Sick Rooster

Common poultry diseases and conditions, advice on what they are and how to treat them.
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Sick Rooster

Postby llvonn » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:22 pm

Hi, my friend has a rooster that is definitely sick, but not sure what. Only the rooster is sick, not the hens he has. I gave him the rooster about 1 - 2 months ago. The rooster is a large orpington with a single wattle. He has lost a lot of weight and his wattle is discolour on the base. He has also lost his crow. He used to have a strong, loud crow and it is now somewhat strangled. I honestly did not recognise him. Any ideas?
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Re: Sick Rooster

Postby Marina » Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:54 am

Sounds like the emaciation form of Mareks. They get really skinny and loose all colour in their comb and wattles.

All chooks are exposed to Mareks, many become resistant but it's a disease they carry for the rest of their lives. It's from the same family as the herpes virus and if there is a stressful situation it shows its ugly head. Moving him to a new place may have been the trigger. I don't think there is anything you can do if that's the case.

The other option that comes to my mind is bullying by the hens. He isn't cooped up with Shavers by any chance? If yes it's possible they chase him away from the food source and generally give him a hard time which leads to him just shrivelling up and eventually die.

There may be other possibilities, the above two are what I'd suspect first.
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Re: Sick Rooster

Postby llvonn » Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:39 pm

The only thing is that it didn't seem so stressful. There was no other rooster, and he seemed to settle in ok. The hens treat him well, and he is out socialising and eating and acting fine. He has just lost condition and colour.
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Re: Sick Rooster

Postby Marina » Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:08 pm

Maybe he'll get back to good health - only time will tell.
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Re: Sick Rooster

Postby llvonn » Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:52 pm

Were hoping. Has access to a good free range yard and lots of herbage as well as charcoal.
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Re: Sick Rooster

Postby Marina » Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:39 am

Charcoal? From what wood? Or is it industrially made charcoal?

Some people advocate charcoal as a 'cure-all' for chickens and maybe a little bit once every blue moon may help but if there is lots of charcoal in the run (maybe due to a rubbish pile having been burnt there) it can easily be too much. Also if treated timber or painted timber has been burnt or if other rubbish was burnt as well it's pure poison.

I'm not saying it's the charcoal that has caused the rooster's loss of condition - just recommending caution. The other chooks obviously are fine.
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Re: Sick Rooster

Postby llvonn » Sun Jul 14, 2019 3:07 pm

My friend is very much into organics. He has a system for creating charcoal to increase carbon retention in the soil. It is made from the pruning from his orchard so perfectly safe. Also, his chickens are free range in a massive paddock, so have plenty of options.

Interestingly, my section got a bit smelly around the feeding area due to rain and mud. A sprinkling of charcoal fixed the odour completely.
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Re: Sick Rooster

Postby Marina » Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:35 am

Charcoal is very alkaline. Most soils (and also most people) are too acidic so charcoal helps to neutralize the soil which is good. If the chooks have plenty of space it should be ok. He obviously isn't overdoing it. Fingers crossed for the rooster.
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Re: Sick Rooster

Postby llvonn » Mon Jul 15, 2019 6:52 pm

Here's hoping. He was one of the two roosters I got from your eggs Marina. He was a bit too aggressive in my small backyard, particularly as he did not like getting boxed. He was a very big rooster, which was what my friend liked about him. I kept the smaller rooster, which is still quite big. He has been pretty quiet the last few nights, but last night he crowed early morning so I had to box him again. Hopefully he won't crow tonight.
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