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sick chick now has head twisted on side

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice on this forum.  Our chicks are coming up 8 weeks old.  Our first little sick chick died Sunday night - it may have been some congenital problem and she was only half the size of the others.  Then Monday morning another chick (Sophie) was hunched and lethargic.  I started Corid on Monday evening - even though they were vaccinated, people thought that was the most likely cause at this age.  I am not sure there was any blood in stool - there was some red, which looked more like the intestinal lining photos I saw.  Anyhow, she refused to be separated so they were all 5 dosed with Corid in their water.


Wednesday morning Sophie was worse.  I think she was running a fever on Tuesday - felt extra warm whenever I picked her up.


Eating and drinking, crop emptying etc, but just lethargic and hunched.


However Wed morning her head was tilted to the side, and she seemed too warm


So Wednesday morning I started her only on Tylan200 (orally, having her drink 10mg/ml).  I got about 20mg into her yesterday.  Her fever went away and she continues to eat and drink.  But the head tilting is getting worse - her whole neck looks twisted, and she has no balance to walk.


Any clues what this could be or what I should do about it?  Here's a pic of Sophie with her head twisted.  I can't figure out if she can even see out of both eyes.


Should I continue with the Corid for the full course?  She is now separated from the other chicks - they have all been moved outside and she is inside, so I could stop treating them also?  I would continue the Tylan because I think it helped the fever.



post #2 of 14



Sorry to hear that you lost one chick already and now have another sick.

At that age and with those symptoms, you might want to research Marek's disease. Do you know if they were vaccinated for it? Some people are trying human herpes medication as it is a herpes virus that causes it. Other than that, all you can do is treat the symptoms and make them as comfortable and happy as you can. Separating them from the flock for any length of time causes them to lose the will to live in my opinion and reintegration is very difficult for them if they do recover, so setting up a cage for them within the hen house or run or ideally both is important. The other chicks will already have been exposed so you are not gaining anything by isolating. I have had birds make quite remarkable recoveries from it but wry neck is one of the more difficult symptoms as it affects their ability to eat and drink. It is also worth supplementing their diet with vitamins and in particular B vitamins


Not saying it definitely is Marek's and I hope it's not, but it is certainly a significant possibility as it is a very widespread and easily contracted disease.


Good luck with your chick and the rest of your flock. 

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
They were vaccinated for mareks. At least I paid for it and they were supposed to be. I can't give vitamins with Corid, though, correct? I'd be willing to stop the corid as I dont really think it's coccidiosis - that was. Just n case treatment as I was trying to prevent another death.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
I have nutridrench that I bought for the first sick chick. Would that be a good supplement, or do I need t get specific vitamins?
post #5 of 14

I would continue with the antibiotic and definitely do the vitamins... the Nutridrench and/or maybe some Poly Vi Sol.   And make sure you're feeding a good starter/grower feed.

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks.  She had some mucous discharge from her left nostril which I cleaned out.  Other wise can't see anything notable other than the wry neck.  Stool looks totally normal, albeit smaller than the other chicks, but she's eating less than them.  Sometimes she has trouble breathing, but that may be related to the wry neck and full crop?  Anyhow, she is eating and drinking.  I stopped the Corid, started the nutri drench, continuing the antibiotic.  Will get the vitamins tomorrow.  Our local store only had poly-vi-sol with iron, and everyone here references polyvisol without iron.  She looks miserable, and cried about being alone, so my little son is sleeping downstairs near her.  I feel it's too cold for her to be outside with the other 4 - they only moved outside permanently last night, and tonight it will be in the 40s.  Sure hope this chick can be saved....  Sure hope it's not Mareks.....  She was vaccinated at 2 week-old , which according to what I read today is 2 weeks too late?  



Will wry neck respond to vitamins even if the chick wasn't deficient and it was caused by something else?  I also read a lot of posts about supplementing with vitamin E from capsules.


There have never been chickens on this property before, so I can only think any infection they have would have come with them from the hatchery?  They've had such little time outside, it would be strange to have caught something from wild birds.

post #7 of 14

How is she today?   


The vitamins probably won't help if the wry neck was caused by something else.  Any possibility of taking her to a vet for a diagnosis?   I know some antibiotics only work with certain kinds of diseases.

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Gave her a drop of polyvisol this morning. Apart from the twisted neck you would hardly know she is sick. I had her out with the other chicks for an hour and she was really happy pecking around and eating with them. Even her balance seemed better when she was out with the other chicks. I brought her back inside because there's a freezing wind and she can't climb the ramp into the shelter. She did have 3 runny green poops this afternoon. maybe the vitamins or the antibiotics? I think she's getting stronger, her weight is stable and the fever hasn't come back. I don't know if she will recover, but at least she is not deteriorating today. No, we're not taking her to the vet. My son loves her, but she cost $3 and I've just spent $60 on meds already. I seriously doubt a vet could diagnose what she has without doing some (expensive) tests. And the remaining four chicks (cross fingers) seem healthy. I was encouraged by all the posts about chicks recovering from wry neck, so I will keep hope! I am pretty sure she had an infection of some sort because the improvement in her attitude started after I started the antibiotics. I don't know what is causing the wry neck, but I guess I'm hoping if I support her nutritionally that it may spontaneously resolve. I need to look it up again - I think the antibiotic course was supposed to be 5 days. How about the nutridrench and polyvisol - how long would you continue that? Not being sure if they are causing the runny poop.
post #9 of 14

From what I've read on the forum, green watery poop typically means dehydration and/or starvation and the green color is caused by a higher concentration of bile in the droppings.  


I would probably keep her away from your other chicks to be on the safe side.  

post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

I just came across this post about amprolium and wry neck.  I had been dosing our chicks about 72 hours with Corid when I noticed the beginning of wry neck in Sophie.  Anyone else have this experience with using Corid?  If the Corid was the cause, then I have hope that vitamin supplementation will help her.  (not giving Corid anymore) Otherwise I was thinking it was an infection that caused the wry neck.  Pretty sure she was not injured.









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