sick rooster

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6 Years
Sep 25, 2013
i noticed my rooster was sneezing more than normal yesterday but no runny nose or anything but today when i went out to the coop i could just tell he wasnt feeling good. his breathing seems odd like hes stopped up and conjested. and hes just not being active he is standing alone in the back of the coop. im not sure what to do or if there is anything i should go out and get to give him.all of the hens seem fine no sneezing or anything like that. i am newer at this have had them 6 months and still learning new things could really use any advise
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It sounds like he has the beginnings of a respiratory disease. I'd isolate him in a dog crate or another area away from the other birds. This is because respiratory diseases can travel fast and far.

Some respiratory diseases are caused by viruses, others by bacteria. A common respiratory disease is Infectious Bronchitis. It is caused by a virus, and is often considered the "common cold" of the chicken world. There isn't a treatment for a viral disease, as they don't respond to antibiotics. The most you can do if a chicken has a viral disease is give it supportive care, which consists of electrolytes, probiotics, nutritious foods (like scrambled egg), and warmth.

However, quite a few antibiotics are caused by bacteria. Chronic Respiratory Disease(CRD) and Coryza are two diseases caused by bacteria. I recommend treating your rooster for a bacterial respiratory disease, as they are just as common as viral ones. You can first try and antibiotic like oxytetracycline (sold under names like Duramycin, Terramycin, and Tetroxy HCA-280). These antibiotics are water soluable, so if more than one of your birds gets sick, it will be easier to treat.

Oxytetracycline is not the strongest antibiotic, though. If you don't see any improvement in your birds, it is either a viral disease, or the antibiotic you are using is too weak. I'd advise getting Tylan50, as it is a strong antibiotic. Tylan50 is usually given as an injection in the the breast muscle once daily for 5 days. You'll need some small 20-22 gauge needles, as well as some syringes. Give 1cc for large fowl, and .5ccs for bantams. If you've never given a chicken an intramuscular injection, here is a link to some information:

Hope this helps!
The other reason to go ahead and treat with antibiotic's, even if this is one of the respiratory viruses, is that these viruses morph right into pneumonia and secondary bacterial infections extremely easily and quickly. That is what usually kills the bird rather then the disease itself.

I would go with the Tylan 50, it's best given as an injectable but can also be given orally at a rate of 1/2cc per day x 5 days.

Keep a close eye on the rest of the birds as they have already been exposed and more may come down with whatever this is. Sometimes it can take several days or a week to see more symptomatic birds.
Oh yeah, I have experienced the exact same thing, I would recommend separating him form the flock, I made the mistake of not separating my sick cchicken, and had to pay the price of it spreading and each month killing 7 of my flock member's. But yes, what
While I agree that it never hurts to isolate, the fact is that by the time the bird is showing obvious signs of illness it has already exposed any other birds that it shares space with. Kind of like closing the barn door after the horse ran off so to speak. So no, it does no harm to still isolate but just be aware that the others have already been exposed.

The other issue is that, even after he recovers, he and any others that come down with this, will remain carriers of whatever it is. This means that in the future they can come down with it again if they are stressed or otherwise have lowered immunity. They can also pass it on to other birds. So in essence they are never truly "cured".

Chickens can generally survive these diseases but they do need extra TLC while they are sick in the form of antibiotic's and being kept warm and hydrated.
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