Please help! Rooster sick for weeks and not improving!


6 Years
Apr 16, 2013
I have a mixed breed rooster that has been anything but himself. He is lethargic, limping, and shows signs of muscle weakness. I have wormed our entire hen house around a month ago with one drop of pour on ivermectin (for cattle) between the wings. I have also used this method to treat scaly leg mites and lice in the past. I have had great results with no sick chickens or issues otherwise. He eats a mixture of scratch, laying mash (because it's available to him), scraps, and he and the lady's are free range. I checked his feet for signs of bumble foot or any type of sores and found nothing. He did have large spurs and I thought that they were causing him trouble so we shortened them. He has not crowed in over two weeks and no longer roosts. I have had him in and out of the house trying to nurse him back to health. When I reintroduce him to the lady's he tries to dance, but falls and he has not mated with any in weeks. He eats and drinks fine. Currently, I am feeding him a high protein show bird food and noticed he has green formed stool free of visible parasites. I just started giving him 500mg amoxicillan by mouth once a day and I am going to continue that for one week. I thought the dose might be a little high but when my turkey had been attacked by a dog last week the vet prescribed him 1000mg by mouth twice a day for a week so I figured the dose would be okay for the rooster. I think that he is septic and perhaps whatever he has is contagious because over the last 6 months I have lost around 4 hens with the same symptoms, but they were only sick for 1 to 2 days. In fact, one hen he was laying with on the coop floor last night past away today. I love this rooster and am desperately trying to save him. He is great with my kids and is a true member of the family! Please help with any advice you may have!
How old is he? And how old are the others? Have you asked the vet that treated your turkey? That is a tough one, it doesn't sound like anything recognizable. No diarhea, unusual droppings, discharge, eye problems? Lameness and lethargy can often be a sign of Avian TB, and symptoms of ATB usually start showing up at around nine months. But one symptom of ATB that USUALLY shows up is also white diarhea that sticks to the feathers. However, ATB symptoms can vary. Lameness and lethargy have always been a symptom in the birds I've seen that had it, and it is fatal, but it takes a long time to kill the birds.. If I had to guess, I'd say that's the closest guess I can come to, but it could be other things, maybe even some form of poison? Are his droppings all green?
You are doing the right thing by feeding him well. That is the most important thing in a sick bird, and we always give show poultry food to our sick or injured birds. Plus any scraps he likes. Anything to get him to keep eating, in moderation, and balanced with his regular food, of course.
Unfortunately, the vet that treated my turkey has no experience with poultry. The only reason she agreed to see my turkey is because I contacted the Avian rescue center (for wild birds of prey) and she did them a favor for me. I begged for wound care and antibiotics. I am certain that she would not know what to do. The rooster is approximately 3 years, maybe a little older and the hens that died are about the same age if not younger. His stool looks like normal chicken poop. Mixed in color whitish with the green, but formed and not runny. He had no signs of respiratory illness or discharge from his eyes. I am going to research the Avian TB that you mentioned! I have no clue what is going on with him. I have been reading about Mereks disease but I'm not sure that the symptoms fit.
If they're that old I would doubt that it would be Marek's or ATB. Peter Brown the chicken doctor talks on a blog radio show on Monday mornings, called "the chicken whisperer". You could look that up and get on there, he's very knowledgeable and he will talk to you about your chicken's problems on the show. You can also try to contact him directly if you don't want to wait til monday, though I think there's a small charge for contacting him directlly. That's what I would do though, he does know a lot about chickens, he's an expert. Chickens seem to be prone to things that affect them neurologically.
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