Roo has darkened head, etc. UPDATE: dead.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Dutchgirl, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. Dutchgirl

    Dutchgirl Not Dutch!

    Apr 1, 2008
    Our youngest rooster, an OEGB hatched this spring, I think, has developed what seems to be a disease.

    Here are his symptoms:

    - Darkened head and wattles -- they're a dark purple color. He's had this for a while. At first I thought it was frostbite, but none of the other roosters have it.

    - Drooping tail. Although I don't think this is an actual symptom, his tail is crooked and hangs toward the right side. All I can think is that he broke it (maybe from being jerked on his tail too hard?)

    - Ruffled feathers. He's all puffed up and one or both of his wings droop. There's not much reason for this, since it is a beautiful December day at 50-something degrees Fahrenheit here.

    - Won't run away from me. Normally this rooster runs away when I approach him, but now even when I lean down and put my hand right next to him, his extent of movement is a few halfhearted steps forward.

    I'm not sure what to do. From what I can see, his comb and wattles are not swollen and he's not drooling or anything -- but I'm not positive. I can check.

    The closest illness I can find to his symptoms is Fowl Cholera, and it sounds scary.

    Thanks!!! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011
  2. spiritdance

    spiritdance Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 13, 2010
    Have you examined him for injuries? With his tail and wing drooping, I would suspect some kind of physical trauma. Is he in with any large roosters, or could a predator have gotten to him? Just to be safe, though, if he were mine I would quarantine him until I determined the exact nature of his illness/injuries.
  3. Dutchgirl

    Dutchgirl Not Dutch!

    Apr 1, 2008
    Quote:Possibly. He is one of at least six roosters in the flock, but all except one (a pretty big BR) are bantams. Yes, since they are free-range, predators certainly could have gotten to him, especially hawks. However, as far as I know there was no other damage done. Usually if a predator strikes one or more birds die, and if not, there is almost always some hint of what happened.

    I looked for him just now -- most of the birds are on the roost, though a good number are still running around -- and couldn't find him. I can only hope that he's still alive, in the woods somewhere.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2011
  4. Dutchgirl

    Dutchgirl Not Dutch!

    Apr 1, 2008
    The rooster was found this morning lying on the ground, dead.

    Now I really want to know what this is. Will the rest of the flock have to be culled? [​IMG]
  5. Dutchgirl

    Dutchgirl Not Dutch!

    Apr 1, 2008
    Is it possible that chiggers killed him? We are having a parasite problem and we've identified them as mites, but I just read about chiggers on :

    Chiggers are nasty little bugs that don’t mind feeding on humans as well as chickens. Chickens get chiggers when they roam grassy areas or come into contact with hay or straw that’s infested with them. Chiggers cause great distress to chickens. They may appear ill and have no interest in eating or drinking. Their feathers appear fluffed up, and they scratch their skin a lot. Young birds sometimes die from heavy infestations.

    The control of chiggers is the same as with ticks: You treat the environment. In addition, any hay or straw stored close to chickens may need to be moved or destroyed.

    The part about the hay and straw is significant because we have a haystack just a few feet away from the coop. One of the hens made a nest in the hay and hatched her eggs there. That's how we discovered the chiggers-or-whatever-they-are. They were crawling on the chicks. This hay came from a friend of ours who raises cattle, so the chiggers may have come from there.'

    Is it possible that an infestation of chiggers killed the rooster? As I said, he IS our youngest. I'm not even sure he had reached maturity yet. I don't think his sisters are laying.​
  6. Dutchgirl

    Dutchgirl Not Dutch!

    Apr 1, 2008
  7. Cowgirlgrace

    Cowgirlgrace Chillin' With My Peeps

    After reading the symptoms of AI, he had the purple comb but it was not swollen and he wasn't sneezing etc. so it doesn't sound like it to me. Doesn't say what the most common symptom is. Wondering if there are other diseases that cause a purple comb. Droopiness and fluffing up are common symptoms of lots of things. They will do that anytime they are not feeling good.
  8. Dutchgirl

    Dutchgirl Not Dutch!

    Apr 1, 2008
    Thank you. One of the reasons I was a bit frightened was that one of the family has symptoms much like the ones listed in the human type of bird flu, since humans can catch it from fowl.
  9. LarryPQ

    LarryPQ Easter Hatch!!

    Jul 17, 2009
    Avian bird flu is not in the US. So don't worry about that. [​IMG]
  10. Cowgirlgrace

    Cowgirlgrace Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you haven't disposed of the bird yet you can always take it in for testing to be sure. Contact a local vet to see if they can refer you to a state lab. state vet or University. Thats the only way to know for sure what he had.

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