Possible Rooster Fight... Barely moving, coughing up blood

AlohaChickenGuy

Chirping
Dec 3, 2021
23
70
51
Aloha,

I live in Hawaii where we have a plentiful supply of chickens. Today I came home and it was pouring rain and I saw a chicken laying with its feet straight in the air in the yard with it partially flooded.

I immediately went outside and got him and used a hair dryer + old heat lamp to dry him off and warm him up. He opened his eyes temporarily to check me out, but that's all the strength he could muster. I tried giving him water, and he seemingly tried to drink but then keeps coughing up bloody mucus. It won't stop, but he keeps trying to seemingly drink. He is barely breathing, hasn't opened his eyes, and has liquid stool with no immediate trace of blood. He got irritated at one point and stood straight up only to fall right over. He has also kicked his feet to re-position himself a few times.

He is a young rooster that recently started getting a bit more aggressive and territorial with his sibling rooster. However, there's also a "Big Rooster" that has fought and hurt many other chickens in the neighborhood. I'm not sure but I feel like he got into a fight with him, but this guy barely has spurs where as the big rooster has massive spurs and is much bigger than him.

I'm not sure what to do for him. The bloody mucus makes me feel like he messed up his gizzard or something internally. I noticed some bites around the neck, but they weren't bleeding much. He was initially making snoring/wheezing noises, but they've since stopped. He's just barely breathing, wrapped in a towel, heating pad under him, heat lamp on him, with his beak sitting in water for when he decides he wants to try to drink.

Just wanted to know if anyone had any ideas on how to make him more comfortable or what the bloody mucus could indicate happened in a physical altercation versus disease.

Mahalo for your help
-Adam
 

Wyorp Rock

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Welcome To BYC

I think you are doing what you can for him.

I wouldn't leave his beak sitting in water, but do make water or a little sugar water available for him

Sounds like he was beaten/kicked about the head which can happen when they fight. Probably aspirated some blood. Possibly he has some internal injuries depending on where he was kicked.

If he's got blood and mucous inside the beak, you can try swabbing it out with a Qtip, but if he aspirated blood or is bleeding internally, all you can do is wait and see if he improves. An antibiotic like Amoxicillin can be given to help with pneumonia. Hopefully he will be able to cough up most of the mucous and blood.

Keeping him warm is good, but don't over heat him. The heating pad, wrapping up and heat lamp are probably too much. Keeping him at a temp around 75-80(max) should be fine.
 

AlohaChickenGuy

Chirping
Dec 3, 2021
23
70
51
Aloha!

Mahalo nui for your quick response.

He kicked himself away from the water bowl right after I hit the submit button so great call on removing his beak from the water. I just wanted to make sure he was getting water if he needed it. He is starting to try to lift his head.

Does sugar water provide better nutrition or replace food needs? I wanted to make sure he was hydrated, but not sure what to do if he cannot eat.

I turned the heating pad off and uncovered him from the towel. The heat lamp is a ways from him now.

The bloody mucous doesn't seem to stop. It keeps leaking out on top of a santa shirt I used to prop his head up above his body to help alleviate the bleeding and help with his breathing possibly. He is breathing a bit better now, but he may also be hot and is panting.

Chickens can take amoxicillin? I don't think I have any leftover from prior prescriptions. What dosage would it be? Could apple cider vinegar in the water help with it's antimicrobial characteristics?

Do you think he's in pain? Is there anything I can give him for pain? I have seen aspirin, but if he's bleeding - That will prevent blood clotting and could worsen his condition.

My wife raised a baby chick that another hen tried to kill. He had a broken hip/leg and my wife took him to a chicken lady that said she could either kill it or try to save it. She didn't want to kill it. He grew up alongside this injured rooster, but he is deformed and unable to get around well without limping.

I think this injured rooster has provided protection for him to a degree, but he has tried to run after him when he occasionally tries to roost a female. That's why I said he has recently become more aggressive.

Should I be worried about the Big Rooster coming after him now? What are you supposed to do when there's too many roosters to hens to help prevent fights like this?

This guy is pretty strong. I hope he pulls through. If it's significant internal bleeding and injuries he cannot recover from - How long would it take for him to pass or know whether he is going to make it?
 

Wyorp Rock

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How is he doing?

You may want to examine him more closely for other wounds or gashes.

Sugar water or electrolytes are to help him overcome shock. No aspirin, so he's got mucous and blood coming up.

