Rooster's Wattles, Comb, and Feet Turned Purple...Then He Died

MarissaC

Chirping
8 Years
Dec 12, 2011
165
6
93
Near Waco, TX
I had a black copper maran do something weird. A while back, we had a really bad series of rainstorms and he got sick. We took him to the vet, got some medicine, and after a week..he stopped sneezing and his runny nose was gone. But he also stopped crowing (well, he'd try, but there wasn't any noise).
After a while, his crow came back, but it sounded really nasty. We just figured that maybe his voicebox (or whatever it would be) got damaged from when he was sick.

But then I started noticing that his comb was getting darker. I decided to continue to medicate him every so often with the medicine we had leftover.
After a while, his comb, wattles, and his legs turned purple. I could not figure it out and couldn't afford another expensive vet visit. This lasted for about a month. One morning, I went out and was looking at him and honestly considering putting him down. He didn't act sickly, but I was really worried about the purple and the fact that his crow was so yucky sounding still. I went out for a little while to run errands. When I got back home...he was dead.

He shared his pen with four other copper maran ladies and now I'm noticing that some of them are getting a little bit of purple on their combs. They haven't been sick anytime soon, but I'm wondering if they have a disease or something...

I wish I had pictures of the rooster. Thankfully, the marans are all sectioned away from the rest of my flock and have been since we got them.

Any opinions?
 

klmclain1

Songster
8 Years
Mar 14, 2011
1,198
12
148
Well, if it were only him, then I would think he had a circulation issue - like maybe a severe heart problem. But if it's "spreading"...then I'm not sure. Sorry.
 

leadwolf1

Songster
8 Years
May 1, 2011
3,705
121
213
I am sorry about your roo. I think it might be time for another vet visit. Can you have a necropsy done on your roo? It's the best way to find out what really happened and if it was something that you will have to worry about in the rest of your chickens. Most states have labs that will do them for little to no cost.
 

CountryKitty

In the Brooder
7 Years
May 3, 2012
54
4
30
As a nurse, the color purple in my patients always means dangerously low oxygen in the blood. Plenty of blood there, just no oxygen in it (decreased circulation presents as pale tissue). My best guess is that your rooster got pneumonia, and finally succumbed. Some forms of pneumonia are viral, other bacterial, so it can spread, although in people it tends not to spread easily and most often affects those with weakened immune systems or who are inactive. Your hens were roosting beside and eating with the roo for the entire time he was sick, they may have caught it. I don't know how to treat it in chickens if that's indeed what this is (humans get several days worth of IV antibiotics when it's bad enough to admit them to the hospital). Good Luck!
 

MarissaC

Chirping
8 Years
Dec 12, 2011
165
6
93
Near Waco, TX
As a nurse, the color purple in my patients always means dangerously low oxygen in the blood. Plenty of blood there, just no oxygen in it (decreased circulation presents as pale tissue). My best guess is that your rooster got pneumonia, and finally succumbed. Some forms of pneumonia are viral, other bacterial, so it can spread, although in people it tends not to spread easily and most often affects those with weakened immune systems or who are inactive. Your hens were roosting beside and eating with the roo for the entire time he was sick, they may have caught it. I don't know how to treat it in chickens if that's indeed what this is (humans get several days worth of IV antibiotics when it's bad enough to admit them to the hospital). Good Luck!

Thanks, CountryKitty! Very good input. I'm going to keep my hens seperated still and watch to see if the purple spreads at all.

Leadwolf, I don't have the body anymore. By now it would probably be pretty yucky. I wish I had known to do that earlier! But thank you for the suggestion. I'll keep that in mind for the future.
 

klmclain1

Songster
8 Years
Mar 14, 2011
1,198
12
148
As a nurse, the color purple in my patients always means dangerously low oxygen in the blood. Plenty of blood there, just no oxygen in it (decreased circulation presents as pale tissue). My best guess is that your rooster got pneumonia, and finally succumbed. Some forms of pneumonia are viral, other bacterial, so it can spread, although in people it tends not to spread easily and most often affects those with weakened immune systems or who are inactive. Your hens were roosting beside and eating with the roo for the entire time he was sick, they may have caught it. I don't know how to treat it in chickens if that's indeed what this is (humans get several days worth of IV antibiotics when it's bad enough to admit them to the hospital). Good Luck!

That makes total sense!!! Thanks for that information!
 

Klwright1122

Songster
8 Years
Mar 20, 2011
129
2
104
Lillian, AL
Have you considered avian flu?

Sudden death without any signs
Lack of coordination
Purple discoloration of the wattles, combs, and legs
Soft-shelled or misshapen eggs
Lack of energy and appetite
Diarrhea
Swelling of the head, eyelids, comb, wattles, and hocks
Nasal discharge
Decreased egg production
Coughing, sneezing

(edited to add symptoms)
 
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