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Help w/ lame rooster

kimmycakeskimmycakes Junior Member
edited December 2008 in Producers and Vets
Good Morning all! I am coming to you for advice. I have or had 2 roosters that were given to me as chicks in November of last year. They live with a duck, goose, sheep and a pig. All was going well until about 1 month ago one of my roosters seemed to go completely lame in one foot. He was still able to walk, but seemed to have no muscle control in this foot. When he walked the foot would just flop and most of the time it would be limp and he would stand on his ankle (the point where the foot meets the leg.) It did not seem to cause him pain, nor was there any visable trama to the foot or leg. He seemed to still be happy and was getting about the yard still eating bugs and grass and stuff. I did try to contact vets in the area to see if someone could see him and no one wanted to see a rooster. Unfortunately, I went out to feed 2 days ago and my poor guy could not get up. He was laying sternum down, head up, was still eating, but could not stand. When I went over to him he flopped around to get away, but was not able to stand nor walk in any way. I again tried to contact vets and still no one wanted to see him. I was left with no choice but to put him to sleep. I thought maybe it was some sort of neurologic problem that only this rooster was experiencing becuase my other rooster seemd to be just fine. Well I was wrong for today I went out to feed and my other rooster is limping. He is still able to get around fine, but he does not have a normal gait and I am thinking that he is heading down the same track as the other rooster. Can anyone shed some light on what might be going on and how I could possibly treat him? Or, does anyone know a vet in the San Gabriel valley area of California that will see my rooster?

Also thought it could be a nutritional defficency. I am feeding cracked corn and my roosters get out into the yard every day to look for bugs and eat plants.

Thanks for your advice in advance.

Comments

  • CUDACUDA Senior Member
    edited March 2008
    If all you are feeding them is corn, that is a real problem. You need to get him on a balenced diet. Free ranging him is a good thing, and I would continue to do that, but as for food, I would lay off on the corn, especially in the warmer weather coming, and start feeding him some finnisher mesh, or pellets. For regular fowl, I usually mix 1/3 scratch grains, 2/3 starter mesh, and I like to throw in a small amount of black oil sunflower seeds for better feather health. This will bring your protein level to around 16%, and your fat content around 7%. You can also buy a vitamin supplement down to the local farm store that you can add in the water, which would be a good idea since this could be a problem also. I would also check to make sure there is no moldy food, or bedding any where for him to get into. It is possible to have a genetic problem, but I would straighted out his diet first and see where that gets you. BTW, does the bird feel thin around the chest area? Good luck!
  • kimmycakeskimmycakes Junior Member
    edited March 2008
    Thank you and I will go to the feed store tomorrow and pick-up the items you mentioned. I hope that feeding a different, more blanced diet will do the trick. Thank you again and I will let you know what happens.

    Kim
  • kimmycakeskimmycakes Junior Member
    edited March 2008
    OK, I tried going to the feed store to find the ingredients that you mentioned that I should feed my rooster and they did not have it, so I went to one of the larger feed stores in my area. They too did not have the ingredients you recommended that I feed. What they did recommend was laying crumble. When I checked the protien and fat content, they seemed to be about the same as what you recommended. I also got a vitamin/mineral and electrolyte suppliment to add to his water. I have seen him eating and drinking, so I know that he has ingested these new items. I had though that he looked as if he was getting better for a few days, but it has become apprarent the last few days that I was mistake. He is still able to walk, but he seems to not be very happy. He still comes out of the pen when I open the door, but his locomotion is a bit labored and he seems to be leaning to one side a bit. He is also not holding up his tail feathers very well. He is still eating and drinking, but does not look great. I also felt his breast/chest area and he does feel very thin. Also tried agian to find a vet to see him, but NO ONE wants to see a roster. I am so sad and I do not know what to do for the poor little guy. Can you suggest anything else? I can also send a short video if you think that it mightn help you understand exactly what it is he is doing and looks like.

    Thanks for any help you might be able to provide.
  • CUDACUDA Senior Member
    edited March 2008
    Ok, layer crumbles are not the best, due to the high calcium content, but it is better than the corn. You would be better with a finnisher, or grower crumbles. If he feels real thin, I would lean to worms myself. What does the poo look like?
    Does it have blood in it, or consistantly runny? If so, you may have worms to the point that the bird can't take in enough food to compensate for it, and is wasting away, which can cause them to act this way. If you haven't wormed them, you need to. If your one bird is excessively weak, separate him, and put him put as much as that crumble in front of him so he can eat as much as he wants. Usually this will help it gain enough strength to handle worming after a few days. If you try to worm when it is weak, it can kill the bird. You can find out more about worming on my site HERE, and my contact info if you need to find out more to help with this problem. Good luck!
  • StickmanStickman Senior Member
    edited March 2008
    Hi kmmycakes

    I know this is not much use to you now, but your post would draw more attention in the 'poultry health and welfare' section.

