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celi

Lethargic rooster

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My rooster is a two year old pekin bantam and is usually a very dutiful little man. He'll tell the girls whenever he finds a nice treat, he stands watch outside of the hen house when one of them is laying, he makes alarm noises when he sees something that could harm the flock and he will often just stand in one spot not really doing anything, but you can tell that he has his eyes peeled for danger.

For the last couple of days he hasn't really been doing any of this. He's been isolating himself in the bushes. When I go out to give them their afternoon snack I notice that he doesn't make his usual noise to alert the others that I'm there and he doesn't join his ladies while they eat. His poo is a bit yellow in colour but his comb is still a healthy red, his eyes look normal and he's not having any trouble walking or balancing. My mom has been letting them out in the morning- apparently he's the last out but he still does eat so he's not completely lost his appetite. 

He's not easy to catch so last night I went to examine him a little bit. His vent is kind of messy but his crop felt normal to me. I could feel bits of food in there and it didn't feel overly squishy or anything. I'm glad that I can rule out egg-related issues but I have no clue what's wrong with him. I plan to examine him again tonight and put apple cider vinegar in their water. Should we keep him inside for a while? Is there anything else I should put in their food/water to make him healthy again? We wormed all of them last month so I'm pretty sure it can't be that. I don't have much experience with roosters so I'm a bit in the dark. Any advice would be great.

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37 minutes ago, The Dogmother said:

What are you worming them with?

Flubenvet for a week, they aren’t having that anymore. We had another exam tonight and my mom reckons compacted crop (she knows more than me). She said he feels a bit blocked up or something so we did some massaging and gently tipping him upside down. I’ll update tomorrow on if he seems any better 

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I meant impacted crop by the way, oops! An update on him today: he hasn’t come out of bed so we’re going to try and empty his crop. We might struggle to catch him and open his beak and stuff but we’ll give it our best 

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Have a look at this video, not massively successful as we didn't have a chook with an impacted crop at the time!

His crop should be full at night when he goes to bed, and empty in the morning when he has digested the food. Try taking him out when they have all gone into roost and settled; they will be more relaxed then.  You need to ensure that the food is going through and coming out t'other end. I would make sure that he is hydrated and give him some NutriDrops  to keep up his nutrient levels.

What is he feeding on?

 

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2 minutes ago, The Dogmother said:

Have a look at this video, not massively successful as we didn't have a chook with an impacted crop at the time!

His crop should be full at night when he goes to bed, and empty in the morning when he has digested the food. Try taking him out when they have all gone into roost and settled; they will be more relaxed then.  You need to ensure that the food is going through and coming out t'other end. I would make sure that he is hydrated and give him some NutriDrops  to keep up his nutrient levels.

What is he feeding on?

 

I already watched that actually, didn’t realise it was you. It’s a very useful video, we’ll try to follow your method once my mom’s back from her dog walk.

I would wait until tonight when he’s calm and settled but I get so worried about them when they’re not well that I get impatient. We have a vitamin booster and apple cider vinegar but I could order some NutriDrops as well if they’re more effective.

We give them layers pellets mixed with some corn and usually oyster grit. More recently we’ve been baking eggshells and crushing them to put in their food. He’s not eating as much as usual though so I’m not sure how much of that he’s actually getting.

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Ok, so he's not eating anything he shouldn't by the sounds of it (it is hard to diagnose and help remotely).

NutriDrops are described by a friend as "reviving anything that isn't 6 feet under"!

Give him a good once over and let me know what you find. 

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29 minutes ago, The Dogmother said:

Ok, so he's not eating anything he shouldn't by the sounds of it (it is hard to diagnose and help remotely).

NutriDrops are described by a friend as "reviving anything that isn't 6 feet under"!

Give him a good once over and let me know what you find. 

We'll order those then. We spent quite a while giving him water mixed with some olive oil, massaging and tipping him for a few seconds. I do have a couple of questions about that. Does this produce instant results usually or does it take a while for the digestive system to go back to normal? Also, what are you supposed to see come out? We didn't have as much success as we hoped as when anything did come out it was just grey looking water. Is that still good or should we be seeing chunks of food and grass and stuff?

There definitely is something blocking him up. The last time he ate anything was yesterday evening and it was only a couple of unenthusiastic pecks at some corn, but today his crop feels full which can't be normal. We're keeping him a bit separate from the others and we're only going to put down grit and water mixed with apple cider vinegar until he gets better (fingers crossed that he actually does). 

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I've just watched that health check video. His comb and wattle look healthy, his feathers are healthy as well, I didn't see any lice or anything and the inside of his mouth looks normal. However, as mentioned he does have a dirty vent and I noticed when we were treating him his third eyelids made an appearance a few times. That could have been because we were tiring him out or something because I haven't noticed that before but it's still worth mentioning.

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He doesn't sound too happy, does he? It's hard to know what's wrong with him without being able to see the poor chap; I would suggest that you get him to a poultry-savvy vet soonest. Let me know what they find.

In the meantime, clean up his bottom.

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You said you were tipping him. If he had impacted crop I wouldn’t expect anything to come out. It’s only if he had sour crop that you would get a lot of foul spelling liquid coming out. If it’s bad you barely need to tip them forward for it all to come gushing out and the crop will feel like a liquid filled balloon.

