Urgent help, ill and getting worse.


13 Years
Oct 24, 2009
My rooster is ill and I have no idea what is wrong.

He is 1 year old. I noticed 2 days ago he stopped crowing and was not very active. Today even less active and tail is held down most of the time.

I watched him for a while and noticed he will stand in one place for a long time and he keeps shaking his head over and over again... and ruffling his feathers around his neck.

He is not coughing or retching... and his crop feels normal.

He eyes are perfect, and I looked into his beak and down his throat and can see no swelling or anything stuck in there.

He seems to be getting worse fast. He is a much loved pet and I don't want to loose him. I have only had him 3 months.. after our lovely last rooster had to be put to sleep as he somehow broke his hip.

All the hens and chicks are doing great and show no signs of sickness.

I am going to have to treat him at home.... vets in my areas are not interested in birds at all as I found out several times over the years.

Thanks for any help.
Check his ears...if they are crusty or waxy, he might have ear mites. Since he is shaking his head, this may be because they are very irritating. You can use Otiscleanse in his ears...used for dog and cats that have ear mites.
As with all mites, you can use ivomectin or pyrethrin (Adams flea and tick dip) under his wings.
If his crop is full, he is eating and drinking okay. But make sure he isn't losing weight.
Wow.. thanks.. I never thought to check his ears.

I am off to the animal feed supply in town today.. I will buy ear drops and some antibiotics.

He is off his feed.. but still eating a little. He is loosing weight also. He did crow this morning once!.

I don't know what his ears are supposed to look like. He has a flap of flesh over each ear hole.. and these flaps have small feathers on them. His ear holes look clear... but he does hav a little of the white fungus growing on his comb and a very small amount on his face. I have put some athletes foot cream on them... as I read that will kill the fungus. But its such a minor amount I don't think that is causing him the problem... many time my hens get a tine amount of the fungus.. but it always clears up quickly on its own and does not cause them any discomfort.
Wormed just over 3 weeks ago.

The rooster is looking worse. Shaking head and loss of energy. No longer running about flapping wings and crowing.

Mostly stands in one place and keeps shaking head.. tail drooping down and looking sorry for himself.

Breathing normal. Poops normal. Still eating and drinking. Crop not swollen. Eyes clean. No sneezing or coughing.

I am at a loss to know what is going on with him. He is really loved and I don't want him to die.

This evening treated him for mites with liquid product on back of his neck.. in case it's ear mites. But I can't think ear mites would make him feel so ill. Occasionally scratches at head.. but rarely.. think normal behavior.

I isolated him and has antibiotic power in water.. but when in his cage he refuses to eat or drink until let out... and keeps jumping and banging himself against the cage to get out, so I was worried I was stressing him more (which might make him more sick) so let him out again after a few hours.
What wormer did you use?
Can't remember. It was a powder form to mix with the feed. I only worm the birds couple times a year. Not had any problems with worms ever. Most of my birds are on the fat side.

He is a little better today I think. He is more active.. and crowing sometimes (although not as loud as usual.

I put him back in the cage... so I can see what his poop is like and see how much he is eating and drinking. I have antibiotic in his drinking water, mixed chick crumbs in his feed for extra nutrition, put the dog 'spot on' tick treatment on him (which kills mites also).

I noticed he has very slightly smelly breath. But I can't feel anything wrong with his crop. His chest just feels smooth. The hens always get huge crops before they go to bed.. but the roosters don't seem to do this. If he had infected crop it would be big or swollen, right?

One ear hole looks like its got some white dry stuff on the sides. But it's not blocked. I thought it might be the fungus like on his comb. He is a bantam and I don't want to start poking things down his ear.. will the dry stuff fall out on its own eventually if it was caused by mites (which would not be killed by the spot on treatment)?

Sorry for so many questions!!!!
The chaff on the ear can be removed with a soft toothbrush if he doesn't rub it off himself. Hopefully he will improve.
The smelly breath could be sour crop. A little plain yogurt mixed with a little feed should help balance the bacteria in his crop.
The crusty stuff in inside the ear hole. Can't fit a brush up there... and worried I might push it in further. As its not blacking the ear hole I am going to leave it.

This afternoon he is improving more. Still shaking his head a lot... but more strong and holding tail up in the air.

keeping fingers crossed.

Will the antibiotic help with sour crop? I can't get yoghurt until I go into the city (over an hour away on bus). I will get some tomorrow anyway.

Checked his poops. They are firm long pellets.. white and greenish brown (think he was eating vegetables and plants) No slime or other nasty stuff.

How long should I keep up with the antibiotics in the water?

Feel sorry for him stuck in the cage.. he HATES IT and wants to be with the ladies.

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