Rooster w/dark purple comb, low energy

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by GardenerGal, Oct 30, 2010.

  1. GardenerGal

    GardenerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Massachusetts
    My 5-6 year old OEG bantam rooster just finished a molt and his new feathers are coming in well, though his tail feathers aren't here yet. He usually is very energetic, but the past week and a half he has been under the weather, subdued, low energy, and his comb seems to be dark and purple. His wattles are red, but they seem a bit shrunken and dry, not their usual full shape.

    His eyes are clear, his comb is warm (not cold to touch), no problems or noises with breathing, skin normal, no swellings or lesions. In short, except for the dark comb and lack of pep, there aren't any visible symptoms. He is eating and drinking. though not with his usual gusto. His droppings do not seem abnormal, though they're smallish because he doesn't eat a lot. I've observed that he readily eats "special treat" foods -- hard boiled egg and fish food flakes (the flakes made for goldfish), and will pick a little at his regular pellets and scratch seed.

    The dark comb makes me think of septicemia, but the lack of symptoms otherwise is puzzling.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. SallyF

    SallyF Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2009
    Middle Tennessee
    No expert here, but I would think the dark comb indicates a nutrition/blood problem. If he were mine, I'd dose him with Poly-Vi-Sol (no iron) or with a good poultry drench, which is a vitamin prep, and concentrate on the high protein supplements, as opposed to scratch or even pellets. Maybe try some higher protein poultry food, such as chick starter.
     
  3. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    Two things come to mind:

    Heart or circulation problems - not much you can do but keep stress down.

    Lice or mites – I have seen a bird seem overwhelmed by the little bugs (different birds can have different levels of infestation affect them) - and have seen birds die from them. Look around his back end/vent area – sometimes you will see on the feather shaft, close to the body – a whitish/grey looking clump (almost like old chicken poop) – these are lice eggs. Dust with Sevin 5% dust, repeat in 7-10 days to kill the nits that have hatched - dust your coop also.


    Some areas battle lice or mites worse than others - wild birds bring the critters in on them.
     
  4. GardenerGal

    GardenerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, SallyF and HorseFeatherz. That is helpful. I hadn't thought of circulatory, but someone else also suggested it on another forum and it could be. This rooster is probably at least 6 years old and has never been ill, but he is no "spring chicken." He has always been so lively and active that it is a real surprise to see him slow down.

    SallyF, earlier today I started supplementing his diet with higher protein -- hard boiled egg, fish food (flakes, which are high-protein food for goldfish) and low-fat yoghurt. He did get some protein "treats" over the past week, but I didn't watch to see whether he got enough or whether the other chickens ate most of it. Once a week the flock gets vitamin/electrolyte supplements in the water, so he does have that.

    HorseFeatherz, a few weeks ago I treated the entire flock for pests (including Ivermectin for worms) because mites and lice were awful this year. There are no signs of lice or mites now. I did a second treatment to get any remaining louse nits that hatched. I did check this rooster for mites, and he is clean. I'd think that if he'd had mites, his comb would be pale and it would be more of an anemic thing, but his comb is dark, like purple. He is a black OEG, and his comb and wattles are usually bright, deep red, so the purple and dark appearance of the comb got my attention.

    I put him in a "quarantine" coop today with his own food and water, and I will observe him for the next few days. If he has a weak ticker, maybe being out of the hubbub of daily barn life will help.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2010
  5. geebs

    geebs Lovin' the Lowriders!

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    You can turn him out on pasture... Too much of some kinds of feed can cause this stress on the heart... Wheat in extreme quantity and also millet... I have seen this before... High amounts of bananas.. Evaluate any changes and free range him... Give him pumpkin and cranberries... also do a pest inspection.... All the blood is staying close to the core... not enough in the comb... If it is cold you are likely to see this as well.
     
  6. GardenerGal

    GardenerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    He died this morning. Poor little guy. He had a long, good life and it was just his time.
    Thanks all.
     
  7. Qi Chicken

    Qi Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 3, 2009
    I'm sorry to hear that, I was hoping he would recover. [​IMG] to you.
     
  8. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

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  9. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Did you notice my post about my roo Stan? Sounds as if both our little men died of similar causes.

    After Stan's first stroke, which happened in my presence, I gave him a half of a baby aspirin for a few days. At the time I asked if aspirin was okay for chickens. I got no replies.

    I still wonder if aspirin might help chickens with obvious circulatory problems. Anyone know?

    I miss Stan, but I'm also relieved he died quickly and didn't linger from a wasting disease, making it necessary for me to put him down to get him out of his suffering. It's only a small consolation, but I offer it to you, also.
     
  10. GardenerGal

    GardenerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks everyone. I appreciate the condolences. I do miss him; he was a classic cocky l'il OEG bantam with the attitude. [​IMG]

    azygous, I saw your thread on Stan (my deepest sympathies for your loss). It could be a similar thing. My rooster was very active and never had an illness that I could see, but went into a quick decline and passed quickly. It is good that they didn't have to suffer long. time. Aspirin has been noted to be harmful to some animals, but I don't know whether that includes chickens or birds in general. I've never heard of aspirin prescribed as an antinflammatory for birds. That would be something to ask an avian veterinarian.
     

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