Rooster Gasping With Fruity Breath and Squishy Crop

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by OlyChickenGuy, Apr 24, 2011.

  1. OlyChickenGuy

    OlyChickenGuy Chillin' With My Peeps

    116
    8
    101
    Aug 5, 2010
    Olympia, Washington
    EDIT: I am updating whenever I can, and it doesn't seem like Bo's doing much better tonight than where he was yesterday. Any help or good words are appreciated! END EDIT

    My dearly beloved rooster, Bo, is currently not acting like himself. I woke up to check on him since when I last went to sleep he had fallen off his perch and was gaping a little. I figured his gaping might have been because he hit his keel bone against the ground or something since after holding him a little while, he seemed fine, so I put him back on his perch and went back to bed. Upon waking next, I saw him on his perch, but gasping. Further investigation showed he wasn't gasping so much as... burping? When I pulled him out this time, he didn't respond with nearly as much energy as he usually would have, and just kind of fell into me - not limp, but not as supportive of himself as he would usually be. Sitting in my lap, he let out a "burp" right into my face ( which sounded like a little puff of air ) and it was very fruity-smelling, almost sickly-sweet like the beginning of a rotting carcase. I palpated his chest a bit and when I gave his crop a little squeeze, it gurgled, so I squeezed it some more until it stopped gurgling, and he's stopped gasping. His breath still smells sweet, and he's still not feeling well. He's just sitting here next to me with his eyes closed, and usually he'd be watching me type, and the screen, with interest. He also tried to preen when I set him up on the bathroom sink to no avail. He couldn't even reach his oil gland, ceasing trying to get to it when he had his head over his wing, then just tried to preen some leg feathers, but had difficulty with that, so just stopped, sat down, closed his eyes, and that was it. He has JUST started shaking, tightening the muscles over his whole body for a few seconds before releasing. I have covered him partially with a towel. Some of my house mate's hens are making noise outside right now and when they do, Bo perks up and listens, but that's about it. His stool has also been more watery than the other chickens, and he has some pasty-butt going on.

    Bo is a standard-sized 3/4 Rhode Island Red and 1/4 barred Plymouth Rock. His mother was a Blackstar and his father a Rhode Island Red. He is my best buddy in the whole wide world.



    So here's a run-down of symptoms as they are right now:
    * semi-lethargic
    * won't stand, prone to falling off perch
    * shaking
    * intermittent muscle tension ( similar to when my hens are about to lay an egg and seize up their back muscles and stand at about a 45* angle - his cloaca free of debris )
    * feathers on back of neck raised ( which means he's feeling anxious and upset )
    * mild pasty-butt

    BEFORE squeezing crop and releasing gas...
    * gaping motion
    * hissing sound when gaping
    * sickly-sweet smelling breath



    Things that have happened recently...

    Friday afternoon Bo and I went for a bike ride. Bo rides with me very, very often, but today my bike was in a bit of disrepair, so he had to be tethered to a sort of baby-bag thing. It keeps him close to my chest so he doesn't fall into the bike tyre or fall off entirely. My other four chickens are fine with this. Not Bo, he wanted to ride on my handlebars. He's allowed to ride my other bike on the handlebars since that bike's handlebars are much, much higher, so I can use his leash wrapped around my hand to keep him safe of the tyre. So along the way, he jumped out of the bag, and landed on the top tube of the bike - no big deal, that's exactly what the tether is in place for. I stop at a bench, pick him up, and while working with him to become familiar with the bag and new form of transport, he tried to jump again and got his toe caught in my nose. I picked him up, hugging him with both arms. I've found that a gentle pinch on the back of the neck helps to calm chickens, but my hands were tied up, so I gently nibbled his neck. He was relaxing, and then seemed to remember his toe was caught and yanked it right out of my nose. I bit his neck - but mind you, only the loose skin on the top. I had initially THOUGHT this was the culprit of the succeeding events, but the vet told me otherwise.

    After this Bo, predictably, freaked out. I was trying to hold him steady and calm him down ( which the doctor then told me may have accidentally suffocated him ), and this went on for about five minutes before he collapsed. His head was lulling, his eyes closing. I patted his chest and he perked up momentarily, then would lull again. I biked him to the nearest veterinary clinic who pointed me to another clinic, but before leaving they gave him some water and he perked right up. Upon arriving at the next clinic, the doctor saw him and said that Bo had suffered from suffocation followed by shock, which water usually does wonders for, so we encouraged him to gulp down as much water as he could, and we saw dramatic improvements. The doctor then told me to put Bo strictly on a dry cat food diet since he was a bit thin, or mix it with 50% chicken feed if I really felt I wanted to. Bo and I then hitched a bus down town where an art show was taking place so I could price some art, and the whole time he seemed his normal self again. Brought him home, and he wanted nothing more than to go see his hens, as usual, so I dropped him in his coop with his girls, and he immediately went about his business.



    NOW, I think I may have stumbled upon a culprit here... When I got home, the chicken's water was nearly empty, so I took that away and gave them some food while I went to fill up the water. I had been trying to give Bo water throughout the day, and he sucked up water when I offered it to him whenever I was sitting or standing in one place, as he usually would - he just loves drinking out of the water bottles I have for my chickens, and since he was young he seemed to find a particular enjoyment out of the click-a-click of the metal ball at the end of the tube.



    Could all of this been attributed to me giving him access to food before water, and thus creating a blockage in the crop, or is it something else?
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2011
  2. pruitt514

    pruitt514 Out Of The Brooder

    61
    0
    29
    Jan 17, 2011
    Suches, Ga
    Sounds like you have got your hands full. Good Luck:)
     
  3. FrizzlesRule

    FrizzlesRule Chillin' With My Peeps

    440
    9
    111
    Dec 22, 2009
    Sounds like he's doing better. How old is he? I hope he lives a long life, I know what great pets roos can be. I have a black Cochin Bantam roo I take almost everywhere with me. He's usually in a chihuahua size pet bag. and I love when he gets out and people start staring at me and Spike like they never seen a rooster before. I wish I knew more people who take their pet roos around with them.[​IMG]

    Do you ever give him any kind of vitamins or greens? Spike and all my birds love brocolli, zuchinni and other green stuff. It is good for them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2011
  4. OlyChickenGuy

    OlyChickenGuy Chillin' With My Peeps

    116
    8
    101
    Aug 5, 2010
    Olympia, Washington
    Bo will be two years old come this November 27th ( hatched on Thanksgiving ). Oh yeah, I gave him some carrot while I was out and about, too! My chickens haven't really gotten the hang of compost yet. They'll eat grass when given the chance, though, but with getting ready to move, they've been cooped up ( no pun intended ) in my room the past couple of weeks. But we're moving to a 5 acre farm!

    I love taking Bo and Bowser out with me. Bowser is a bantam mutt - I thought he was an Old English Game when I got him, but he acquired white ear lobes and dark legs which sounds more like a Dutch Bantam, but his comb is super floppy and some of his siblings had Mille Fleur-like colouration, which makes me think his batch might have been rejects as part of the Mille Fluer Dutch Bantam breeding project. Used to cart around some partridge Silkies and a white Sizzle ( Silkie x frizzled Cochin ). I spend a lot of time in the city, WITH my chickens ( on my bike no less ), and the looks I get are great. Kids absolutely love them, too. All five of my chickens wear cat harnesses ( except Bowser who requires a KITTEN harness ), which I attach leashes to so we can walk in the parks safely. I have never had a problem with dogs or cats trying to go after my chickens, but then I know how to communicate with naught but body language to a dog that these are MY chickens, and that dog will have nothing to do with them.



    Bo is still acting lethargic, and lying right next to me with his eyes closed. He'll tense up his back when I move or nudge him. He's also spending a lot of time "licking" away at the inside of his mouth. I see him do this sometimes when I stick my finger in his mouth to check things out. Speaking of... his saliva looks normal. It was sticky and slimy last nigh. He has some crust on the side of his mouth which is of a similar colour and consistency when he vomited a few times about a year ago due to another stressful situation. Crop is still squishy-feeling. He is now standing, but still will close his eyes almost immediately after interaction. Not at all interested in moving out of the way when I "menace" him ( wave my hands next to his face ), which he would usually duck right out of the way. He just closes his eyes in response to the hand-waving.

    I have heard that a blockage in the crop can be moved using oil... would that hurt him at all if he DOESN'T have a blockage?
     
  5. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

    8,427
    15
    263
    Aug 3, 2009
    Quote:No, it won't hurt him-I'd give it a try if I were you.
    Sure hope he gets better for you! [​IMG]
     
  6. OlyChickenGuy

    OlyChickenGuy Chillin' With My Peeps

    116
    8
    101
    Aug 5, 2010
    Olympia, Washington
    Bo just let go of some stool that came out in a big blow, and it smells just as sickly-sweet as his breath. I'm not even trying to sniff it, it's just that strong - AND I'm blocked up in the nose right now, so I can't hardly smell anything, anyway! He perked up a good deal right afterwards, showed some interest in the cat walking around, then went back to snoozing while standing next to me.
     
  7. FrizzlesRule

    FrizzlesRule Chillin' With My Peeps

    440
    9
    111
    Dec 22, 2009
    Quote:Bo is about the same age as Spike. I hope he feels himself soon and is completely well. Roos can make the best pets and hens too. My Silkie/Cochin Muggsy is a smooth Sizzle and a real pet.
     
  8. OlyChickenGuy

    OlyChickenGuy Chillin' With My Peeps

    116
    8
    101
    Aug 5, 2010
    Olympia, Washington
    The stool mentioned before was mostly uric acid, it looked like. I used a syringe and poured a whole lot of oil into Bo, followed by a couple squirts of water. Massaged his crop and already quite a lot of gas had built up. Made sure to massage his crop from the bottom to try and get the stuff at the bottom all mixed up with the oil. Felt a little bit like I was playing a belching bagpipe!
     
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    If you can get some powdered copper sulfate, add 1/4 teaspoon to a gallon plastic waterer and do it fresh every day for a few days. No feed at all for a couple days, just the water. Sounds like sour crop, a fungal infection, maybe from something moldy he found to eat.
     
  10. OlyChickenGuy

    OlyChickenGuy Chillin' With My Peeps

    116
    8
    101
    Aug 5, 2010
    Olympia, Washington
    Unfortunately, I have no more funding for the rest of the month, and Thursday is the nearest day I can see a vet who might not even take birds. I think I remember my house mates throwing away some copper sulfate awhile ago, too. Bo and my other chickens are indoor birds, but I've been letting them outside whenever I can since the weather has begun to turn nicer. They'll all happily run outside, play in the dirt, eat grass, and I just began re-introducing them to bugs and worms, which they seem to have forgotten over the winter as a form of food. Come dusk, they'll all walk right back into my room, and ask to be put back into their coop where their usual food and water is, and scratch and play away until bed time. Like I said, though, the past week or so they haven't been getting out as much as I prepare to move. That being said, and with fresh food and water every day and the coop cleaned out every three days or so, he shouldn't have eaten anything I wasn't aware of... except a potato I found pecked at by all of my chickens. I don't remember if it was Bo or Bowser who found it and alerted the hens to come take a look, too. They only got a little bit before I shooed them away, uncertain if that was supposed to be used to plant potatoes this year or not.

    Would it help to feed Bo some sand or dirt, help to grind up whatever's in there? I can ask my house mates if they still have some copper sulfate, but I don't know if they do, and if they don't I A.) don't know where to find it, and B.) couldn't afford it unless it cost less than about 5$. Also, my water bottles that I work with hold a little over a quart of water. All five of my chickens go through about a bottle a day.

    Would a good proposed battle plan, under these circumstances, be to isolate him from the others ( so they can eat, but he doesn't ), and dose him up with water and oil like I did earlier ( via syringe ) until his crop seems to clear up? Massage his crop after dosing... keep him comfortable, warm, happy... He won't like being separated from his girls, but they'll probably enjoy a break!
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2011

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by