Rooster is actin' strange

ChickenNoobie

Hatching
8 Years
Jan 18, 2012
3
0
7
Our rooster is a White Leghorn and was downright affectionate until the hens showed up. Then he got downright ornery. He would often attack my wife and I unless I demonstrated dominance with regularity. Its been about 18 months and hes tamed a bit but he tends to be aggressive with either me or my wife, but rarely both.
He has always roosted on the branch I have in their coop and typically in the same spot furthest away from the egg boxes. For the last week when I have gone out to shut them in for the night he has been in one of the egg boxes. On at least two occasions I found him in one of the boxes during the day as well when I went out to collect. I have also noted that he has become particularly passive and will sometimes squat to the ground when I walk by. It also seems like I tend to see him laying on the ground more often than not of late. Today when I came home from work he seemed to be stumbling backwards a bit when I came to check on them, though he doesnt seem to have trouble walking. I was also able to pick him up, which I have not been able to do since we got the hens, or hes gone to bed for the evening.

Any thoughts?
 

Bullitt

Crowing
8 Years
Jan 16, 2012
2,380
451
251
Texas
At first I was going to say he sounds like he thinks he is a hen. :) But it sounds like something is wrong with his balance. He's sleeping in a box because he can't balance on the roost. You said he seemed to stumble backward and seems to be squatting on the ground. It sounds like he's having a balance problem, but I do not know what could be causing that. It could be a head injury, disease, or a brain tumor. I hope I am wrong, though.

I would suggest having the rooster checked by a veterinarian.
 

poseygrace

Songster
8 Years
Apr 29, 2011
411
10
136
Georgia
Have you wormed him? That can make them lethargic and off-balance. I know from experience, it just happened to one of my hens. The pattern was the same, she started sleeping in a nest box, then wouldn't get out in the morning, then just squatted in a corner and let me pick her up with no fight. I've started treatment with Wazine, and have some valbazen ordered. I hope you can get to the bottom of it. Good luck.
 

ChickenNoobie

Hatching
8 Years
Jan 18, 2012
3
0
7
Ok, now that my wife is home we were able to give him a more thorough inspection. Its definitely mites and the hens have them too. I got some poultry dust and treated all the birds.
 

Bullitt

Crowing
8 Years
Jan 16, 2012
2,380
451
251
Texas
How can mites make a chicken lose its balance? Or was the rooster just stepping backward trying to get away from the mites? :)
 

ChickenNoobie

Hatching
8 Years
Jan 18, 2012
3
0
7
My understanding is that the mites suck the chickens blood and I guess if the infestation is significant enough, it can cause a variety of cascading problems. I dont know why, but the he rooster is by far the most infested of the birds. The mites are parasites and they seem to be wreaking havok on his entire system. I just hope he can survive long enough for the poultry powder to do its thing.
On a side note, if the infestation was only as bad as on the other birds, I might have tries a soap and water bath instead of the poultry powder. That stuff is scary toxic and the marnings on the container include such gems as "do not use this product around any commercial produce that mya be consumed by the general public." or "May cause serious harm to aquatic life. Do not use this product where wash water runoff could contaminate aquifers." Plus all the normal warnings like dont get in in your eyes or on your skin and only use it if theres no wind where it might go places you dont want it to. Yeah, this stuff is all over my egg laying chickens and their bedding :/
 

galanie

Treat Dispenser No More
10 Years
Aug 20, 2010
7,950
346
361
Colmesneil,TX
I can most definitely see this happening with a bad mite infestation after having seen what a bad flea infestation will do to a kitten. Stumble, lethargic, same thing. All from too much blood being sucked out by the parasites.

On the up side, at least that toxic stuff will save your birds. Hopefully the rooster too.
 

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