What's Wrong?

ChucktheChick

Songster
7 Years
Sep 24, 2012
710
16
111
The coop
Hi, I have a rooster who last night (10 pm, just got home), was sitting down in the coop. He wasn't roosting, just kind of sitting on one side. He was fine yesterday morning. I felt his legs and they are not broken. He can move them but it just seems like he doesn't have any energy. I tried to set him up like he was sting but he just kind of fell over. It is around 0 degrees here but I have heat in the coops. I put him directly under the lamp and then went to bed. I went out this morning and he was on his back thrashing his legs. This rooster is not tame like my other chickens. He doesn't like to be pet or picked up like the others, so when he let me pick him up without freaking out I knew we had a problem. I moved him to the barn, put him in a small, hay filled tub so he was upright. He is under a heat lamp by himself and is just sleeping. I don't know what this is or what else I should do. He won't eat or drink without me forcing him. Does anyone know what I should do? What's wrong? Thank you so much.
 

Eggcessive

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Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
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Can you feel of his legs now and try to determine that he can move them? Rub his foot pads to see if his toes move. He could be dehydrated and very weak from that, but I would also worry about something neurological such as Mareks disease, a head injury, or an injury somewhere else that has crippled him. Is he fairly young, say under 6 months old? Have you added more chickens to your flock in the past couple of months? Are his wattles frostbitten where he would have been in pain to avoid drinking?
There can be several conditions besides Mareks that could cause this, such as botulism, moldy feed, lead poisoning, but right now getting fluids with vitamins and electrolytes (or pedialyte, gatorade) into him with a dropper while keeping him warm, would be important. Tube feeding by using a piece of aquarium air tubing plus a large syringe from the feed store would allow you to tube feed him. Fluids are more important now, and when her gets re-hydrated, then Kay Tee baby bird feed could be given by tube into his crop. Here are some links to help for Mareks and on tube feeding:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/805728/go-team-tube-feeding
https://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource000791_Rep813.pdf
https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq
 
Last edited:

ChucktheChick

Songster
7 Years
Sep 24, 2012
710
16
111
The coop
He is about a year old, and a mix between an Egyptian Fayuomi and a blue OEGB. The last group of chickens I got was before he was born; I hatched him. He does not have frostbite on his wattles, but his comb started to get purple over the night. He is the same tonight. His toes do move. I put some electrolites in warm water and he drank maybe ten droppers full. It's a dropper that doesn't have measurements on it so I'm sorry I can't tell you how much water he drank. Opened his eyes and lifted his head a bit, so that's good. He is still separated from the others. None of the other chickens are showing symptoms of what he has, yet.

Can you feel of his legs now and try to determine that he can move them? Rub his foot pads to see if his toes move. He could be dehydrated and very weak from that, but I would also worry about something neurological such as Mareks disease, a head injury, or an injury somewhere else that has crippled him. Is he fairly young, say under 6 months old? Have you added more chickens to your flock in the past couple of months? Are his wattles frostbitten where he would have been in pain to avoid drinking?
There can be several conditions besides Mareks that could cause this, such as botulism, moldy feed, lead poisoning, but right now getting fluids with vitamins and electrolytes (or pedialyte, gatorade) into him with a dropper while keeping him warm, would be important. Tube feeding by using a piece of aquarium air tubing plus a large syringe from the feed store would allow you to tube feed him. Fluids are more important now, and when her gets re-hydrated, then Kay Tee baby bird feed could be given by tube into his crop. Here are some links to help for Mareks and on tube feeding:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/805728/go-team-tube-feeding
https://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource000791_Rep813.pdf
https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq
 

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