Possible Blackhead Disease AND Roo Aggression to People, Other Roo

Tunie B

Hatching
Oct 19, 2020
2
1
6
Hi all. I am a new chicken owner, and longtime lurker. This is a complicated post--please bear with me.
I bought my Easter Egger chicks from Cackle Hatchery last May. I accidentally got 2 roosters and 4 hens. The roos got along great, I hand-raised everyone, was so happy with my flock.
But recently, one roo (the underling--the top roo is ok) began getting aggressive with my mom and my husband. The birds are free-range, so this is a big problem.

So I posted an ad for the Problem Roo, a lady adopted him and was excited. Two days later, she asked me to come get him, as she believed he has blackhead. She couldn't risk transmission to her birds (which included turkeys), so I 100% understand.

It's possible the roo just had fighting wounds on face from Boss Roo, but I washed his comb and noticed a little blue on his comb, which I know now is a telltale sign of Blackhead disease. I never knew anything about this disease before.

I am quarantining the sick roo now because he and Boss Roo now want to kill each other, after only 2 days apart. I don't have enough pens, I am very stressed, and now Boss Roo tries to go after ME because he can't get to the estranged roo.

I didn't know that I was supposed to deworm my chickens, or I absolutely would have. Our coop is clean and they run all over property. Please don't shame me for this; I thought I was doing all the right things, but never had chickens before.

I'm taking sick roo to farm vet to confirm, but if he is positive, can I ever re-home him? Or will he be contagious forever? I think he could thrive in his own flock with his own hens, but I don't have space or time for more. I tried to avoid all of this by ordering sexed chicks, but of course that is never 100%.

My instinct is to have him humanely euthanized at vet, if I can't give him a quality life (no hens, in a cage forever after being raised free-range), and he can't be responsibly re-homed without infecting other flocks. Thoughts? Thank you for reading.
 

Sally PB

Songster
Premium Feather Member
Aug 7, 2020
1,047
2,234
193
Belding, MI
I wish I had some information, but I don't. I have never heard of Blackhead.

But you are doing the best you can for this bird. You are showing a lot of strength and integrity in what you're doing. Good luck with whatever happens.
 

dawg53

Humble
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2008
27,087
11,988
806
Glen St Mary, Florida
The host for Blackhead disease is the cecal worm carried in chickens. It doesnt effect chickens in so much as it does in turkey's. Blackhead disease is deadly to turkey's.
Keep your chickens wormed with either Valbazen or Safeguard and you wont have to worry about cecal worms, or any other worms for that matter except tapeworms.

I recommend that you get a fresh fecal sample from the rooster that was adopted and returned to you. Put the feces in a ziplock bag and take it to any vet and have them look under a microscope for worm eggs. Ask them specifically if there are any cecal worm eggs on the slide. Then you'll know for sure if blackhead is "possibly" present in your flock.
Let us know the results when you get the chance and good luck.
 

roosterhavoc

Enabler
Jan 5, 2012
20,190
46,829
1,041
Hi all. I am a new chicken owner, and longtime lurker. This is a complicated post--please bear with me.
I bought my Easter Egger chicks from Cackle Hatchery last May. I accidentally got 2 roosters and 4 hens. The roos got along great, I hand-raised everyone, was so happy with my flock.
But recently, one roo (the underling--the top roo is ok) began getting aggressive with my mom and my husband. The birds are free-range, so this is a big problem.

So I posted an ad for the Problem Roo, a lady adopted him and was excited. Two days later, she asked me to come get him, as she believed he has blackhead. She couldn't risk transmission to her birds (which included turkeys), so I 100% understand.

It's possible the roo just had fighting wounds on face from Boss Roo, but I washed his comb and noticed a little blue on his comb, which I know now is a telltale sign of Blackhead disease. I never knew anything about this disease before.

I am quarantining the sick roo now because he and Boss Roo now want to kill each other, after only 2 days apart. I don't have enough pens, I am very stressed, and now Boss Roo tries to go after ME because he can't get to the estranged roo.

I didn't know that I was supposed to deworm my chickens, or I absolutely would have. Our coop is clean and they run all over property. Please don't shame me for this; I thought I was doing all the right things, but never had chickens before.

I'm taking sick roo to farm vet to confirm, but if he is positive, can I ever re-home him? Or will he be contagious forever? I think he could thrive in his own flock with his own hens, but I don't have space or time for more. I tried to avoid all of this by ordering sexed chicks, but of course that is never 100%.

My instinct is to have him humanely euthanized at vet, if I can't give him a quality life (no hens, in a cage forever after being raised free-range), and he can't be responsibly re-homed without infecting other flocks. Thoughts? Thank you for reading.
Do you have a picture of the rooster?
 

Chickassan

Wattle Fondler
May 23, 2017
14,424
72,030
1,297
Greenville S.C, formerly Noneya U.S.A
As long as a future owner does not have turkeys or plans for turkeys and is aware he has the capacity to have an attitude problem then sure he's rehomeable if he tests positive.
Full disclosure is key any time you rehome a bird, it is common courtesy.:)
 

Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
Apr 3, 2011
56,582
47,375
1,202
southern Ohio
Yes, please post pictures of the cockerel and his comb and face. It is doubtful that he has blackhead, since it is much more common in turkeys. Things that might be affecting his comb or face is peckwounds, and some roosters will sometimes get blueish tips or rear of the comb with stress or temperatures. Birds with blackhead will have bright yellow poop and cecal worms in their droppings. Those are not very harmful to chickens, but they can spread blackhead in turkeys. SafeGuard Liquid Goat Wormer or Valbazen will take care of cecal worms even if he might have those. Here are a couple of articles that you can read about blackhead:
https://poultry.extension.org/articles/poultry-health/common-poultry-diseases/blackhead-in-poultry/

https://www.merckvetmanual.com/poultry/histomoniasis/histomoniasis-in-poultry
 

Tunie B

Hatching
Oct 19, 2020
2
1
6
A
As long as a future owner does not have turkeys or plans for turkeys and is aware he has the capacity to have an attitude problem then sure he's rehomeable if he tests positive.
Full disclosure is key any time you rehome a bird, it is common courtesy.:)
Absolutely--I wanted to check with vet so I could make the most ethical decision. Unfortunately, the vet could not rule it fowl pox, so we chose a peaceful euthanasia there.
 

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