Rooster Hanging His Head

by Victoria
(New york)

For the past few weeks my Rooster has been acting odd. When it stands or sits its head and neck will slowly fall to the ground. He will then just stand there with his head on the ground and rest of his body in the air.
Also for about a year he has been standing around with is head tucked into his neck, I didn't think anything of it until now that he has been doing this. I'm not sure if its a common thing with old age or some kind of sickness.

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Rooster Haning His Head
by: sharon

With something going on so long and getting worse, it could be some kind of old age thing. What breed is he? How old is he? Does he still try to breed hens? Is his weight good? Does he spend any part of the day active and acting normally? Does he crow?

Has he ever had an injury from a predator? Are any other chickens acting similarly?

You just have to be a good detective. Give him a whole body check. Look for signs of parasites, injuries or wounds. Check his keel bone - is he underweight?

The fact that you have noticed him acting oddly for so long makes me think this isn't a contagious type disease. Depending on his age and breed he could just be getting too old to maintain good health.

He could be getting bullied by another rooster or even hens if he is weakening. Other chickens will keep the weak away from food and water.

It may not be the kindest thing to try to prolong his life, if he is very old and weak. If he were mine I would put him in a safe cage where he can get some sunshine and stay out of drafts at night. Maybe offer a heat lamp and plenty of food and water so he has all he needs close to him and doesn't have to compete with other chickens. Offer him some fruit and greens, too, and vitamins and minerals.

If basic care doesn't help him to improve, he may just be too far gone to recover - either old age or some kind of illness.

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