It's hard to know when or if he will recover, it all depends on the extent of injuries, the first couple of days will tell the tale.
 

AlohaChickenGuy

Chirping
Dec 3, 2021
23
70
51
How is he doing?

You may want to examine him more closely for other wounds or gashes.

Sugar water or electrolytes are to help him overcome shock. No aspirin, so he's got mucous and blood coming up.

It's hard to know when or if he will recover, it all depends on the extent of injuries, the first couple of days will tell the tale.
He kicked around his tote some in the night. He looked like he tried standing only to fall over again.

You can see the full extent of his injuries to his face. He was in a very bad fight.

Two concerns:
  • His neck is extremely stiff now, basically stuck in a cocked position.
  • He is barely opening his beak to drink water when I lift his head to water today.
Is there anything to do to relax it or reduce inflammation in his neck it is from inflammation/injury? Ice/cold water? Or do you apply heat to get more blood circulating there? Epsom salt?

Should I force his beak open and syringe water down his throat? Or can he go without water for more time than a day due to being injured and not moving a lot?

Does inflammation in chickens work similar to humans where the first 24-48 hours you appear worse or are in more pain? Or does the deterioration mean he most likely isn't going to make it despite trying to stand?

Is it easier for him to breathe on his side or should I try to prop him up a bit? I just feel like that's the only thing that he's doing right now that shows any signs of life.

Mahalo for checking back
 

Wyorp Rock

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Can you post some photos?

Is he struggling to breath? Still having mucous in the beak?

I would give him drops of water. If you have human vitamin E and/or B-Complex you can dissolve 1 E and 1/2 B-Complex into a little water and give him drops of water. He does need hydration.

I would not manipulate the neck very much. If you are keeping him warm, then I wouldn't do anything to the neck except look for any wounds that may need cleaning.
 

AlohaChickenGuy

Chirping
Dec 3, 2021
23
70
51
Can you post some photos?

Is he struggling to breath? Still having mucous in the beak?

I would give him drops of water. If you have human vitamin E and/or B-Complex you can dissolve 1 E and 1/2 B-Complex into a little water and give him drops of water. He does need hydration.

I would not manipulate the neck very much. If you are keeping him warm, then I wouldn't do anything to the neck except look for any wounds that may need cleaning.
I feel horrible. I've been moving him a lot along with his neck to dip his beak in water and I had a camera watching him that fell on his neck/head last night. He briefly freaked out or spazzed but is constantly moving and re adjusting himself. Could I have killed him but he is still breathing somehow?

He drinks when I dip his beak in water and I have tried doing it every couple of hours. I combined sugar and apple cider vinegar.

Mucous is now clear no blood. His neck is stiffer and stuck cooked. But he sips water when I dip his beak in.

He is still breathing and re adjusting himself. No bleeding. I put a wet cloth with warm Epsom salt and hydrogen peroxide just to address anything.

I'm out of the house watching him on a camera. He has moved twice to re adjust himself up against the wall.

He still hasn't opened his eyes. He doesn't seem to be improving just surviving.

I feel bad being out instead of being home to give him more water.

I hope he pulls through.
 

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Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Sep 20, 2015
41,614
60,834
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Southern N.C. Mountains
I feel horrible. I've been moving him a lot along with his neck to dip his beak in water and I had a camera watching him that fell on his neck/head last night. He briefly freaked out or spazzed but is constantly moving and re adjusting himself. Could I have killed him but he is still breathing somehow?

He drinks when I dip his beak in water and I have tried doing it every couple of hours. I combined sugar and apple cider vinegar.

Mucous is now clear no blood. His neck is stiffer and stuck cooked. But he sips water when I dip his beak in.

He is still breathing and re adjusting himself. No bleeding. I put a wet cloth with warm Epsom salt and hydrogen peroxide just to address anything.

I'm out of the house watching him on a camera. He has moved twice to re adjust himself up against the wall.

He still hasn't opened his eyes. He doesn't seem to be improving just surviving.

I feel bad being out instead of being home to give him more water.

I hope he pulls through.
:hugs No, you didn't hurt him.
When I mean not to manipulate the neck, I would not put cold packs on it, that type of thing.
It's fine to hold his head and offer the water. It's good that he's able to take the water in on his own.

He's been beaten terribly, so I'm just not sure if he'll make it. You're doing all you can. Hopefully he will make a turn for the better in a day or so.
 

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