My Rooster is acting drunk

by Debra
(Nottingham, NH)


My Rooster is acting drunk I have a one year old Bantam Rooster named Little Bit. He has been very healthy up until about a week or so ago.

I noticed that he stopped crowing. I looked forward to hearing that. When he stopped, he caught my attention.

I noticed that he was hanging out on the outside of the flock instead of getting in the middle of the action like he usually does. He steadily got worse by starting to stumble and couldn't get up on the perch.

I brought him inside to keep a close eye on him. He is very hungry and eats everything I put in. He just acts drunk.

I gave him some antibiotics in his water because I wanted to rule out an infection. That just gave him loose stools. I then gave him Epsom Salts, which took care of the loose stools, but he's still drunk.

I've looked him over for injuries, but found nothing.

We use DE to control parasites and the ladies get oyster shells for their eggs, which he gets as well. But other than that, they all eat egg layer.

I've been keeping a very close eye on all of the other chickens and none are starting to act like Little Bit.

Recently, one evening, we hadn't noticed that one chicken did not go back into the coop to roost. The next morning in the day light we found her.

She had been bitten in the neck and her insides were seemingly hollow. All of the chickens acted very strange for a couple days.

This is the first chicken that we've lost like that so we can't imagine what happened; especially since there were not holes where a predator could get in and no blood anywhere. If she was gutted, wouldn't there be blood?

Shortly after finding the dead chicken, we noticed that one of the chickens started eating the eggs and someone was pulling out a very large portion of the feathers on several of the chickens backs It's not Little Bit, he's inside.

I read that that means there is a cannibal in the flock. Could that mean that one of the chickens could have eaten the dead one?

We only have had chickens for about a 1 1/2 yrs. Any advice???!!!!!

I would suggest getting a vitamin and electrolyte supplement and continue to watch him. It’s really hard to know what this is. It sounds like you take great care of your chickens.

It doesn’t sound like the chickens killed this hen. They might, if starving, but a neck bite and gutting sounds more like a carnivorous predator, possibly a raccoon.

When I have found a killed chicken I use the remains of the body to bait a live trap the next night, in the spot I found it.

Often the predator will return to finish its meal, and you will know for sure what happened.

Acting drunk sounds like an electrolyte imbalance. What caused it could be anyone’s guess.

Possibilities are: toxins, fever, parasites, disease, stress, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, to name a few. You don’t mention if he seems underweight.

All we can do is try to treat symptoms when something mysterious like this happens. The vitamin/electrolyte supplement may address a number of issues.

People that act drunk, but aren’t, often have low blood sugar or are dehydrated. A food with instant sugar, like fruit or fruit juice, honey or molasses can help, but proteins, complex carbs and good fats metabolize more slowly and give prolonged strength and energy.

Running a high fever can cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. A chicken’s normal body temp is about 107F.

If he feels hot this may be the near 10 degrees difference between humans and chickens. If he feels cool, he is definitely subnormal for a chicken, which can mean he is fighting a virus.

Providing a heat lamp can help him maintain a normal body temp and allow his immune and other systems, including digestion, to function more normally.

Most viruses don’t respond to antibiotics, but their secondary infections may. Vitamins can strengthen the immune system, all body systems really, and help his body fight and correct whatever this is.

Now that you have given antibiotics it’s good to give probiotics to help replace any good digestive bacteria that may have been killed by the antibiotics.

You can feed him some live culture yogurt or buy a pro biotic paste at the feed store. Sprinkling his food with DE may help absorb and isolate any toxins in his system.

Feeding him soaked grains or feed, oatmeal or warm mashed potato with yogurt, may help him absorb nutrients more quickly.

I like to mix the vitamin/electrolyte powder with warm water and layer feed, especially on cold mornings and when I want to give vitamins to the flock.

I hope this helps. Wish I could give you a definite answer as to why.

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Drunk Rooster
by: Holly

Just wanted to say I had the same problem. Gave him some honey water and he came right around. After five min. you would never have know anything was ever wrong. Hope that helps. :)

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