A byproduct of his condition was his fear of water. Since he didn't have good head control, he would often overshoot his mark and dunk his head into the water source, causing him to startle and swallow incorrectly. He learned to avoid water and as a result, was only being hydrated from the water we added to his feed.
And finally, he was undernourished. Although we had been handfeeding him, he had lost weight and was becoming emaciated.
So, what triggered this whole set of events? Possibly the weather turning cold. Even though we did not leave Bob outside overnight, he was spending his days out in the coop where he could watch and socialize with our other chickens. He did end up with a small case of frostbite on his comb from these day trips and perhaps that compromised his immunity enough to gain him an ear infection. The inner ear inflammation set off his imbalance problem and got the whole ball rolling.
Dr. Becker started him on antibiotics to address the ear situation, along with an antiinflammatory to reduce swelling. Then we put herbal supplements into his feed to jump start his nutrition. Finally, we started manually hydrating him with a tube syringe.
Day One: He stood up to feed and had some head control.
Day Two: He could straighten out his neck without prompting, to feed himself. He crowed twice in the morning and preened himself several times during the day.
Days Three-Four: No crowing, some regression.
Day Five: He exhibited some gaping behavior and seemed to have some difficulty swallowing and didn't feed well.
Day Six: We returned to Dr. Becker as Bob appeared to be suffering from a new complication. His crop felt like a balloon, full of air. She diagnosed a crop yeast infection, and we started on a second round of antibiotics.
Day Seven: Bob perked back up and began to feed. He also started to sample water on his own.
Day Eight: Woke up to Bob crowing! He crowed all morning and was spry enough to walk around and charge the cat food dish.