rooster can't walk and is trying to isolate himself please help :(

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by briannabear, Jan 19, 2014.

  1. briannabear

    briannabear New Egg

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    hi, i'm new to byc and the reason i'm joining right now is because my rooster, rush, got into a fight with our other rooster, john rooster. i believe it's because we just introduced some new chicks into the flock and i read somewhere that the pecking order gets screwed up for them so they have to establish a new pecking order. rush was always top rooster (probably not anymore though).

    as of this morning, he was totally fine when my dad went and checked on everyone. somewhere between then (probably around 8-10 am) and about three hours ago (3 pm), rush and john rooster went at it. there's blood on the walls, but rush's comb was only a LITTLE bit bloody (john rooster is totally fine). the feathers around his head are a little more bloody and i can see some skin. it's all dry though and i couldn't find any other sources of bleeding.

    on to the problem: for the past few hours, rush would sit in the corner of our coop. he wouldn't eat or drink or crow. i brought him to the watering area and also brought him snacks i know he likes and he didn't touch either. i left him alone for a while, because my dad and i just figured it was probably because he got his clock cleaned by john rooster. but i'm a worry-wart and checked on him frequently. he could hardly stand and when he tried to walk, he had to use his wings to balance himself out. i picked him up and checked his feet by pushing on the bottoms of them; he curled his toes just barely and didn't really try to pull them away (i don't know if this is because of how i was holding him or not however), so i'm not sure if his legs got paralyzed somehow or not.

    about half an hour ago (aka bed time for all the chickens), i brought him back to the water and food area and he drank a few gulps of water and then even managed to walk back to the coop by himself. he didn't eat, though. when all the other chickens came in from free ranging however, he tried to leave, which i know is a sign of sickness for chickens because we lost one to maggots a few months ago. i put him back in the coop for now, but as far as i know, he could have left again while i'm typing this.

    i just don't know what's wrong with rush. :( he doesn't seem to have any bugs on him that i could tell and he's not bleeding. i'm not sure what to do. usually my mom handles this stuff, but she's not home right now, so i'm turning to you guys for help before i consult a vet. should i bring him inside or wait until morning? did he really just get his clock cleaned or is there a bigger issue i'm not seeing, since he's trying to isolate himself?

    thank you all so much!!
     
  2. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    there is a bigger issue. What happened probably has nothing to do with the new chicks. Rush was probably already sick, and John Rooster realized it and took advantage. That's what they do when they sense any sign of weakness in the alpha rooster. If you want to save Rush, it sounds like he needs to go to the vet. How old is he? Sounds like he might have Marek's maybe...or some neuro issue. It may, or may not have had to do with the fight, but Im guessing I'm right and he was already sick or injured. Anyway, if I were you I'd put him in a pen or cage or something where he can be safe from being picked on by the other roo. Once he is well again, if he hasn't been confined too long, you can probably let him out and they will just re-establish the pecking order. But he has to be well. If he's not, the other rooster will keep persecuting him and the end result will not be happy. Try to keep him n a pen where he can see and hear the others, and they can see him. If it's a cage you could drape a blanket over one corner so if he wants to he can get away and get some privacy. Make sure he eats and drinks well, give him oatmeal or yogurt or whatever he likes in addition to his regular food.
     
  3. myfinefeatheredfriends

    myfinefeatheredfriends Chillin' With My Peeps

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    He may have suffered internal injuries that can't be seen. Keep him warm til you can see the vet. Heat does wonders for birds. Don't force him to eat if he won't take it. You can try giving him a little water with a syringe or eye dropper or something similar to keep him hydrated.
     
  4. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    It's important that he keeps eating. Most of them like yogurt, just stir a little in to his grain or feed. They also liked chopped fruit, scrambled eggs or chopped hard boiled egg, cottage cheese, apple sauce. Tomato. Banana. Lots of other things, too. Moist food is easier for them to eat...moist, not soggy.
     
  5. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    You may have to eventually force him to eat, if he won't. Not today, but if he's not eating anything by tomorrow afternoon or the next morning, you are going to have to. Chickens MUST eat and drink and any avian vet will confirm this. There is a way to force feed them, if you need to do that the vet can show you or you can get instructions on here, or I can help you with what to do, it is pretty simple especially if he's used to being handled. Try really hard to encourage him to eat on his own, though, by using the treats I mentioned. Less stressful for them if they eat on their own, that's true.
     
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC. Here is one more opinion. I think he may have suffered a head injury. When a young cockerel gets to be about 6-8 months old they may start to challenge the older rooster, even after getting along fine before. You may need to decide who gets to stay or go if this younger guy keeps challenging. He may be suffering some neurological symptoms from his head injury. Wry or crook neck can also occur sometimes. I would keep him isolated in a cage, but in the coop so that he doesn't lose his spot there in the pecking order. If you remove him, he may not be accepted back. Feed him some scrambled egg with his feed, and put some poultry vitamins in his water.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2014
  7. briannabear

    briannabear New Egg

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    thank you all so much for your replies!!

    chicknmania, rush is probably going to be a year old late march, early april. i'm thinking you're right about him having been sick or injured from before, though he's seemed fine the past few days. he's in the coop with everyone else right now, thankfully, but he isn't on the roost due to his shaky legs, i'm sure. our polish and silkie are on the ground with him, so maybe he isn't sick if they aren't avoiding him? the polish especially has been sticking close to him.

    i will have to check on him tomorrow morning before work and hope he's better. i will bring him some yogurt and oatmeal as well. i'll do my best to keep him warm too!!

    thank you all again :)
     
  8. briannabear

    briannabear New Egg

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    oh more replies! thank you again, haha

    my mom should be home soon and from there we'll try to isolate him (but keep him in the run). we have a little coop set up in the run for transitioning chicks, so that might be good. the only problem is that a momma hen and her three chicks are in there right now. would he bother them or would they bother him? because if not, that will be our best option, i think.

    also, rush and john rooster are the same age.

    thank you :)
     
  9. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Most broodies will beat the tar out of anyone coming near her chicks, but he may hurt the chicks, so it may not work. Can you put a divider between them?
     
  10. briannabear

    briannabear New Egg

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    well, she's a little silkie and she isn't broody as much anymore and he's a big olive egger, but either way, i wouldn't want them harming each other or the chicks. we might have to pick up a little cage tomorrow from our feed store and use that.

    thank you everyone for your advice and opinions! i will definitely look into everything you've all said first thing tomorrow morning. :)
     

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