really strange problem....


Free Ranging
17 Years
Jan 26, 2007
central Ohio
OK, this is a new one for me. I posted about Tweety our Silkie roo in another post. He started acting odd about a week ago, just avoiding the flock, and kind of hiding. I didn't give it a lot of thought as he's low on the pecking order. I finally put him in a pen when I noticed our peahens harassing him, and saw that he was very weak and underweight. I fed him up, and put him in the sun in his pen. He perked up, his tail came up, and he ate ravenously and drank. He seemed fine that evening so I left him in the barn in his pen, with straw for warmth. I thought maybe he'd just been harassed by the peahens to the point where he hadn't been able to get enough to eat. He also seemed to have a little problem swallowing but we checked his mouth for Canker, and saw nothing. Next morning (yesterday) he was a little quiet, but ate breakfast. Day was much cooler, and damp. I left him in the barn in his pen. Put a heat light on him later as it was so cool and damp. By evening feeding I noticed he was not eating, was hyper-preening and scratching, and had a little respiratory issue. I dusted him with Sevin dust, being careful not to make any dust clouds or get any in his respiratory system. Less than an hour later he was having serious breathing problems. We brought him in the house, and figured he'd be dead by morning. But by morning, he was standing up, ready for breakfast, no breathing problems at all. He is out enjoying the sun today in his pen. Still very weak, but eating and drinking. We plan on bringing him back in the house overnight again. I noticed he is still preening a lot, I will look more closely, but I didn't SEE any mites, that doesn't mean there aren't any, of course. He rarely dustbathes.
I am worried about using the Sevindust again, although I don't think that was the cause of his breathing problems. I do think he needs another treatment, with something. It did seem to help quite a bit, but he just needs another treatment.

Suggestions??? what the heck is this? Would lice cause all these weird symptoms? He's seven years old, we've had him since a cockerel, he's always battled scaly leg mites but right now his feet and legs are clean and normal. Although he's low on the pecking order, he's a tough little guy and holds his own, normally manages to maintain a place so that he can at least mingle with the flock.
Last edited:
Today he was outside again in the sunshine, all day. Seemed to be doing fine. Seems to have put a little weight on too, but still weak. Still scratching some but not as bad so I carefully dusted him with DE. (he has not had any more breathing problems since the first episode). This afternoon I noticed he had some diarhea, not bad, but he hardly made any waste at all, almost no droppings. Odd, since he'd been eating pretty well. When I brought him in tonight, he was not very interested in dinner. I encouraged him to eat, and he pecked at it and missed. I put a little chopped tomato on it. He ate the tomato, and threw up. He's had tomato before and had no problems with it. I left him alone and when I returned I noticed he'd eaten most of his dinner, but he collapsed beside his bowl, very odd position. He's asleep now.

I[m sorry this is such a long story but I am at a loss as to what to do. I don't know if it could be parasites causing these weird symptoms, or if the scratching is the result of something else not related to parasites at all! And I don't see anything to indicate that he needs an antibiotic...I kind of wondered if he might be having an episode with the MG...but he hasn't been sneezing, or showing any respiratory symptoms except for that one night. He is older, he's seven years old, I said that I think. Could this just be age related stuff? Maybe he's just getting ready to die anyway? Before tonight, I was considering letting him go back out in another couple of days....but now I just don't know. What can I do????? :O Could that Sevin dust have caused these additional problems??? :/ That stuff should be banned altogether...:( I have not seen ANY parasites on him, I've looked and looked. But, he's a Silkie and has dense feathers, and honestly I'd be surprised if he didn't have any, I've noticed the others dustbathing a lot.

Also, like most of our chickens, naturally he doesn't like being handled but he is used to it. He seems way more stressed about being handled than he has in the past He usually passes out, or goes into that weird zone some of them go into from being handled. He's never done that before...
Last edited:
I'm sorry that I can't help you since I don't know what could be the cause but I doubt it is age related since chickens can live much longer lives than seven years. Hope someone can help you.
thanks, I know that, we've had them live to 10 and still going strong. I just wish I knew what to do to help him, no one can figure this out. I think he's aspirating his food or water and that is what is causing the respiratory symptoms and passing out episodes. After I posted this, when I looked at him again, he was up and pecking at his food. But this morning he does not look good at all.

What is crop bound and how do you check for it?
Last edited:
Also, does anyone know, is it too soon to try another insecticide. I don't want to use Sevin anymore. I was thinking about cage bird lice spray (since he's so small) or Ivermectin.

I really think it's too soon to try something else, but just curious if anyone knows.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom