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#19518 - 05/14/05 05:39 AM Drunken Rooster??
Shoofly Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 05/05/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Florida
Well, I know this sounds crazy, but I have a rooster that is about 5 years old. He came to me recently and is a magnificant creature! I have noticed that in the mornings and sometimes during the day, he is very wobbly on his feet. In the morning in particular, sometimes he will take afew steps sideways to the right or left (just as though he were drunk!) and will often fall over with one wing outstreched as though to catch himself. (!!)
He does not really do this every day...and he always rights himself immediately and walks normally afterwards. Its like a little episode! He eats and drinks normally, has not gotten into any foods or poisons that would harm him, and the two hens he is with constantly are just fine. Otherwise, he is a healthy, crowing-at-all-hours, beautiful dude--but I really wonder if he has some kind of neurological issue or arthritis or something. Or maybe he is sneaking out of the coop to hit the local bar in the middle of the night...... :p

Any insight would be great! Thanks....Monica

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#19519 - 05/14/05 07:00 AM Re: Drunken Rooster??
Anonymous
Unregistered


It may be something neurological, maybe his mind is a little unstable some days. I'm not sure, someone else on the boards might know...

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#19520 - 05/14/05 07:50 AM Re: Drunken Rooster??
Mr. Magoo Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 11/20/04
Posts: 397
Loc: Southern Pacific
that sounds funny. wouldnt want him to fall off a high roost at night though, that could be serious.
never seen this except for what mareks can do and your bird is 5 so is kind of outside that dieseases reach...maybe ear mites...does he eat, drink, normal and his droppings normal? if you pick him up does he feel skinny?

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#19521 - 05/14/05 09:26 AM Re: Drunken Rooster??
Shoofly Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 05/05/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Florida
Yes, its very strange. He does not have a high roost to fall from thank goodness but I have seen him come down the little ramp that leads up to the roosting area ass over tea kettle once or twice. He eats, drinks, poops, crows, and does all other roosterly activities completely normally. I have caught him (and let me tell you, when the sucker doesn't want to be caught, he has NO balance issues at all!) quite afew times and looked him over--he is very nicely plump and beautifully feathered. His eyes are clear and alert. His feet are in perfect shape--no damage there. Other than the occasional stumble/fall, he seems like a normal, healthy chicken. I have NO idea what his deal is. I suppose I shouldn't worry. Maybe he is just a clumsy guy.....!

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#19522 - 05/14/05 09:50 AM Re: Drunken Rooster??
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8490
Loc: Montana
Marek's Disease can show symptoms slowly, although usually comes on fast with younger birds. I have lost 3 and 4 year old birds to Marek's. It is an infection in the nerve tissue, usually, and can appear in a number of forms, paralysis being the most common one that we see, but many other forms that we do not see. Since there is no treatment or cure, just keep a watch on your bird. Sudden death is Marek's legacy. Good luck, CJR

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#19523 - 05/14/05 05:28 PM Re: Drunken Rooster??
Lacey Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 01/13/04
Posts: 427
Loc: Pennsylvania
Sounds to me like he is strutting and is just a bit clumpsy about it. Is he usually around you or one of the hens when he does it? When a rooster struts he sorta does a circle around the hen (or you) with his wing hanging down to the ground. It sorta looks ot me like the rooster is trying to corral the hens when he does it. I hope this is the case.

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#19524 - 05/15/05 08:24 PM Re: Drunken Rooster??
David T. Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 04/06/05
Posts: 298
Loc: Australia
I may be completely on the wrong track here and so may not be relevant but ... I used to have a rooster that would literally trip over his own spurs. As he walked his (large-ish) spurs would overlap and he would have to lift each one over the other each step. Most of the time he would be fine, but every so often something would happen, his spurs would entangle themselves and he would stumble. This never really seemed to bother him and he would continue with life. It may be possible that your rooster is 'tripping' on his spurs also.

David

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#19525 - 05/16/05 02:12 PM Re: Drunken Rooster??
Spotted Crow Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 07/24/03
Posts: 855
Loc: Massachusetts
Sounds to me like the Rooster Dance...Wing down, side step...

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#19526 - 05/16/05 03:26 PM Re: Drunken Rooster??
Shoofly Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 05/05/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Florida
Well, i hope it isn't Marek's, but I will keep an eye on him....that would be very sad, but he does not seem to suffer right now so at least thats a good thing.

As far as his coralling the hens--no, its definitely not that, unfortunately! (I call that the 'rooster dance'--its as though he is square dancing, I am always amused!) He can just be standing doing nothing and will just get wobbly and take afew side steps to right himself...just like a drunk.

And I will watch him more closely with the spurs...I don't think thats it either, but it can't hurt to pay attention and see if he is just getting caught up. He may just be a very clumsy rooster! Lets hope so!

Thanks for everyones help. Leave it to me to have the wonky rooster! M

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#19527 - 05/17/05 07:24 PM Re: Drunken Rooster??
Shoofly Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 05/05/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Florida
Well, he is still stumbling. I have been watchinghim very closely as per these discussions. He is by far the worst in the morning. This morning for instance, he fumbled around and fell several times. Then he was absolutely fine for the rest of the day. This afternoon, he took a little snooze in the driveway with the hens. He was relaxing for about 15 minutes. When he got up--same thing.....stumbling, wobbly, very unsure on his feet. He didn't get tangled up in his spurs at all, he is just very unbalanced. After the initial uncertainty on his feet, he goes about his business as usual. It breaks my heart to see him when he falls backwards or to the side....Any other advice on what to do or if this is Marek's for sure?? Thanks...Monica

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#19528 - 05/17/05 07:26 PM Re: Drunken Rooster??
Shoofly Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 05/05/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Florida
Oh, I forgot to ask.....Does anyone know how long it takes this disease to progress? He doesn't seem to be getting any worse. How long is it possible that he will live for if it is Marek's?

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#19529 - 05/17/05 08:12 PM Re: Drunken Rooster??
Anonymous
Unregistered


just a suggestion but does he seem to have any vision problems?

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#19530 - 05/18/05 05:18 AM Re: Drunken Rooster??
Spotted Crow Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 07/24/03
Posts: 855
Loc: Massachusetts
Balance problems are sometimes caused by ear issues too.

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#19531 - 05/18/05 06:46 AM Re: Drunken Rooster??
Mr. Magoo Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 11/20/04
Posts: 397
Loc: Southern Pacific
i know what you mean about seeing him fall over, you want to help him so you can try these 3 things-

1. you said the 5 year old rooster came to you recently, so ask the previous owner if he was vaccinated for mareks. this may give you some level of comfort? although they say a small percentage of vaccinated birds also get it.

2. also ask the previous owner if the bird has stumbled all his life, or if he noticed the bird stumble ever...

3. seek an appointment with an excellent poultry vet in your area.


just remembered another very remote and maybe (non poultry) medical explanation for what you describe
***there is some human condition (not stroke) that occurs when people stand up quickly and i dont know if it is a heart issue or artery issue or what but for just a moment there is not enough blood to the brain and it causes you to lose your balance, fall over/faint just momentarily. syncopy? yes thats it- http://www.heartcenteronline.com/myheartdr/common/articles.cfm?ARTID=363

i can see it now, your vet putting the rooster on a mini tread mill with ekg wires hanging off him and a pretty hen just in front of him to make him run...then off to the tilt table, the blood tests...

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#19532 - 05/18/05 08:14 AM Re: Drunken Rooster??
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8490
Loc: Montana
A blood test will prove Marek's Disease, but few Vets (unless youy have a Poultry Vet) know anything about Marek's Disease, as it is just in Poultry.

Marek's is usually quickly fatal, but has so many variables that is can still be a cause of limping, shaking, as it is the nerves that are affected. There is no treatment or cure. In most cases that we recognize, paralysis occurs and usually the bird dies within days or weeks. The birds may have carried the infection for months or even years without symptoms showing that we can recognize.

Other forms remain internal and we cannot know without necropsy--or blood test. Several Universities have extensive webpages on Marek's. It is not helpful to us in curing it, but only in understanding the terrible long lived virus that causes unbeleivable Poultry losses world wide. The vaccine is the most helpful tool we have (breeding for resistance is another that most of us cannot undertake) and neither is 100% effective. CJR

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#19533 - 05/18/05 04:57 PM Re: Drunken Rooster??
Shoofly Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 05/05/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Florida
Okay---NEW DEVELOPMENT!

