Rooster Lethargic, head down and shaking his head . Help please !

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by VickiC, Sep 15, 2013.

  1. VickiC

    VickiC In the Brooder

    Oct 3, 2012
    My approximately 2 yr old rooster is not well. He is normally active and happy. He is not moving far from the coop in the mornings and isn't crowing.
    He is standing with his head down and appears 'vacant'. He is eating small amounts.
    I have noticed black spots on his comb and he is scratching his ears and opening his mouth a lot , like he has blocked ears.
    He is also shaking his head a lot, which he has done for quite a while now.
    I'm really worried . I hope someone can advise me on what to do.
    Many Thanks
  2. tomdeggeater

    tomdeggeater Songster

    Sep 20, 2007
    Rocky Hill, CT.
    Vicki, Sounds like Avian Pox. He may be having some respiratory distress, which could include blocked 'ears'(do chickens have an Eustachian tube?). The Pox itself just has to run it's course, but you may want to get some antibiotics for the lung infection.
    You may also want to seperate him from the other clucks, so they don't get the lung infection passed to them.
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
  4. ellend

    ellend Songster

    Jul 24, 2010
    cleveland, ohio
    Vicki: Because he has pox doesn't mean that all his symptoms are from pox. They might be, but also Google a poultry disease chart. County extension services all over the country, as well as universities, post them. Find a good one with a chart showing disease, symptoms, and treatments.
    Sorry I can't look one up for you right now--work nights, and late getting organized for bed.

    Good luck to you. I hope he does well. Head down is high concern; please google, make your best educated guess, and treat immediately.

    Have you looked at his mouth and throat?

    These charts are really good. The head-shaking will be on the list.
  5. ellend

    ellend Songster

    Jul 24, 2010
    cleveland, ohio
    I'd also pump him with high calorie, soft food. Scrambled eggs. Electrolytes in his water, because he probably isn't drinking much. Their airway is UNDER their tongue, so if you do force any fluid or food, make sure the tongue is pressed DOWN, and push your syringe toward the back of the throat. For water, best to dribble it on the side of the beak.

    If you haven't done it before, you won't hurt him by opening his beak. Just wrap him tight before you do it, to keep wings and feet still, so that you don't have to try multiple times and stress him out.
  6. ten chicks

    ten chicks Songster

    May 9, 2013
    Airway/trachea is NOT UNDER tongue,it is around base of tongue,before the throat.

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