Sick Peacock - Need advice please


In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 30, 2013
Northern Michigan
Hello, I'm writing because I'm worried about my peacock, Janni. He is a year and a half old and has two companion peahens who are the same age. They are penned in an aviary 24 x 32 feet with 14 foot ceiling and with an attached coop. He has stopped eating and doesn't seem as energetic as before. The hens seem fine. I see him sunning himself and closing his eyes a lot. He also stands with his head tucked. His poop has also been milky-yellow for the past five days. I have never wormed them before and after reading several posts on here, I figured they needed to be wormed. Yesterday, I gave them each a piece of bread soaked in 3/4 cc Valbazen. Then I read some more online and I think I should have given them 1 cc Valbazen, so this morning I gave them that. He gobbled up the soaked bread, but wouldn't touch breakfast: some crumbled egg yolks, blueberries, pecans, sunflower seeds, kitten food, and game bird crumbles.

There have been a few outside changes to their environment:

  • There has been heavy, constant rain over the past two weeks, and the temperatures are getting colder (I am in northern Michigan).
  • I introduced two bantam chickens to the aviary. They were my kids' show chickens from the fair that previously lived at my sister's farm (my daughter fell in love with them and wanted to keep them). I was hesitant to bring them home because I am aware of the blackhead risk, but my sister assured me they were from a hatchery (Murray McMurray) and that they had never touched the ground. She has a special pen for her show birds and they went from that pen, to the fair, to my aviary.

I'm just wondering what I should do next. Get rid of the chickens? Worm with another type of wormer? Have I overwormed with the Vabazen?

I picked Janni up this morning because I read you should feel if they are getting skinny or feel their cropos, but honestly, I have no idea what I'm feeling for. I hope someone can give me some direction. I've attached pictures of his poop from this morning. The black poop is the first dark poop I've seen out of him in a few days.

Thank you,

The effective dose of Valbazen is no less than .2ml per kg (2.2 pounds) so one ml is enough to treat an 11 pound bird (5kg) The average male weighs 4-6kg, so the dose would be .8ml-1.2ml.

The yellow poop could mean that your boy has blackhead, that you will need to treat with metronidazole (Flagyl 250mg, Fish-Zole 250mg or Meditrich 100mg), but if it is blackhead, you don't have time to to order it... Find a someone near you that has peafowl, turkeys or pigeons (used in pigeons to treat canker) and see if they have any or go get some from a vet. Petsmart and Petco don't have it, but a high-end tropical fish store might.

The effective Metronidazole dose is no less than 30mg/kg by mouth once a day for five days.

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These poop pictures are from a peachick that didn't survive and the necropsy showed that he died from blackhead and that he had a secondary e.Coli infection.

These pictures are from several different peachick that surived blackhead with treatment of metronidazole.


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You asked about picking them up to feel the crop and weight... Here is a plucked dead chicken that shows what to look for. These pictures show a very thin chicken with food in her crop.

Thanks, Kathy. He definitely didn't feel as thin as that chicken appears in the images. I will start calling around, looking for Fish Zole. There is a Pet Supplies Plus in town but they don't carry it.
Should I also treat the hens?
If it is blackhead, would the introduction of the two chicken s to the aviary have caused it? They have been here two weeks.

I am sad and worried.
That chicken was well under half her ideal weight which means death for most birds, but I just thought it would give you an idea of what a thin bird or a full crop would look like. If you can, figure out a way to weigh him and then weigh him daily to monitor his progress or decline. If you introduced adult chickens, yes, that could be how he got it, but they can also get it from earthworms. De-worm all, chickens, too, follow up in ten days to kill worms hatching from eggs.

In case I wasn't clear, if you have blackhead, this is an emergency. I'm not saying that you do have blackhead, just that based on my experience you don't have much time to get control of it. If you can, take him to a vet, they could give you a prescription for the metronidazole that you could fill at Walgreens for about $1 a pill.

OK, thank you for the tip about Wallgreen's. I will call the vet and get that prescription today.

He did just eat some cut up crust from my kids' sandwiches. So he ate something.
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There is an insert spoiler icon in the toolbar... Click on it, then insert you photo below it, copy photo, paste into spoiler window then delete photo below spoiler. Or just post the picture, lol.


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