Rooster Stumbling and Swaying won't eat or drink.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by BlueSkadu, Feb 21, 2017.

  1. BlueSkadu

    BlueSkadu Just Hatched

    Jul 27, 2015
    I'm lucky enough to have an avian vet 2 miles from my house but he cannot see my Rooster for another two days and I'm wondering if there is anything I can do in the meantime.


    A couple days ago I noticed his crow wasn't as clear and loud. It became raspy at the end almost like he had a sore throat. There were no other symptoms suggesting a respiratory problem and he was eating and drinking fine.

    All of the sudden this morning he wouldn't come off the roost. I separated him to keep an eye on him and he wasn't really moving around and was not interested in food or water. Not fluffed up, eyes clear and no discharge

    Progressively throughout the day, he started to slowly sway his head all the way to one side and then snap it back. Then more dizzy like symptoms started. He is stumbling around and knocking into things and still swaying his head back and forth.

    He may have a fever, his legs feel warm.

    His poop is minimal and bright green. He also has not eaten anything. I was able to get some water down with a syringe which he took happily.

    His trouble walking seems to be more dizziness than paralysis.

    Has anyone had any experience with these symptoms? I've been looking all day and nothing seems to fit.

  2. rebrascora

    rebrascora Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK

    How old is he?

    Green poop is usually caused by bile and is a sign that the digestive system is running on empty and/or shutting down ....he has probably not been eating for several days...they will often pretend to eat so that other chickens don't realise they are sick.
    If he is taking fluids from you then the next step is to get electrolytes into him or make a very runny paste with chicken food and warm water and see if you can get that into him. Sometimes they will take bread soaked in water when they won't eat other stuff. Ideally you want to get some good nutrition into him, but start off by tempting him with anything he will eat but make sure it is sloppy.
    Is his crop full or empty? Dizziness could be down to weakness through starvation.... if his crop is impacted and food can't move through the digestive system that could cause the strange neck movement trying to dislodge it as well as weakness. There could also be a foreign object lodged in his oesophagus or crop.
    Another possibility is coccidiosis, although less common for an older bird...I'm guessing he is not a chick since you say he is crowing.

    Unfortunately it could also be Marek's disease. I appreciate that you describe it more as dizziness than paralysis, but it can exhibit in so many different ways, that it's never safe to rule it out..

    The important thing to do is keep him warm and hydrated. If it is a crop impaction, quite vigorous and regular massage may help and if it is a foreign body, you will probably feel it in doing so.

    Good luck with him

    1 person likes this.
  3. BlueSkadu

    BlueSkadu Just Hatched

    Jul 27, 2015
    Hi Barbara, thank you SO much for responding. This is the clearest advice i've gotten all day.

    He is a 10 - 11 months old Welsummer

    I did make a run to the store to get him an electrolyte vitamin mix once I got him to take water. I will try to feed him as you suggested and double check his crop.

    Not sure if there is much else i can do until i see the vet

    Thank you so much
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Rebascora has given you good advice until you see the vet. He could be dehydrated which may cause similar symptoms. Does his crop feel empty or is there food in it? Giving fluids can be a challenge. Offering a small cup to the beak, a spoon to the side of the beak, or a dropper might get some into him. Her idea of water added to his feed may help. Tube feeding is another option. Do a search here or Google "go team tube feeding" for instructions and videos on tube feeding.

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