Mr. Grey, the Bantam Rooster, Sick

by Angelia Roberts
(Englewood, TN)

My Bantam rooster "Mr.Gray" Has started acting sick like. He mostly just stands there like he's cold. With his head kinda tucked down. He's very weak. We have not changed feed or anything else. Any suggestions?

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Mr. Grey Sick
by: sharon

All you can do is treat symptoms. If he acts sick, he is sick. How it happened or why can't help him much.

By the time a chicken is this down, he needs help FAST. He should be in a hospital cage with optional heat source, so he can move as close as he needs to keep his body temperature good - just like a brooding chick.

If he is not eating or drinking on his own, you will need to hand feed him. If he's been like this for a day or more, his blood sugar is low and he may be dehydrated. Some apple sauce might help. The sugar will give him energy and the liquid will help re-hydrate him.

He could have parasites internally or externally that are draining his energy, he could have eaten something toxic, been bitten by something toxic, been injured by a predator. He might have sour crop, or some kind of intestinal bug.

If he were mine I would check over his whole body, look for anything unusual. Check his crop, just below his neck. If there is anything in his crop, it should be soft and mushy like a thick soup. If it feels like there is a lump of clay in his crop, his crop is probably sour - meaning contents have stayed too long in the crop, not emptied into the rest of his digestive system and grown too much yeast or bacteria.

Sour crop would make him feel like we do if we get food poisoning. A pinch of baking soda in a tablespoon of water might help him - IF HE WILL SWALLOW. Don't force fluids if the chicken won't swallow when you put a few drops on his tongue/in his beak.

We have an article on the web site for treating sour crop. Spoiling food in the crop should be removed, if possible.

Sorry to fling so many ideas at you, but there could be a number of things causing this. Most important is to treat symptoms. If his crop is empty he needs food and liquid in there. If he's not up to eating you can soak some chicken crumbles or pellets and make a mush and try to get him to eat with a small spoon or syringe.

A little live culture yogurt might help, a little cider vinegar in his drinking water. Hope this helps some.

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