My Rooster is sick

Maggie_J(z5 Ontario)August 31, 2005

Just went down to the chicken yard. My rooster, Napoleon, was siiting/lying down, not flat on his side but just as though he had stopped for a rest and folded his legs under him. The only thing is he never does this except for the occasional dust-bath. He did stir and get up when I approached and spoke to him, but he seemed lethargic. His left eye is closed most of the time, but he can open it and does open it briefly if he is touched on that side. His head is jerking slightly from left to right, the way one does when nodding off to sleep and fighting it. I tossed out some scratch and he did peck at it, but he is definitely not himself. His comb and wattles are very bright red, as usual.

Napoleon is two and a half years old. Up until today he has been full of energy. He always stays in the chicken yard and there are no poisonous plants there. Does anyone have any idea what is wrong? Could he have had a stroke?

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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

If he is sick you need to act quickly, because birds don't show illness until they are REALLY sick.

If you click on my 'My Page' link, there is tons of chicken info there that might help you, including help for sick birds. If you can provide me with more info I might be able to help me if you like. :)

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 9:13PM
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Maggie_J(z5 Ontario)

Thanks, Velvet, for your reply. It is wonderful to have you there with your wealth of experience which you so generously make available to all via your Page.

Napoleon has made a miraculous recovery, I'm glad to report. Shortly after I posted, I realized he was acting like a bird that had hit a window hard and had a concussion. We put him in a cage in the greenhouse - warm, but not hot just now - with food and water and let him rest quietly. This morning he was crowing up a storm and is back to his usual self, strtting about, shaking his wattles at Brian and very glad to be back with his flock. I am so glad... I didn't realize how fond I was of the old fellow until yesterday.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2005 at 10:39AM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

I'm glad he's OK! :) Still, keep a very close eye on him and the rest of your birds for the next week, just in case...

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   September 2, 2005 at 3:43PM
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Maggie_J(z5 Ontario)

Thanks for the advice, Velvet... You can be sure I will be on the watch for anything that is not quite right. Nap was afraid to come down off his roost this morning, which inclines me to think that his problem was due to a crash landing... Taking steps to fix the situation.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2005 at 9:27PM
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I have a rooster that is drooling alittle, not alot but seems to have mucas in his mouth. When he goes to eat he makes the motion like hes going to eat but his beak comes about a quarter of an inch away from the food. He has lost weight. He's about 4 yrs old. If any one has any idea what it could be or what I should do please let me know.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2007 at 12:33PM
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chickenflicker - I hope your rooster is still ok. I would take him to the vet immediately. I have a hen, Martha Stewart, that recently had similar symptoms. I noticed that she was sleeping a lot during the day one day and would put her head under her wing. NOT a normal thing, and she also had discharge/mucus from her beak. I took her to the vet immediately and he put her on baytril. He tested for coccidiosis, which was negative, but I know that not treating a bird immediately usually ends in death, so with his approval, I treated her with Baytril AND Sulmet in her water. She recovered very quickly. I am a wild bird rehabber so I keep medications on hand. You can get antibiotics for common farm animals from your feed store usually.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2007 at 6:26PM
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The combs on both of my roosters are turning black. On one it is quite bad, starting at the back of the comb and progressing towards his head. Could it be frostbite? I live in Maine and it has been fairly cold, 10 degrees.

Any ideas?

    Bookmark   January 11, 2009 at 9:56PM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

That is probably what it is. give them someplace warm to be if you can.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2009 at 10:20PM
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If it is frost bite the combs will turn black--dry up--then fall off. Put an antibiotic cream with a healthy pinch of alum (cooking spice) mixed in on the combs. The antibiotic cream will protect against infections and the alum will stop any bleeding that may occur. If they are bumped they might start to bleed, which can trigger the other birds to peck at the bleeding spot and create a bigger problem.

Be careful about add too much heat. I would use a heat lamp that is tightly fastened (not Clamped-clamps often fail causing fires) about 3' above their heads. Check for drafts that may be coming from a crack or hole somewhere in the coop. An easy way to check for a draft is talcum power sprinkled about 4-5' above the floor and note if falls straight down (indicating no draft) or does it get carried on the air movement. If you can't find a crack or hole, many times a draft can be caused by an extremely cold wall. If that is the case, tack an old blanket to the inside of that wall. I've done that in the past and it stopped the draft.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2009 at 11:10PM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

I'm assuming that the alum is used as a styptic to prevent bleeding (that's why I use it, I never understood the practice of putting aluminum into your food) and if that is the case is there a reason Cracked Black pepper cannot be substituted? I think that more people have black pepper on hand since alum is a rare thing in most homes these days. Alum also has some general antimicrobial properties and I am not sure if the antimicrobial properties of black pepper compare favorably or are vastly inferior, but for now I'm going to assume vastly inferior.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2009 at 11:34PM
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Alum when used in food it is generally used to increase crispness, or to enhances sweetness. It is a form of sodium linked with various metals. One form is A2SO4·B2(SO4)3·24H2O, it is referred to as a double sulfate blend. There are many different forms of alum formulated to meet the intended end use.

I would never use it in any food stuff--it is very toxic-it takes about 2 tablespoon (1 oz) to do you in. Bad food additive!!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 1:18AM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

When someone just says Alum I think it typically refers to Potasium Aluminum Sulfate KAl2(So4)4·12H2O, which is what is typically offered in the spice section of a grocery store, its also the name of the class of compounds that that belongs too (and that's where your formula comes in). Making Alum is the first chemistry experiment that I did in highschool that I remember the procedure for (I remember doing others before, but can't remember the procedures)

So moving on, is this being used here as a styptic/ antihemorrhageic and do you see any problem with the potential use of black pepper in its stead? I shave with a straight razor and will occasionally cut myself really well and when my alum block doesn't stop the bleeding I go get my pepper grinder and rub the cuts down with some fine ground black pepper, it does the trick when Alum fails me, it was also vital to me stopping the bleeding when I cut off the tip of my thumb two years ago, and it slowly bled for the next 36 hours because a scab just couldn't form. I lost like three quarters of a cup of blood before one of the guys who runs food services here suggested that trick to me.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 2:41AM
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i looked outside and my rooster was laying on his side on the ground i rushed outside cause i just he was dead. he wasnt he had enough strength to kick his feet. to let me know he was alive. so i picked him up and when i did he was limp. so i brought him inside and put a warm blanket around him. he has food and water outside. i dont know if he got stressed from moving the cage with him in last night or if it got cold. but he has been outside since we got him and would play in the snow. i need help cause its my little brother rooster and he is tore up about it.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 9:24AM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

For now keep him warm and quiet. How cold was it and how long was he out in it?

Chickens can get stressed from being moved to a new home or from being ill. Offer him unflavored Pedialyte (an electrolyte solution, get it at the grocery store in the baby aisle) to drink to boost his electrolytes and make sure he's eating. If he isn't eating, offer him goodies such as live mealworms, scrambled eggs, diced grapes, cooked ground beef, raw corn, diced tomatoes, etc.--anything that will get & keep him eating and give him energy, hydration & nutrition till he's feeling better.

Any possibility he suffered an injury? I'd check him over for injuries or signs of illness. More here on my chicken info site that may help:

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 2:15AM
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I have a young rooster that wont walk anymore. He just sits, he will eat and drink but when you pick him up his legs are limp??

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 8:30AM
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