Rooster with Poor Balance

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by WildernessLofts, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. WildernessLofts

    WildernessLofts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just noticed this today as he was completely fine (and crowing) yesterday. My rooster stands in one spot kind of hunkered with his tail completely spread out. He can fly up to the perch still, but his balance on it is pretty poor. He loses his balance when he tries to run away from me, as well.

    So far, droppings are still normal and he's the only one showing symptoms.

    Want to know what potential causes could be so I can nip this in the bud before it becomes a larger issue.

    Edit: I've added some photos. One was taken yesterday with a digital camera. The other two were taken JUST NOW with my cell phone. Also, he pooped right as I took the first one and it was runny. (You'll see it in the pic.)
    [​IMG]

    This is the picture you can see the poop in. His comb is also much darker today compared to yesterday. No, it's not from the cold. I'm in South Texas and it has been in the 60's and 70's.
    [​IMG]

    This picture shows the weird way he's holding his tail. He lost his balance both when he jumped onto the cage and when he jumped off. His steps were very slow and deliberate even though he was afraid of me.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2014
  2. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

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    He could have bumblefoot that is causing unbalance. Or he could have duck-foot; a deformity where the forth toe for balance is carried forward and the chicken cannot keep balance.
     
  3. WildernessLofts

    WildernessLofts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know it is neither of those things, but thank you for your reply.
     
  4. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    How old is he, and do you know if he was vaccinated for Marek's Disease? Loss of balance/wobbling can be one of the first signs of Marek's Disease in chickens.
     
  5. WildernessLofts

    WildernessLofts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Somewhere between 6-8 months. No, none of my chickens have ever been vaccinated for Marek's. He's also the only bird with symptoms out of birds ranging from several years old to about four months old - not sure if that means anything, though.

    Edit: And I have not been in contact with chickens from anyone else for about four-five months now.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2014
  6. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    It's hard to know for sure. I would go over what is available for them to eat. I would be watching for any signs of Marek's in others. It could also be something internal that you can't do anything about. How's his eyesight?
     
  7. WildernessLofts

    WildernessLofts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Seems normal so far. He still tries to avoid me and such. He was able to get up on the perch today, so I know he can at least see well enough to do that.
     
  8. pwand

    pwand Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Try to rule out things to see if he improves:

    De-worm him with Safeguard and treat for mites even if you don't see them.
    Give him vitamins in his water.

    It could be a number of things, this link has some good info and links in it.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/846105/hen-acts-drunk
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2014
  9. WildernessLofts

    WildernessLofts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know he doesn't have worms or mites. I just treated for both less than a month ago. I guess I could see about getting vitamins, though.

    This whole thing has absolutely horrible timing. I don't really have money to spend on chickens getting sick when I'm moving in two weeks. [​IMG]
     
  10. pwand

    pwand Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Definitely try the vitamines. Did you use the Safeguard?
     

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