Rooster sits in corner, reluctant to move

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by 1dzn4brkfst, Aug 6, 2019.

  1. 1dzn4brkfst

    1dzn4brkfst In the Brooder

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    Aug 6, 2019
    Willcox, AZ
    I got two Partridge Rock roosters and one brown leghorn to keep an eye on the twenty-seven hens in my flock. All were vaccinated for Marek's disease and coccidiosis.
    Five weeks ago, at an age of 16 weeks, I found one sitting in the corner of the coop looking really lethargic. Considering the fact that he had been sitting against the south wall of the coop on a hot summer day, I thought I'd start by moving him out into the run for some fresh air. I would not have called him "wild", but when he let me pick him up with no resistance, I knew something was wrong. In the run, his rivals tried to run him off. His gait did not look right, a little bit like he was wearing boots full of mud. High speed was not achieved. I prepared a "hospital", and separated him from the flock. In the morning he looked better, and I suspected that he had been bullied (he was the smallest rooster). Unfortunately, his condition turned out to be on a downward trend, and the bullying theory was abandoned. I tried to find other symptoms that could help with a diagnosis. He showed no signs of respiratory illness; no sneezing, nasal discharge, watery eyes, wheezing etc. He looked alert; eyes open. Eating and drinking were poor, but he did eat and drink some. No signs of external parasites. Comb looked pale. Droppings were somewhat diarrheal. I was reluctant to take him to a small animal hospital that appeared to specialize in dogs and cats, and knew of no avian veterinarian in the area. About a week after the onset of symptoms, his condition still deteriorating, I made the decision to euthanize him, and perform a DIY necropsy. (I didn't really want to say goodbye to any of my birds, but the "free extra" rooster was the least valuable of the whole flock.) He was very thin: little meat on keel bone. Respiratory tract looked good to me: no inflammation or mucus. Crop was empty. Gizzard had grit, and what appeared to be a few wood chips in a mustard looking substance. Gallbladder was oversize (because he hadn't been eating?). Intestines contained some substance of dark color and wheat grain size and shape, some of which had been passed during the last minutes of life. No sign of internal bleeding, or intestinal rupture. Finding no information that provided a positive diagnosis, I decided to call the experience "history" and keep an eye on the rest of the flock. All seemed well until today, when the other Partridge Rock (now 21 weeks old) started showing the exact same symptoms. Any suggestions or ideas?
     
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

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    I'm sorry to hear about your loss :hugs
    Can you post some photos of the one that is now sick - what he looks like, his poop, etc.?
    Where are you located in the world?

    What do you feed?
    Tell us a bit about your housing - do your chickens free range/are they cooped, etc. (if you have photos you wish to share that would be good too).

    What type of supportive care, if any, have you been offering your cockerel? Vitamins/electrolytes, etc.

    How long have the chickens been on the ground/in the housing they are in?
    Do they have access to anything moldy, toxic, rotten, etc.?

    I would try getting some poultry vitamins into him to give him a boost. Even at 21 weeks and being vaccinated for Coccidiosis, I think I would be inclined to treat him for an overload. Taking a poop sample to your vet for testing is always a good idea if possible.
     
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  3. 1dzn4brkfst

    1dzn4brkfst In the Brooder

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    Aug 6, 2019
    Willcox, AZ
    Sorry for the delay in response, I'm not sure why I didn't receive notification that I'd received a reply.
    Attached photos are of the first Partridge Rock (and his feces) at 16 weeks of age. I can get a photo of this bird in the morning when it's light.
    Located in southeastern Arizona; high elevation, so a milder climate than Arizona has a reputation for. We've had one 100 degree day this summer; many days in the 90's.
    Feed: Free feed Layena, a handful of scratch as a daily treat (for all the birds, not a handful per bird), free access to oyster shell, forage in run
    Chicken coop has dirt floor, pine chip bedding. They have access to a 640 square foot run during the day. I close the door at night.
    I mixed raw apple cider vinegar in his water.
    The chickens have lived in the current coop all of their lives.
    Feed is stored inside, and mold is uncommon in our dry climate. I'm not sure how he could have eaten anything rotten either. I have not used pesticides or herbicides in the coop or run. I cannot say with confidence that no plant in the run is toxic to chickens, but I'm not aware of anything that's a known problem. A mouse that might chance to enter a building 100 feet away from the chicken coop would have access to mouse poison. Whether or not such a mouse could/would eat said poison and then enter the chicken run is unknown. I'm not aware of a source of lead, but the possibility of a stray shotgun bb cannot be entirely ruled out either. Any other possible
    toxins I should be concerned about?
    I'll check into getting a poop test done at the small animal hospital in the morning.
    Feces.jpg Partridge Rock 16 wk.jpg
     
