Last week, we sadly lost our alpha rooster, Boss. Boss was the biggest Rhode Island Red I have ever seen and gentle as he was huge. We had just finished gathering eggs fertilized by Boss for incubation when he apparently developed the flu or a bad cold; we are not sure which. He was lethargic on a Tuesday and very sick on Wednesday.
I removed him from the rest of the flock on Wednesday and gave him water, which he periodically threw up. I noticed that flies were buzzing about him, but I figured that was because of his droppings which were quite moist. On Thursday morning, there were several hundred maggots around him and an hour later he was dead. When I removed him from the chicken tractor, hordes of maggots were writhing in his vent area.
After talking to some other folks and doing research, Boss appears to be a victim of the original ailment that struck him, as well as the flies finishing him off by breeding on him -called Fly Strike. Elaine and I would appreciate any insight on this.