Today, I picked him up and walked around with him a bit. When I put him down, my t-shirt had a lot of elongated little bugs crawling around. After freaking out, I did some research---perhaps he has leg mites? Or some other kind of bug that is causing his balance issues?? They were very small and brown--but they were more long than round. This is the first time I have picked him up and noticed these bugs. Ick! Hope this is the reason. Maybe this would explain his balance issue only occurring after long bouts of layind down....leg mites are very painful apparently......


PS-I had spoken to his previous owner weeks ago who told me that he had never seen his rooster stumble. He was very surprised to hear it. He got the chicks from the local feed store and did not know whether or not they had been vaccinated.

(Loved your imagery with the treadmill!! I had a good laugh out loud with that one!)

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#19534 - 05/18/05 08:09 PM Re: Drunken Rooster??
Mr. Magoo Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 11/20/04
Posts: 397
Loc: Southern Pacific
i thought about what you said...it happens only when he first stands up, his balance is off then he is fine after that and if he were human the syncope thing would something to look at.
kill the bugs for sure, on him and also the others and the coop... maybe some in his ear would throw his balance off? post a pic of the bugs, and the roosters ear, i want to see the patient.
just put the http address where the pic is between the parenthesis on your next post
[IMG][/IMG] no spaces just copy the http address and paste it right between them.

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#19535 - 05/19/05 04:49 PM Re: Drunken Rooster??
Shoofly Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 05/05/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Florida
Hey! Well, just got finished dusting everyone with the Sevin powder. Good Lord what a mess! I took another look at his little feet and they really look fine. Not as smooth as the hens--the scales are bigger and rougher and kind of standing up a bit, but his feet are not swollen. I did not see any little round bugs.
I looked at the long brown bugs he has again today and they are like little splinters of wood--only they move... (yuk!).

I will try to post pictures but I don't have a place to post them to yet. Don't I have to have a URL? Well, I can e-mail them to you at the very least.

I put the powder all over the chickens, their little pits and behind their necks. I did the coop and also their pot holes for dust baths. I hope this does the trick. The guys at the feed store didn't know what kind of bugs they were...The mystery continues!

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#19536 - 05/19/05 06:59 PM Re: Drunken Rooster??
Mr. Magoo Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 11/20/04
Posts: 397
Loc: Southern Pacific
try uploading your pics to this place- http://www.villagephotos.com/ its free.

still doesnt sound right that leg mites would cause a balance issue.

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#19537 - 05/19/05 07:35 PM Re: Drunken Rooster??
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8490
Loc: Montana
Maybe both lice and mites?? CJR

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#19538 - 05/19/05 08:13 PM Re: Drunken Rooster??
Anonymous
Unregistered


you could also use Photo Bucket. its free as well.

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#19539 - 05/22/05 12:43 PM Re: Drunken Rooster??
Shoofly Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 05/05/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Florida
Can't find a bug on him! the sevin powder must have done the trick. I will see if I can find anything in the next day or two to post.

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#19540 - 05/22/05 08:30 PM Re: Drunken Rooster??
Anonymous
Unregistered


does he seem to be Improving? anymore staggering?

hopefully it was leg mites and hopefully once they are fully gone he will stop these weird Episodes.

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#19541 - 05/26/05 12:37 PM Re: Drunken Rooster??
Shoofly Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 05/05/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Florida
Hey everyone...Just wanted to give you an update. I have not seen the Rooster stumble as badly since I took care of the bug problem..YAY! He really looks great...this morning, he was slightly wobbly, but honestly nothing like before. I am hoping that it was just some quirk with the bugs. Thankyou all for your wonderful advice and help....I really appreciate it! Good luck with all of your flock! Monica

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#19542 - 06/07/05 06:22 PM Re: Drunken Rooster??
Anonymous
Unregistered


Help!! I have just read through this topic looking for an answer to my own stumbling banty rooster.

My rooster was fine until he had a severe mite problem that left him skinny and dehydrated. When I found out what was wrong I dealt with the mites and nursed the rooster back to health.

Now "Mister" stumbles on uneven ground. He stumbles sideways like a leg gave out. He is fine on level, hard ground. He doesn't limp.

If it's ear mites how do I get rid of them? Is there ear drops for birds? I don't see signs of mites but his ears are covered and they could be in there, I guess.

thx,

Daena

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