Sick Brahma. Please Help!


11 Years

I have a sick young rooster that I hope someone can please help me with. I live in Thailand and I don't have access to an avian vet here, so unfortunately must pretty much rely on the internet for diagnosis of any issues that come up. I'll give you details of his condition as follows:

1) What type of bird , age and weight. A LF Brahma rooster, 7 months old and weighing 6.8 lbs.
2) What is the behavior, exactly. He has been sitting down a lot, and I've noticed that he doesn't like to stand much. Sometimes when he walks his legs are very shaky. I have checked his legs and they don't appear to be paralysed - he is able to exert resistance when I test his legs. He is the beta rooster in my flock, and up until recently the alpha has gotten along fine with the beta. I have personally seen the alpha attack the beta 3 times now. I have now separated the beta into a hospital cage on his own.
3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms? For the last 4 days or so.
4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms? No - not at all.
5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma. Not that I can see. Any fighting by the alpha has been pretty minor. The worst he has done is to pull out two hackle feathers and angrily peck the beta.
6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation. Just the above really.....two roosters living together happily, and then suddenly not!
7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all. He has a very good appetite and is drinking well. He eats cooked pumpkin, yoghurt, boiled eggs, rolled oats, layer pellets and also starter pellets (leftover from when a baby).
8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc. Twice this morning his poops have been green and slushy. The next poop after that was a perfectly formed and good looking poop. Completely normal.
9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far? Nothing so far.
10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet? Both
11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help. Will add photos and a video later on when my husband is available with his camera.
12) Describe the housing/bedding in use. Here in Thailand the only wood shavings I have been able to source, and is used widely for animals here, is Teak shavings.

I orginally posted about my beta roo under the Behavior thread as I was thinking that his behavior was simply related to submission. If I may I'll quote my original post here for added information:

"I have 3 LF Brahma chickens who are now almost 7 months old. Two are roosters which leaves just the one hen. They have been getting along famously and have all been living together in the same coop at night and free-ranging all day every day. The alpha roo is very protective of the hen, she follows him around everywhere and comes when he calls. The hen and beta rooster on the other hand are best buddies and love to sit together. The beta will sit in her nest box sometimes and at other times will sit right beside while she is in there laying her egg. Sounds like a very happy family, and it has been.....

However, during the last week I've seen the alpha fight with the beta twice. It's never been anything serious, but on the first occasion the alpha did remove two of the beta's hackle feathers. Both times it has been the alpha roo that has attacked the beta roo. And both times the beta roo has instantly sat down in submission. It's all been over pretty quickly (the first time I was worried for my beta roo as I'd never experienced this behavior before, and intervened to break them up).

Since these two occasions my beta roo (who by the way, is the loveliest, most gentle and loving rooster) has been acting a little weird. He's still eating and drinking as normal, however, he is sitting down a lot these days. When he walks he kinda wobbles and doesn't walk tall. He doesn't want to go into the coop at night and often sits in the doorway refusing to budge any further. Is this just submissive behavior? I've not had chickens before and so this is all very new to me.

I want my little happy chicken family back! What can I do? I know I probably need to get my beta roo some girls of his own, but I'm waiting for my hen to hopefully go broody so that I can breed my own for him. Can I afford to wait? Will it necessarily get worse before it gets better? Aside from the unsteadiness/crouching behavior he seems fine in himself. He is still spending time with the other two, but is obviously being cautious about where he is placing himself. I picked him to check him the other day and immediately both the hen and the alpha rooster ran over to me, squawked at me and pecked me! They have never done this before. What does that mean?

Sorry if this is all a bit long...just wanted to make sure I gave you all as many details as possiblle".

Back to today.....I'm now worried that this is not stress induced?? Does it sound like there could be something seriously wrong with him? After a lot of research on this forum and also on the net I'm thinking maybe it's a vitamin deficiency (B?) or maybe an inner ear infection? I have considered Perosis but he is using both legs/feet ok, it's just that he has no strength in them. At worst - I've also considered both botulism or Mareks! But, I don't feel he completely fits with these symptoms either. Am I missing something?

He definately doesn't seem to be paralysed in either leg - just really weak in his legs.

I'm really worried and looking forward to your replies.

Note: I have just come across this website and am thinking this sounds just like my boy! What do you think?

, many thanks


11 Years
Thanks Hot2Pot.

Took him to the vet and he xrayed his legs. Vets says he has areas on his legs where the bones are a bit thin. Couldn't find anything else wrong with him. So, I've got him on a vitamin B12 supplement, a multi-vitamin supplement and resting in a hospital cage. He has improved greatly, but is still not 100%. He is also on anti-inflammatories/pain killers for the next several days. Today I let him out and he enjoyed a dust bath. I'm wondering if I've been giving him the wrong food? He has recently moved from starter crumbles to layer feed (he was in the same coop as the hen, hence sharing the same food).

I wonder if because he is a Large Fowl would it be better to feed him gamebird feed?
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13 Years
Sep 18, 2007
Pell City, Alabama
It sure wouldn't hurt for him to be on a gamebird feed at his age.
Also you can feed your hens the same feed but be sure to keep some oyster shell for their calcium out all the time where they can get it.
Roosters don't require the same calcium as they do, so he shouldn't bother it.
Scrambled eggs, quinoa, black oil sunflower seeds, flax seeds are all good for them too. Make sure they get adequate sunlight or feed additional Vit D like codliver oil if not.

Sure glad he seems to be on the mend!

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