  4. 1dzn4brkfst

    1dzn4brkfst In the Brooder

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    Aug 6, 2019
    Willcox, AZ
    Here are a couple pictures of the currently affected 21 week old cockerel.
    I was away from home all day yesterday, and unable to give him any special care. He is still able to stand this morning, but definitely getting weaker.
    The earliest opening at the small animal hospital is tomorrow morning.
    Is there a particular product/products you would recommend?
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

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    Poor guy is not feeling well is he.
    It's good that you can see a vet.
    Yellow in the poop is concerning to me as well as a lot of white (urates). How long has he been eating layer feed?
    I am not a vet nor an expert, but I would lean toward treating him for Coccidiosis, worms and infection like Enteritis. I would also feed him chick starter or an all flock feed, it's been debated a lot here on BYC, but imho, cockerels do not need the extra calcium that is found in layer feed, excess calcium can be damaging to the kidneys.

    Since you are seeking vet care and hopefully you can get an official diagnosis, I would try to get him hydrated first, then see if he will eat for you. I would entice him with some eggs (scrambled :)) and wet feed. Poultry vitamins if you have them.
     
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  6. 1dzn4brkfst

    1dzn4brkfst In the Brooder

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    Aug 6, 2019
    Willcox, AZ
    I switched them to layer feed at 16 weeks (at which time we found the first egg). With the first bird I tried soaking starter feed in water, and he seemed to eat it a little better. I wish there was a practical way to feed the pullets layer feed and the cockerels all flock, but with all birds together I've just been using layer. Now with a cockerel isolated I wish I still had some starter. (Sometimes living 30-40 minutes from town is inconvenient.)
    I still have some unopened Quick Chick. Would that be ok for an older bird?
     
  7. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

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    Do you mean Save-A-Chick? Yes, you can give that to him.

    I use an All Flock/Flock Raiser feed which can be fed to any age group, I just make sure there is oyster shell available free choice. For me, it's easier, I don't have to worry about age and/or gender.

    Now...a lot of people do feed layer feed to their roosters and seem to have no issues. Feed is somewhat a personal choice I suppose.
    If he will eat for you that would be good.
     
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  8. 1dzn4brkfst

    1dzn4brkfst In the Brooder

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    Aug 6, 2019
    Willcox, AZ
    You may have hit the nail on the head with this one. Enteritis is one thing I did not find in the hours of research that I've done. I did a quick search and found this site:
    http://www.poultryhub.org/health/disease/types-of-disease/necrotic-enteritis/
    Figure 3 stage 3 could well have been a photo from my DIY necropsy.
    Sorry about my bad spelling (or McMurray's :rolleyes:)"Quik Chik", see photo
    He's now half-heartedly pecking at scrambled eggs.
     

    Attached Files:

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  9. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

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    Oh yes...I would give him the Quik Chik! That should be fine.
    If you are seeing the vet that would be good then, he will need antibiotics if you think Enteritis. I would also give him a little yogurt or white cooked rice with buttermilk, to hopefully help soothe the gut.

    Poultry can suffer from 2 "types" of Enteritis (Necrotic and Ulcerative). If I remember right and re-skimmed the articles correctly, both would need antibiotic treatment. Your vet, if they are well versed in poultry should give you the right medications. Personally, I would ask if it would be wise to treat also for Coccidiosis at the same time too.
    https://www.merckvetmanual.com/poultry/necrotic-enteritis/overview-of-necrotic-enteritis-in-poultry
    https://www.merckvetmanual.com/poul...s/overview-of-ulcerative-enteritis-in-poultry
     
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  10. 1dzn4brkfst

    1dzn4brkfst In the Brooder

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    Aug 6, 2019
    Willcox, AZ
    Unfortunately, my cockerel expired before his appointment with the veterinarian. The vet will not do a necropsy. He is willing to look at the body and prescribe antibiotics for the other birds, but I was told it's a little bit of a shot in the dark when symptoms cannot be observed. No other birds are exhibiting symptoms.
    I'm trying to weigh the options. The fact that two birds contracted what appears to be the same illness would suggest that all have likely been exposed. The fact that over a month passed between the two occurrences would suggest that it is not something sweeping through the coop rapidly killing all chickens, but something that a chicken might be unable to fight off in certain circumstances. The two birds affected were the same breed, and the only birds of that breed. They were both under the rule of the third (and only remaining) cockerel. (It has been interesting to me that a heavy breed would allow a lighter breed to be the dominant rooster; neither Partridge Rock ever even crowed.) If a genetic weakness allowed these two birds to succumb, Driving an hour and a half (round trip), paying for an office visit and antibiotics to treat perfectly healthy birds, throwing out the eggs for a couple weeks, buying eggs again :(...
    I don't want to loose laying hens or my beautiful Leghorn rooster.
    What do you all think?
     

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