Sick Three Year Old rooster

by Mary
(Rhode Island)


Sick three year old rooster: I have a three year old rooster. He seems to be laying around a lot, his comb looks darker than usual and he isn't crowing.

He is eating but he was also shaking his head back and forth. Would you know what is wrong? I know he must be sick; but what disease and how can I treat him? We love Brad and don't want to lose him. thank you

You are right to be concerned. It would be good to check for any diarrhea, poor appetite, thinness, or injuries.

Winter months can be stressful, depending on colder temperatures and lack of sunshine. I would start with vitamins for the whole flock.

Offer him some separately to make sure he gets a good dose. Sometimes this can help a lot.

If you find he is not eating or drinking well you may need to offer a heat lamp for poultry, which should perk him up and try to get him to eat some warmed soaked feed.

If he and his appetite have slowed down, offer some fresh fruit, the sugar will give him an energy boost, and possibly raise his awareness and appetite.

The comb looking darker, maybe purplish, is possibly a sign of frost bite, if temps drop below freezing at night.

This isn’t life threatening, but probably uncomfortable. A heat lamp will hopefully add enough warmth to prevent further damage to his comb.

I would check for an impacted crop. If he isn’t drinking enough the food in his crop may have turned to a solid mass, unable to pass through his digestive system.

He might be showing you signs of malnutrition due to a blockage. A healthy crop will feel mushy when filled with well hydrated food.

An unhealthy crop will feel hard and lumpy. If the crop is hard, you need to act quickly to get it to break down by offering warm water, about ½ cup with 1tbsp raw apple cider vinegar.

Coax him to drink by dipping his beak tip in the vinegar water. Get him to take as much as you can, then gently massage the crop lump.

If you notice a bad smell from the crop you might need to remove the crop’s contents.

An internet search of “sour crop chicken” can give detailed instructions, but you will want to hydrate the crop’s contents with warmed water, gently massage it to loosen.

If you notice a rotten smell from the crop you will need to hold him upside down and gently massage the crop contents out his mouth.

This can save the life of a chicken suffering with a sour crop.

Hopefully this will help you get him the he needs. The head shaking could be as a result of his crop feeling tight, so the above might be the help he needs.

Return to Raising Chickens Home Page

Click here to post comments

Return to Rooster Questions.

Custom Search