Friday, October 17, 2014

Rex, The Drunken College Roo

Earlier this summer, Rex, our young roo started acting strange. He'd fall back on his legs and almost sit down. It got progressively worse to the point where he would fall down and spent most of his days under the deck. He was supposed to be out wooing his ladies! And swooping in to save them from any aerial attacks (thankfully, we've had none, but still!).

I checked the coop for empty beer bottles. I made sure he wasn't toting a brown paper bag. He sure was acting like a drunken college kid. He was fine otherwise - comb was nice and healthy, poop looked normal, and no other signs of illness. He still ate like a pig. So, I went off to Dr. Google. Since he was the only member of the flock with an issue, I ruled out the common things like Maerks and coccidiosis. It appeared he was suffering from a vitamin E deficiency.

I'm in several Facebook groups, one of which is a natural chicken care group, moderated by Susan Burek. Susan is a trained herbalist and is an advocate for a more natural approach to chicken care. I posed the question on the page as to what was the best course of action. Some people had dealt with a similar scenario and some people ended up having to cull their deficient chickens. I really didn't want to do that, so I tried the other suggestion:

Yes, that's infant vitamins right there. Oh, and the dogs rear end. Hey, that's what happens when I forget to get a picture in the daylight. I was told that if it was a vitamin deficiency, a couple of drops of Poly-Vi-Sol (without iron!!!) should do the trick.

So, we tried it. Poor Rex, defender of his brood, fell over when we went to pick him up for his first dose. We noticed some improvement in him and so we continued for a few days. We didn't ask our neighbors to give it to him while we were out of town over the Labor Day holiday, but we picked back up when we got home.

And you know what? He's improving! He now goes out and ranges with his ladies during the day. He squawks when he hears the telltale screech of a hawk. He still occasionally bumbles, but we are on the up and up.

He's on the right above. He's a really pretty guy. He's a Buff Orpington and is a deep yellow color. He's big in comparison to our hens. And he's pretty docile. He has to be to stay around these parts!

*I wanted to share this because I know many times people are looking to try more natural approaches to animal care. It worked for us and if you ever run into a vitamin deficient chicken, I hope it works for you as well.

Sharing over at The Homesteading Hippy for the weekly blog hop!

And here as well!

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