Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tuesday Night

I had a scare this morning, well, that actually began on Sunday night.

This little rooster, Ruffles, on the right,  is my second favorite in the little henhouse.
The late Studley is to the left.
On Sunday evening, I found Ruffles with his head bent down between his front legs.  At first I thought he was preening himself, (odd, in the evening) but then realized he was having a convulsion of some kind.  I lifted his head up, and he was able to hold it for a minute, then it went down again.  I left him in the henhouse and went in and told Keith I thought there was something going on with him, and that we needed to look at him closely on Monday.
Monday morning was a blur... I had to feed quickly and I did not think to check on Ruffles.  So when I got home last night, I found him again with his head between his legs, in what appeared to be a convulsion.  I went in to tell Keith that he needed to be put down, but we did not take care of it immediately, and this morning, Keith had to leave very early at 5:30 to go to an out of town meeting for one night.  I went out and found my poor little rooster again, so picked him up and brought him into the big henhouse and put him in the nursing cage under light.  It is a very soppy day here today, dripping rain all day long, and the ground is sodden.
All day long, while thinking of other things and working very hard, I had Ruffles in the back of my mind.  Keith texted me from Salina to ask about him, and I told him I didn't have the moral courage to end his suffering this morning, but would go home to find him in the cage, dead.  Keith told me he didn't think I had the strength left in my hands to break his neck cleanly.  Anyway, to make a long story short... I came home tonight to find this:
Yes, he's eating out of the ubiquitous frisbee!
I cannot explain it, I googled it at work and the darkest of prognoses came up.  All I can say is he is up and eating tonight.  I checked on him about two hours later, and he was awake and bright-eyed, though not moving much.  I am keeping him isolated, he doesn't need to be around the other birds.  I can put him in the rabbit hutch if I need to, but I have three hens laying in there daily, so would rather not.  I'll need the nursing cage (sanitized) for the chicks I'm bringing home Friday. 
I also have a half/cochin pullet brought home a week ago that cannot seem to get the hang of going back up into the little henhouse at night.  We have had to net her for five nights, she is trying to roost in the doghouse that sits in the little henyard (remember, these pullets had never "roosted", they were in a small cage).  It occurred to me tonight as I slipped around the mud of the little henyard that she, too, will be joining Uncle Butch in the feed room. 


  1. So glad he is doing better. We have had a similar experience here with a hen. She couldn’t hold her head up for a couple of days but then she was fine and has been for months. I have no idea what happened but I was glad we didn’t put her down. She is one of my favorites too :) He is a beauty!

  2. I hope Ruffles continues to improve.

  3. Sounds like "Wry Neck". In most cases it can be treated with Vitamin E. Cut open the liquid capsules and give the contents to the bird. Do this 1-2 times a day. Putting it on a piece of bread and getting to bird to eat it is sometimes easier. Some have had success using poly-vi-sol without iron to treat it as well. You can also gently massage and slowly straighten the neck. If it is too tight to straighten don't force it.


  4. Agree with Foothills Poultry! Spot on!

  5. Poor little Ruffles- glad he's doing better now, Mary Ann... it's so scary to have a sick animal and not know if the next time you see them they'll be gone.
    I hope he's okay now.

  6. I agree with Foothills Poultry. Glad to hear he`s feeling better.

  7. He's such a cute boy. Glad he got better.

  8. Learning more about roosters. LOL Mary G.


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