Seizure? Now thinking ear infection

The Chickens' Maid

14 Years
May 2, 2009
We have a Serama rooster, about a year old, who just had what seemed to be a seizure. My Mom noticed that he was moving his head in a weird way, swaying his head back and forth with his eyes closed. Then he started to shiver and his toes curled up (even when we tried to see if he could stand). He stayed like that for somewhere between thirty seconds to a little over a minute, then he started shaking in spasms and acting very wobbly and woozy. He was swaying his head from side to side and he looked worried. We gave him some food and water, which he was interested in. He ate a little egg. He improved pretty quickly and is now fine. He ate some buttered bread and drank some water. He is walking around right now, his tail is up and he is very alert.

I was sitting with him in my lap. There was a room heater about a foot to my right, and I turned it off when he started looking woozy. My Mom was cooking eggs on the stove across the room (she was not using a non-stick pan). We have a woodstove burning downstairs and a fan that channels the heat upstairs, close to the kitchen. None of this is new, although we haven't had the room heater out for a while. I was wearing a new t-shirt, but I had it on yesterday, too, while I was holding him. It is about 68 degrees in here. He has been getting a lot of rich food lately. He gets eggs and toast and butter every morning. Sometimes he gets cheese. He got some mealworms on Christmas. He gets a little of what we eat sometimes, so he has been getting richer food during the holidays, but not consistantly. We have a cockatiel and bantam frizzle cochin who were in the same area who seemed to be fine. He gets layer feed every day. Right now, he is very interested in his feed, but not the eggs.

Does anyone have any ideas?
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That diet is not great for him. It seems high in protein, simple carbs and fat. High protein diets are appropriate at certain times, but not all the time. Butter, cheese, and eggs every morning- that's a heart attack waiting to happen. Why isn't he eating chicken feed? Or some mix of grains and seeds?
He is eating chicken feed, he gets the same layer pellets that the outside coops do. I think we have indulged him too much with his diet. He's an inside pet, so he tends to get more treats than he should. Of course, that stops now. What kind of grain/seed mix do you mean?
Some folks do not use pelleted feed, instead opting for their own special mixes comprised of various seeds and grains. There are several recipes available. If you can get the components in bulk, it is a cheaper feeding option. Unfortunately, most of us don't have the time to do that sort of feeding program, and often do not have access to/storage space for multiple bulk ingredients.
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He just had another one. About the same thing. Started looking very off-balance (he was standing). The same progression this time, although it was not as severe as the first time. It looked a lot like vertigo (off-balance, dizzy, disoriented). I think he was tensing up because he felt so off-balance. It didn't seem completely involuntary; it seemed more that he was trying to compensate for an unbalanced feeling. He was shaking again, but not as much. He's recovered again and is sitting in my lap. We're going to give him some vegitables. Going to try spinach and some carrots so that we don't give him anything starchy.
What kind of heater are you using? The first thing I thought was there isn't enough oxygen for him. Some of those space heaters can be dangerous in a small area, even for people...
It's an electric space heater. We moved it to the other side of the room after the first episode. We have a cockatiel and another chicken in the same corner of the room who are unaffected. It's a fairly large room, too. Our kitchen and living room are attached, and there is a lot of space.

Just wanted to add, he is thirsty after each episode. He only takes a mouthfull or two of water, then he seems satisfied.
Another idea: we found a whole bunch of eggs in our barn fridge. We started giving them to the birds and dogs yesterday (cooked). Could they have gotten some bacteria into them or something like that? We don't know how long they've been in there.

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