Sick Rooster

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MrsShananigans, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. MrsShananigans

    MrsShananigans New Egg

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    Jan 2, 2013
    Oklahoma
    I am new to this website and raising chickens. I have had my rooster since June. He is a RIR and he was already grown when I got him. The last few days it has been really cold out and he seems to be sick. I can't tell if it is a sneeze or a cough but he is doing one of those. I know that sounds stupid but he won't let me get near enough to tell. My husband said he sounds like his lungs are wet. He said it sounds like he is breathing in water. I haven't heard him crow the last couple of days. He seems to be eating and drinking okay though. I tried to pick him up so that I could listen closer but he spurred me [​IMG] How do I help him?
     
  2. chickentooth

    chickentooth Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 30, 2012
    Hartland, Michigan
    When I have had something simliar I went to the pet store and bought some antibiotic for birds. Although he could heal on his own, I would still use what i used before just incase. Ornacy Plus powder. You can just disolve it in his water and as he drinks he will be getting antibiotic and electrolites and some other vitamins. It is basically powdered erythromyacin. I used to mix it with water and then feed it with a syringe so none of my other birds would drink it but do what you can. Good luck
     
  3. farmtotable

    farmtotable Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 7, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    My Coop
    In addition to what chickentooth suggested, I would also isolate him in your garage (if you have one) or in a shed - someplace that he's not around the hens. I built what my husband refers to as a "hospital box", which is a large cardboard box filled with shavings. I put water and a feeder in one end of it, and the sick chicken in the other. I then put the box in the garage, where it's warm (we have a brooder with a couple heat lamps in there, I set the box right next to it so some of the heat from the lamps goes in the box too). If the chicken is really sick, we check him into the inside hospital (our bathroom shower stall). The chickens seem to not mind the being in the box at all, in fact, I think they prefer it because it's closed in a safe for them. If he's trying to get out of the box (which is actually a good sign, I would think) maybe you could put him in a large dog kennel.

    I know you said you're having trouble catching him. The safest way to pick up an angry, aggressive rooster is to pick him up off of the roost at night, or off of the ground when it's dark. I have a Polish Crested that has a love/hate relationship with me, and he has spurred me several times (the last time resulted in a tetnus shot for me). They seem to calm down quite a bit after dark, maybe because they can't see you coming? If you can't wait, then chasing him into a corner and scooping him up is second best. You want to catch him as quickly as you can, because being chased around is stressful for him, especially if he's already sick. I've never tried it, but I've seen a large "poultry hook" for sale to catch them, similar principle to that stick lifeguards have to fish people out of the pool. You could try throwing a blanket over him, too.

    Once he's better, I would suggest working with him to establish your dominance over him. Basically you want to teach him that you're the dominant alpha rooster, not him. You can do this by picking him up, holding him for a bit, then putting him down. Try not to back away from him if he flaps his wings at you, or fluffs his feathers up at you. Take a few steps forward at him when he does this. (You can even flap the sides your shirt at him, if you have one unbuttoned - it looks like you have wings too). If you are feeling especially confident, and you have good balance, you can try shaking your boot in his face. (Just be ready for him to try and attack your boot, then just shake him off of it). Eventually he should stop attacking you, although it might take awhile. With my rooster, Sean Paul, it took about six months of this before I felt safe turning my back on him - and I still only half trust him! After having lived through my battle with Sean Paul, I now spend A LOT of extra time picking up and holding my chicks as soon as I realize they're roosters.
     
  4. MrsShananigans

    MrsShananigans New Egg

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    Jan 2, 2013
    Oklahoma
    Okay, I set up the large dog crate with shavings, a heat lamp, water and food in the garage and put him in there tonight. I will go tomorrow to get the antibiotics. He has been in the crate for at least an hour and is still standing there exactly how we set him in there. He hasn't laid down or moved at all.
     
  5. chickentooth

    chickentooth Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 30, 2012
    Hartland, Michigan
    I don't agree with isolating him. Just because of the fact he won't be able to acclimate well if he is ill. He should be comfortable in his surroundings and normal daily activity is good for them. If he has something that others can catch they have already been exposed. But just my opinion.
     
  6. MrsShananigans

    MrsShananigans New Egg

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    Jan 2, 2013
    Oklahoma
    Having him in the garage has helped me be able to observe him better. He laid down and started sleeping but every time he starts coughing he stands back up. When he breathes it sounds like he is blowing bubbles with a straw. That is the only way I can describe it. And he keeps moving his beak like he is chewing on something.
     
  7. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    My rooster had very, very similar symptoms last winter, turned out to be infectious bronchitis. It started with him sounding hoarse when he crowed and progressed to a wet sounding cough. Within a day or so his breathing sounded like an old percolator coffee pot. Long story short, he made a trip to the vet for testing and was given a course of antibiotic's. We kept him in the garage in a dog crate at night with a heat lamp. I also used Vet Rx rubbed on his beak to help with his breathing, he showed improvement very quickly once he started the antibiotic's. Everybody in the coop he was in came down with it one by one so we set up heat lamps to keep them warm at night while they were recovering. Breathing the cold night air when they are sick does not help them at all. So I think you are doing the right thing. I let mine go out during the daytime as long as it wasn't too cold and it was only a few days anyway before he was well enough to go back to the coop.

    I would start him on antibiotic's as soon as you can though. Most respiratory diseases they can pick up can easily morph into pneumonia and secondary bacterial infections. I think a lot of people use Tylan 50 either injectable or orally, I'm just not sure the dose.

    Good luck, hope he pulls through!
     
  8. farmtotable

    farmtotable Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 7, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    My Coop
    Isolating isn't just for the exposure risk, because you're right, if it's infectious chances are all of them are exposed. Isolation is good because it also protects the sick chicken from the other hens. Whenever one of ours has gotten sick, the others seem to sense it and start pecking and badgering the sick one. Sick chickens tend to isolate themselves from the flock naturally, so I think they're more comfortable by themselves..... that's just my experience though, I'm always learning! :)
     

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