Rooster acting strangely after moving to new coop

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bamachick86, Apr 3, 2017.

  1. bamachick86

    bamachick86 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2016
    GA
    Just a few days ago my husband and I relocated two one-year-old roosters (we raised them from chicks) to our coop full of older birds which includes another rooster just a few months older than these two. We have the older, dominant rooster sequestered so the new guys can get acclimated, but one of them has starting showing some worrying symptoms. At first I thought he was just being submissive, he stayed kind of hunched as if he was protecting his neck--he got it pretty good the last time we tried to directly introduce him to our older rooster, so I assumed he was being protective based on past experience. But now he just looks plain lethargic, and he used to come after me when I came into his old coop. Now he just kind of sits there and I catch him with his eyes closed sometimes. He's a huge copper maran, and he survived coccidia and other unknown stuff that killed most of his brothers and sisters, aside from the other rooster he's grown up with. The two coops are virtually side by side so we assumed any possible cross-contamination would've occurred by now, and all my girls and rooster in this larger coop are healthy and thriving.

    Everyone else looks perfectly fine, including his rooster friend that we relocated with him. Could this be something cropping up due to the stress of relocating? He's not showing any signs of respiratory or other issues. I'm wondering if I should just move him back to his old coop. We're just trying to free it up for a new batch of chicks we're raising.

    Any ideas would be appreciated!
     
  2. bamachick86

    bamachick86 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2016
    GA
    Update: I just moved him into the chicken hospital. He looks worse than I previously described. I tried to get him to perk up by throwing scratch in the yard and while everyone else went crazy he just sat there and eventually moved farther away from the rest of the flock. His walk is a bit unsteady. The fact that I was able to catch him without a fight tells me he's in bad shape. His chest also felt pretty bony which surprised me, but big fluffy feathers can be misleading about a bird's weight. I tried to get some nutri-drench down his throat but he looked pretty out of it. I put him in the crate with a small waterer with antibiotics and he has no interest in the water either. The very tips of his comb look a slightly dark color, not sure if black or blueish but not his usual vibrant red. I guess this shouldn't be much of a shock to me. The rest of his coopmates, even if they did survive the initial bout of coccidia, eventually wasted away, showing similar symptoms he is. I was glad he made it as long as he did, but now I feel terrible and like I caused him to relapse by relocating him to the new coop.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Could be he is still carrying the "other unknown stuff",
    and the stress of the move allowed the organisms to bloom.


    Could be his intestines were damaged by the cocci,
    and the skinniness may have been going on for some time.

    Birds can hide illness very well until they're about dead.

    The dark(purplish) comb usually indicates circulatory/heart problems.
     
  4. bamachick86

    bamachick86 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2016
    GA
    Thanks so much for your reply, aart. My husband has been convinced this younger flock (16 of which are now deceased) had Marek's, and that the two roosters who are left survived the initial bout, but as I've learned it's a very complex disease and once it's around it never really goes away. None of the older chickens in the other coop have ever shown these signs, and my vet actually downplayed the severity of Marek's saying it's pretty much everywhere to some degree or another, and it's really just a matter of conditions being just right for it to flare. Based on the symptoms I described to him, the vet didn't think it was Marek's.

    I'm still of the coccidia/severe gut damage theory, which really makes sense with the dramatic weight loss, and that gut damage can make them more susceptible to anything and everything else. I was wondering about respiratory or circulatory issues given the change in color of the tips of his comb. He's moving around a bit more today and I've seen him take water on his own, but sadly I think he's just not in good shape and the prognosis for him doesn't look good. We'll most likely end up just putting him down rather than let him waste away while we poke and prod him trying to find a treatment that works. Very sad, such a big, beautiful bird.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Think your vet is correct about Mareks, it is about everywhere....but is the 'downplay' because there is no treatment?
    Any necropsies with histology done on the deceased birds to confirm or exclude the Mareks?

    Any fecal floats with counts done for worm loads?
    Worms can be more of problem in the south.
     
  6. bamachick86

    bamachick86 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2016
    GA
    We haven't had a necropsy done on any of the birds yet but I need to figure it out--I called UGA (which is over an hour away but you may know has a pretty prominent veterinary program) but it just seems like a complicated process, they said I had to have a vet referral and basically that I can't just show up with a dead bird, so that has deterred us from doing it.

    My local non-avian vet did a float test on the most recent bird we lost back in September/October, he said she had a heavy coccidia load, which I treated her for, and we lost her anyway. I just wish I could find more info about the long-term implications of that damage and whether some of these odd symptoms could be related. My rooster is still hanging in there and has started eating again, but he looks awkward and unsteady on his feet, almost like he's on stilts. That's a sign similar to all of these younger ones we've lost--the rest started sitting on their haunches and eventually just weren't able to get around all that well anymore, so we had to put most of them down and a few passed on their own. None were exactly paralyzed or showing that tell-tale splayed leg in Marek's, just weak-looking and wobbly. I may try worming our big fella to see if he responds, I'm just getting nervous about what we could be bringing our newest batch of chicks (who are vaccinated) into when they graduate from the brooder.

    'Tis a puzzle [​IMG]
     

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