something is wrong with my rooster

amiz5904(z8 NC)August 11, 2006

2 weeks ago I noticed that my 4 year old rooster Crash was feeling poorly. I gave him a bath because he was infested with mites (which probably means he'd been feeling poorly for a while because everybody else looks pretty good). The day after his bath (no pesticides, just soap), he did great. Since then however, his appetite has been really poor and he actually blows bubbles and foams when he starts to eat. His crop is soft and there is no terrible odor coming from his mouth. Does anyone have any suggestions? He is my first rooster and I really hate to lose him.


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I thought you weren't supposed to use any kind of shampoos or soaps on ducks or chickens???

    Bookmark   August 11, 2006 at 8:45PM
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Maggie_J(z5 Ontario)

Audrey, sorry to hear Crash is not doing so well. Are you still getting that terrible heat down your way? On the HT poultry forum there have been a lot of people whose birds have been suffering from heat-related illness. I just skimmed through the last six pages of posts trying to find one that referred to that drooling and bubbling thing. Couldn't find it, but I am pretty certain that the person who posted about it was told by a knowledgeable member that this symptom could be heat-related.

I'm hoping Velvet will chime in with her take on the subject, but pending that perhaps try to tempt his appetite with some hard-boiled egg, watermelon or other nutritious goody and maybe give him some unflavoured Pedialyte (spelling? I'm still on my first coffee after doing my critter rounds, so not too sharp yet.) in case his electrolytes are out of whack.

If you have air conditioning, you might try bringing him indoors if the heat is bad. A cage is better than a box for this because it allows the bird to see its surroundings and take interest in things. I had my Napoleon in a large carton last winter when he was suffering from frostbite and in retrospect I think this was a mistake. I think he just gave up.

Sorry I don't have a better answer for you about what may be wrong and how to deal with it. If I can find anything, I'll be sure to post it. Please post an update to let us know how Crash is doing.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2006 at 9:44AM
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amiz5904(z8 NC)

Thanks Maggie. I've had him inside since his bath. I started him on Sucralfate (gastric protectant) this morning, hoping that will help. I'm wondering if maybe he has some crop ulceration. He is such a sweet boy. Last year I had to keep him inside for 6 weeks because he had such a terrible case of bumble foot. I don't even have to keep a top on his carrier, he just stays in it.

Today he ate some green beans, romaine lettuce and bananas. He really doesn't want anything to do with his feed. I'll keep you posted.

Thanks! Audrey

    Bookmark   August 12, 2006 at 5:03PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Audrey, I'd really suggest that you worm him and either dust or spray him for mites as well ASAP...I know you like to avoid that kind of stuff (as do I) but it sounds like he really needs it. :(

It's been a stubborn year for mites, I think in our area it's partially due to the really rainy winter and then excessively hot summer. I've had great results with the Adams Flea & Tick Mist with Insect Growth Regulator (IGR). It lasts for three months. I like it better than the dust because it's much easier to direct where it's needed and less messy, plus it gets down into the cracks and crevices of the coop, roost, nests, etc.

Anyway, I've got a bunch of links to various sites on my chicken info site that might help you narrow down what's going on...

Good luck with Crash! :)

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 4:15AM
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amiz5904(z8 NC)

I will go buy some today - thank you. Are you using it on your birds too, or just in the environment?

Crash is actually doing much better. He has almost completely stopped salivating and he ate an entire hard-boiled egg yesterday.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 6:58AM
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pricem11(z7 NC)


Since Crash is doing better, it might be a good idea to wait a week to let him get his strength back up before administering the worm meds. Just a thought.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 11:54AM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

I use it on the birds, roosts, nests--everything. That way I know that I've done as good a job as I am able, and it's better than having my birds die or a vet bill. :) It's a pain in the rump, I know...but--!

I've had no ill effects from using the spray or wormer on birds that were less than 100% healthy (because it was the parasites that were making them unwell) and to wait would have been fatal.

I'm glad Crash is improving, I've got my fingers crossed for you guys! :)

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 6:56PM
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Audrey...everyone here has some great ideas, and I'm sure you know how difficult it can be to diagnose an illness in a chicken since they can come down with the damndest things! I have a really great rooster named Bob. He is a real loner for some reason. (Personally I fear he might be a bit autistic, but he's one of the family, so we love him just as much) Long story short, he liked to hang out with my husband in his garage while he was working on his hot rod. Hot rods involve lots of oil and grease and goo and solvents and well, Lordy, lots of stuff that ain't fit to eat. We think Bob might have pecked up some piece of wood with some of this gunk on it and he had the EXACT same symptoms you say Crash has! Poor Bob was blowing bubbles and foaming at the beak and wouldn't eat anything and he even began to sort of stumble around like he was drunk. I just knew he was gonna die if I didn't do something, so I went to visit my old neighbor Ben who is older than the hills and he told me to dose him with some good old cod liver oil and stand back. I gave Bob about 1cc of the stuff and sure enough, within minutes he was letting go at both ends. When he seemed to be all cleaned out, he drank about the entire fountain of water and then began pecking at some corn and oats I'd thrown out for him like it was just your average Tuesday. That was 3 years ago. His crow sounds a little funny and he doesn't visit my husband much anymore, but he's still gettin' around. Guess I'm trying to ask if it's possible Crash got into something since all your other chickens seem fine. Usually if one has mites or worms, they ALL have mites or worms, so that seems odd to me that it would just be Crash. Sounds like he's starting to come around, so maybe he just had something caught sideways for a bit, but even if it makes me sound like a snake-oil seller, I do believe in cod liver oil. I'm sure that's what cured old Bob. Like chicken soup, it can't hurt. I hope he makes it. I know how attatched you can get to the rascals.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 8:32PM
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amiz5904(z8 NC)

Thanks for all the kind words. Crash is doing better,not foaming as much but definitely not over the hump yet. What I meant when I said he had mites is that he was absolutely infested and when I check my other chickens they have some of course, but not to that extent. I mean he was covered.

I bought some of that Adams spray and will cover the coop with it in the morning.

I do wonder if he ate something toxic, but since his episode with bumblefoot he rarely if ever leaves the coop so whatever he ate (bad bug?) was inside the coop and nobody else was affected.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 8:44PM
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pricem11(z7 NC)

Audrey, I'd defer to what Velvet says re: worming if you suspect strongly that this is what was making him sick.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 8:51PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Many times you'll find that surprisngly, your flock can tolerate a certain amount of mites with no ill effects, but if they get a little down with anything else the mites seem to explode and just cause more misery, including death. :( Parasites being the opportunistic little nasties that they are.

I ran across a very interesting article on poultry health from 1918 the other day and it reminded me of Crash's problems. If you click on this link and scroll down to the top of page 9 and read the section on 'Roup' you'll see similar symptoms (the foaming caught my eye). Thought it might interest you so here it is. Remember that this article is from 1918, long before most drugs!! Treatment has come a long way since then, don't panic! *L* But I find this old-timer knowledge extremely valuable, so here it is:

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 9:25PM
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