Young cockerel can't walk. Any ideas?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by karimw, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. karimw

    karimw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 7, 2010
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    I have a 4 month old Iowa Blue Cockerel about 3 pounds. I found him Friday morning on the floor near his roost unable to walk. Thursday night I didn't notice anything unusual and the other 14 IA blues he is with are all fine. They are kept in a chainlink fenced area with sawdust and hay bedding and fed Purina Flock Raiser supplemented by scratch grains. They do have the run of the rest of the barn and posssibly could get to the whole corn and meatbird food I feed my turkeys and the cat food. I have another flock in a separate barn, no signs of illness there either.

    When I initially brought him in to the house Friday morning his poop seemed normal, though possibly showing indications that he hadn't eaten - clumps of greenish solids and clear watery fluid. I gave him warm water with Merricks electrolytes, his regular food with some auromycin crumbles added in and some yogurt. He was VERY hungry and drank a lot of water. After that his poo became pretty watery. No bad smell or anything, but constantly drinking and passing very watery poo. I could not see any cuts or scrapes on him and his eyes were/are clear and bright. No sign of worms or mites.

    He's been in the house since Friday, kept quiet and isolated most of the time. I rigged up a sling in a cardboard box so his belly wouldn't get wet from the watery poo and he is content to sit there looking around and sleeping. I get him up a couple times a day to flex his legs and see if he'll stand, but no improvement as yet. He is not paralyzed as he can move his wings and legs on his own, they just aren't very strong.

    So in a nutshell, he doesn't appear to be suffering else I would have put him down. He is eating and drinking normally and his poo is back to normal as of this morning. I don't intend to get veterinary help for him, but I would like to know if anyone has seen anything like this before?
    How long should I give him to recover before giving up?
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I've read that it takes a month for a chicken fracture to heal, but it could be a dislocation, sprain, etc. I've had a few come up limping and recover a normal gait after a while, and I've read about some who kept a limp but lived good lives anyway.

    Good luck.
     
  3. karimw

    karimw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thanks for your feedback. He's still with us today. I stopped giving him the electrolytes and his poo returned to normal - no more excess fluid. I think that is what was making him drink so much. Like drinking saltwater? I guess I just have to decide how long to give him [​IMG]
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, electrolytes IS giving salt water, along with a few other things. You can certainly overdo it. I wish you well on the other.
     
  5. karimw

    karimw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Eastern IA
    Well, I finally gave up and put him down this morning. Zero improvement over 10 days. He was still eating and drinking and pooping normally, but there have been indications he was failing; weight loss, yellow skin and sores on his keel from immobility. I still have no idea what caused it, but at least there are no signs of any sickness in the rest of the flock.
     

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