    I agree with CUDA in that it's Important to get the right vitamins and minerals in his diet, and the symptoms correspond to a lack of these, particuarly calcium/phosphorus and maybe vitamin B2. However, if this was ostioporosis/ paralysis caused by a simillar deficiency, I believe the symptoms would have been slower to manifest themselves.

    It sound like the second cockerel with the condition was literally fine one day poorly the next????

    So i think this, (based on the facts that this is quick to take hold, and probably contagious) could be a nerve virus: Marek's or Newcastle disease: Can you remember if he's been vaccinated?

    Infects chickens between 12 and 24 weeks age.
    Paralysis of legs, weight loss and diarrhoea typical.
    Rarely affect ducks or geese. (that's the good news)
    Highly contagious.

    There is, I'm sorry to tell you, no cure for either Marek's or NCD.
    See how he does, I could be wrong. You could try the wormer CUDA has suggested and maybe some antibiotics, I think 'Tylan' is what you're looking for in the USA, (he could have a bacterial infection) - both available from the vet.
    I'm sorry, can't be much help other than that.

    Maybe others can help...
    Good luck.
    Nick.
  • kimmycakeskimmycakes Junior Member
    edited March 2008
    I will try seperating him from the others to see what his poop looks like, and yes both his lameness and the first roosters lamness seemed to come on quite suddenly. I will also make as much food available as possible in hopes that he will eat and get a bit stronger. As for vaccines, I am sorry to say that I have no vaccine history on any of the chickens or rooster. My grandmother bought them for me ~4 mo. ago and I have no real experience with chickens or roosters and it seems that I really can not find a vet in my area to see or ask questions of. I do have a friend that works at a pathology lab and if for some reason this guy does not make it I will be sure to ask if she can take a look at the carcass to see if they can figure out what happen. I am still keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that he will make it. Problem is that if it is contaigous, that means that my 6 hens will be coming down with it and my neighbors chickens will also be affected. I can only pray that this is not going to be the case. Is there anyway that I can vaccinate the hens prior to them showing signs of illness? If so, what vaccines do I give chickens?

    I feel at a complete loss and am quite sad about my being so un-aware of what I can do to help this poor little guy. As I said before, I will seperate him, feed him a plethora of food, check his droppings and get back to you tomorrow. Thanks so much for your guidance and understanding.

    Sincerely,
    Kim
  • kimmycakeskimmycakes Junior Member
    edited March 2008
    Just checked out your site and found it to be extremely informative. I will do as you suggested and get back to you tomorrow.

    Thank you and I will keep you posted.

    Sincerely,
    Kim
  • kimmycakeskimmycakes Junior Member
    edited March 2008
    OK, I seperated my Rooster early yesterday morning and he went straight for the food and ate for a while. Although he can stand, he does not seem to want to stand, and looks very weak. I did just check his cage for pooped and found only one dropping. It looks runny compared to the droppings of my other birds and it does seem to has a sort of reddish brown liquid within it. I guess this could be blood. (?) I have taken a photo so you can actually see it for your self. Do you think that I should still wait to worm him? Is there anything else that you think I should try?
    I am also going to send this email to you web site so that I casn attach the photos.

    Thanks for your help,
    Kim
  • kimmycakeskimmycakes Junior Member
    edited March 2008
    OK, I seperated my Rooster early yesterday morning and he went straight for the food and ate for a while. Although he can stand, he does not seem to want to stand, and looks very weak. I did just check his cage for pooped and found only one dropping. It looks runny compared to the droppings of my other birds and it does seem to has a sort of reddish brown liquid within it. I guess this could be blood. (?) I have taken a photo so you can actually see it for your self. Do you think that I should still wait to worm him? Is there anything else that you think I should try?
    I am also going to send this email to you web site so that I casn attach the photos.

    Thanks for your help,
    Kim

    I did attach the photos to this second message posting.
  • kimmycakeskimmycakes Junior Member
    edited June 2008
    Post modum came back and it turns out they had Mericks. :(
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