks ago*

My heart is breaking for my poor cockerel, Odin. 9 months old. He has developed scabby, swollen, sore feet and toes and the hens have started ripping his feathers out nonstop. He’s normally a gorgeous, healthy, happy boy. His deterioration in the past week alone is shocking and doesn’t seem to be showing much improvement even after soaking, cleaning & vetricyn plus keeping his feet bandaged and rubbing with Vaseline. Everyone else in the flock seems and appears to be perfectly healthy.

At first I thought it may be scaly leg mites, but now I’m wondering if it may be frostbite (we live in Canada) or even possibly gout / kidney failure. We try to keep his calcium intake lower than the hens, but he eats a ton of eggshells and we can’t seem to avoid it.

We’re heading into -30c temperatures over the next few days, and I hate to think of him suffering. I want to do everything we can to help him, but I also am starting to think that we may need to do the kind thing for him if he is truly sick and suffering needlessly.

Any advice is greatly appreciated ❤️ this is my first flock and I haven’t had a bird sick / die yet.


  • 5E700D64-3F67-4ABB-AF22-BDA3F7DF36A7.jpeg
    583.6 KB · Views: 14
  • A0FE6195-EBA4-4F83-AD71-176177387E73.jpeg
    662.7 KB · Views: 15
  • 7DDE1626-FDAC-4662-9055-0A914A44371E.jpeg
    357.7 KB · Views: 14
  • 600C4418-09EA-4A71-AE43-D2ADD543A141.jpeg
    474.8 KB · Views: 15
  • 45EB8FBC-514A-43A2-A5B9-59CA5D5652E4.jpeg
    475.8 KB · Views: 13


Apr 16, 2020
Alberta, Canada
He might have leg mites. Rub vasiline over his legs. It helps suffocate these little buggers. They cause irritation which causes the scales to rise up and sometimes fall off

Thank you for your response - that is what we initially thought too, and tried the Vaseline but no improvements as of yet :/ and I’m not sure why the girls are picking on him so horribly


Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
southern Ohio
I think that frostbite in his feet may be a problem. It can take a couple of weeks to see the full damage. Swelling, crusty black toes can be common. Normally, the frostbitten parts will eventually shrivel up and disappear within a few weeks. Frostbite can occur when they get their feet wet and the temperature drops. Betadine or Vetericyn spray can be good to use on the frostbitten feet when tsmps are above freezing or if they are brought inside.

What type of roosts do you have? A wide roost, such as 2x4 with the wide side up for roosting, can enable them to sit on their feet at night to keep them warm. Here is a good article about treatment and prevention of frostbite:

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom