rooster has stopped crowing and keeps his head down

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Larouxbestfan, Jan 1, 2018.

  1. Larouxbestfan

    Larouxbestfan Chirping

    Jan 1, 2018
    I have a rooster that I found in my abandoned barn a few weeks ago. He's been acting normally, like all my other chickens, up until very recently, as in the last few days. I'm very concerned about him.
    Some points to keep in mind:
    1.He has lice (not infested, but a lot of nits)
    2.I've given him two baths in a mixture of apple cider vinegar + salt + dish soap in the last week to get rid of the lice (it's killed the lice but he still has a bad not problem)
    3.I don't know how old he is or where he came from. I found him around my coop one random morning about 3 weeks ago and he was acting fine then.
    4. We've been keeping him in our house in a bin filled with shavings for over the last week (because of his lice problem).
    5. I don't change his shavings everyday.

    He doesn't seem to have lost a dramatic amount of weight, but I dont think he's been eating or drinking as much as he should. His poop looks normal, though.
    Back on Wednesday he started to seem lower energy. He kept his head lowered and it's only gotten worse since then. He now usually keeps his head lowered and doesn't really stand up tall anymore. He always just has his head down now.
    He doesn't roost on the side of the bin anymore like he used to. He just stays in the bin with his head down all day.
    He hasn't crowed AT ALL the last couple days, which is very out of character for him because he's usually crowing all the time.
    He will try to rub his face I think? He'll move his head back and forth from side to side? I assumed this was because he's trying to rub off the nits or itch his face? He usually stumbles like a somersault and loses his balance while doing this.
    I thought he might be lonely and brought a hen inside for him to see and he seemed a little upbeat to see a hen but definitely not himself. He seemed very low energy still.
    I have no idea what's wrong with him.
    Is he sick?
    Is he depressed?
    Does his lice or the treatment I used have anything to do with how he's acting?
    Do you think i should be changing his shavings everyday and that will help things?
    I just want to know what's wrong with him and what I can do to help him.
    I have videos of him stumbling and laying with his head down if anyone wants to see that if it will help diagnose a problem.
    I'd really appreciate help because I really don't know what to do with him!
    Thank you!
  2. sylviethecochin

    sylviethecochin Free Ranging

    Jun 14, 2017
    Central PA
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    It can be hard to tell sometimes what is wrong without getting his poop tested, in case he might have coccidiosis or worms. Pictures can help us to see how he is standing with his neck low. Wry neck, Mareks disease, or something else could be possibilities. Permethrin garden dust with kill his lice on contact, and apply again in 10 days to get newly hatched lice from nits. Then examine him again in 10 days, and repeat if you see more lice.

    Examine his crop to make sure he is not having a firm or puffy crop especially in the early morning before he eats.

    If you cannot get poop tested, you can go ahead and treat him with Corid for coccidiosis, and then worm him with Valbazen 3/4 ml and repeat in 10 days. Corid dosage is 1 1/2 tsp of the powder into each gallon of water for 5 days.
  4. Larouxbestfan

    Larouxbestfan Chirping

    Jan 1, 2018
    He just stands like this all day.
    I also heard that using wood ash is a good way to get rid of lice?
  5. getaclue

    getaclue Crossing the Road

    Jun 19, 2013
    Central Florida
    I'd start by checking his crop, and ears.
    Larouxbestfan likes this.
  6. KathryninQuebec

    KathryninQuebec Songster

    Jan 1, 2018
    Lac-Humqui QC
    Looks like Wry Neck to me. I was just reading about it because one of my lace wing hens is doing the same thing. I thought it was an injury.
    This is a great article.
    This is a treatment suggestion I'm going to try that I got from one commenter from the link above. Good Luck

    Here is what you need to treat wry neck:
    Poly vi sol (without iron)
    Vitamin E capsules
    Selenium tablets

    The Poly vi sol can be found at Walgreens in the children's vitamin section (about $11). The Vitamin E and Selenium are cheaper at Wal Mart (about $3 each).

    Take the Poly Vi Sol and pour half of the bottle into a safe container. You will be storing it for later. Squeeze several (at least 5) Vitamin E capsules into the bottle with the dropper. Crush a few selenium tablets and put the powder in the bottle as well. Shake well. Give your bird half a dropper full, twice a day. You should see some improvement within 2 days. If not, add more Vitamin E and Selenium.

    You can look up immages on a search. Good Luck!
    Freisian, getaclue and Larouxbestfan like this.
  7. Larouxbestfan

    Larouxbestfan Chirping

    Jan 1, 2018
    He seemed to be keeping his head up fine earlier today but is back to keeping his head down again so, even if it isn't wry neck, I think it's beneficial for me to try this out anyway! Thank you so much!
  8. Lolacan

    Lolacan Chirping

    Jan 1, 2018
    I had one roo who got wry neck after a fight. He came out of it 5 days later. Does he straighten his head to eat?
    Larouxbestfan likes this.
  9. WildCHILD400

    WildCHILD400 Songster

    Jul 21, 2017
    Maybe the lice and stuff is getting to him? Change the bedding every day and wipe the bin out to stop lice from staying around and maybe switch him to a dog crate near a window to look out to not be bored and maybe he'll move his neck to look around. ( Isa brown loves looking at virtual fish on my phone) He could see through a kennel better instead of the bin. Try different foods but always supply fresh water. Best of luck he's very pretty!
    Larouxbestfan likes this.
  10. getaclue

    getaclue Crossing the Road

    Jun 19, 2013
    Central Florida
    Interestingly enough, I did not realize older birds with wry neck would hold their heads down instead of up. The addition of the vitamins & selenium won't hurt the bird at all, and could be exactly what is needed to solve the problem.
    Larouxbestfan likes this.

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