(Please see the Update at the Bottom)
This is my first year raising Black Australorps. They are a dual-purpose bird, though, I doubt I will butcher any for meat. Never know, though. I got them because their known for being excellent layers. Also important, their Roosters aren’t known for being aggressive. Now, I can handle a bucky-Roo but I have a daughter who can’t. I think she gets nervous from the get go and they sense it. Therefore, she is an easy target. So far, my Black Australorp Roo could care less about how uptight my daughter is. He just kind of does his own thing—non-aggressively.
I also got a Roo because come Spring, I wanted to incubate and sell some chicks—make back some money to spend on feed AND keep myself supplied with birds. I get so tired having to buy fresh stock every year. So why not try to produce my own? All that being said, my plan was going great, until last week, I noticed my Roo sitting down a lot.
After two days of watching him sit in various places in the yard, I took to Google. I also searched every chicken site I could find. Am I the only one who has a Roo that sits? Apparently so. I found only one person so far that had the same problem. The moral of her story—she ended up killing the Roo so he no longer suffered. Like the beginning of her story, though, my Roo doesn’t seem to be suffering. He sits for long periods of time, changes where he sits, eats where he sits and eats along the way to the next place he sits. No funny breathing. No weird noises. Doesn’t seem to be walking funny although one day he did have a bit of a limp but now that’s gone. I did catch my turkeys ganging up on him one day and honestly, I thought maybe he was sitting because of that. But that’s been some time ago and he doesn’t have any marks from the gang-fight. Just where they plucked some feathers from his neck. Checked him for lice and mites, can’t find a lick. Eyes look normal, no runny nose. Nothing out of the ordinary except that he sits.
Because Chickens aren’t rushed to the vet like dogs and cats – and I’m not flipping a 500.00 bill to be one of very few—online information is rather limited. I checked the symptoms of every single chicken disease out there and he isn’t showing signs. To be on the safe side, though, I took some precautions. Yesterday, I started him on an antibiotic, called, Terramycin, in case whatever is wrong with him is bacterial. It kind of looks like Neosporin and goes along his eye. I’m giving him this twice a day. I also added some food grade diatomaceous earth to their feed yesterday. Bleached water pans out and when I refilled them, I added some Raw, Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar. I also tossed some Pepper Flakes on the ground for all the Chickens.
Today, I went out to give him more antibiotic. He is still sitting around BUT he doesn’t act any worse. I’ll keep this updated in case anyone else comes across this. Today is December 8, 2016.
January 16th, 2016 — This update is rather late but I finally remembered to do it. My Roo is fine. It seems he was going through Growing Pains — something Meat Birds or Dual, in this case, go through because they are about to hit a growth spurt? He is healthy and doing his job– non-aggressively, which is what I like in my Roo.