If your chap has impacted crop your massaging with oil is a better bet.

Fingers crossed

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You can still break up the blockage with massage and then get something out - the trick is to syringe water into his crop first to loosen it up.... like in the video. It takes a couple of goes to get it mobilised, but it does help to get it emptied.

I wouldn't leave him too long before getting him to a vet. If you are near me, then West Bar Vets in Banbury is still open and they have a couple of chicken specialists.

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We did some more oil and water, massaging and tipping yesterday but we didn't get any results. Today we didn't tip him we just gave him oil and massaged him a bit. I think he's slowly improving. He's been drinking a bit, chatting to his ladies and still running away when we try to pick him up which shows that he's not without hope. 

If it were up to me and money wasn't a factor I'd insist we take him to the vets as soon as possible but I don't make the financial decisions (because I'm 19 and I live with my parents) so really it's up to them. I don't think it's an option because of the financial side of things.

We're going to keep doing everything we can at home. If he gets to a point where we don't think he can recover and he's suffering we'll put him out of his misery. If anyone has any more home remedy advice that would be great. Thanks guys

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Posted (edited)

He’s not being bullied by one of his ladies is he?  I had a rooster who became very depressed when I got  some rescues.  One of them was anti male anything and determined to be top chicken.   He was a Poland so not huge.    Luckily, for him if not her, she only lived about 6 months in freedom.  He was visibly better when she’d gone! 

Edited by Patricia W

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1 hour ago, Patricia W said:

He’s not being bullied by one of his ladies is he?  I had a rooster who became very depressed when I got  some rescues.  One of them was anti male anything and determined to be top chicken.   He was a Poland so not huge.    Luckily, for him if not her, she only lived about 6 months in freedom.  He was visibly better when she’d gone! 

The last time we added hens to the flock was in January and they’re Pekins as well. They would never be mean to him. 

We do have two bigger hens and I’ve noticed that when they all groom together outside the patio door that one of them pecks at his neck feathers. I read up on that and I think it’s a fascination with the colour of his feathers or something. That’s something I noticed ages ago though so I’m not sure if that would be why he’s behaving strangely. I’ll investigate that today and see if that could be it. Thank you ☺️

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Unlikely cause Celi - that's just social grooming behaviour, they are probably pecking at minute dust specks, and proves his acceptance into the flock. I'd have to see them interacting to understand the dynamic.

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22 hours ago, celi said:

We did some more oil and water, massaging and tipping yesterday but we didn't get any results. Today we didn't tip him we just gave him oil and massaged him a bit. I think he's slowly improving. He's been drinking a bit, chatting to his ladies and still running away when we try to pick him up which shows that he's not without hope. 

If it were up to me and money wasn't a factor I'd insist we take him to the vets as soon as possible but I don't make the financial decisions (because I'm 19 and I live with my parents) so really it's up to them. I don't think it's an option because of the financial side of things.

We're going to keep doing everything we can at home. If he gets to a point where we don't think he can recover and he's suffering we'll put him out of his misery. If anyone has any more home remedy advice that would be great. Thanks guys

I would still ring a vet and enquire about the costs. It’s never fair to leave an animal suffering. And bearing costs is part of having animals. 

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11 minutes ago, Cat tails said:

I would still ring a vet and enquire about the costs. It’s never fair to leave an animal suffering. And bearing costs is part of having animals. 

I have asked if we should ring about costs and my mom just said no. The only jobs I have are voluntary so I don’t even have the option to offer to pay out of my own pocket. Plus, our nearest vet that claims to deal with exotic animals aren’t very good. When we went to euthanise one of our sick hens a couple of months ago the guy said that he never gets chickens in there (also the vets office was completely empty which I thought was so weird). I’ve read some very negative reviews from people who took their exotic animals for an appointment only to be told their pet is fine and having it die a few days later. I wouldn’t particularly trust them to treat my chickens to be honest. 

I feel really bad and I don’t want anyone to get the impression that I don’t care about my chickens because I absolutely do. I will try to find a better vets and call them myself but, like I said, it’s ultimately not up to me.

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I understand it’s hard when your resources are limited. And I really think you are trying your best. But there is a point when you have to accept neither you, the internet or us here are vets.

Keep strong! ❤️

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Just to update anyone following this post, we’re putting him down today. We’ve really tried but I think he’s at a point where even if the stuff we’ve ordered to help him comes today it’s too late for it to make a difference. It’s sad because we got him when he was young and we’ve had him for a couple of years but it’s the kinder thing to do to put him to sleep.

Thank you everyone who responded to this ❤️

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Well done on making a decision but sorry to hear he has to go. Remember that it’s you guys who will be sad but for him it’ll be over quickly and then he will no longer be uncomfortable 

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22 hours ago, soapdragon said:

Possibly a bit late but do you have a Blue Cross or PDSA near you? 

I've just looked it up, we do have a PDSA near us. Our rooster's been put to sleep now but it could be useful for when any of our hens may get ill. I'll look into it some more just in case we have any more bad luck. Thanks :-)

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