Originally Posted by Wickedchicken6
I'm really sorry to hear it's one of your Chanteclers!
I'm the other side of the coin and I realize what I'm going to say is harsh, but I'm just putting it out there anyway for everyone to think about.
(And even when I told myself no more early am posting )
I have a line of 10 (originally 11; 6 hens, 5 roosters) Silkie crosses that we got as week old chicks from one farm. I had one chick show a tilted head late last summer. I did get chicky vitamins from the vet but before I gave them the tilted head disappeared.
Fast forward to December, I think that's when I mentioned the wry neck Silkie X rooster I had. He'd respond to larger doses of vitamins, but would regress if put back into general population. He lost weight, continued regressing and I finally put him down when it was clear he wasn't getting any better. I had one chick from one of the Silkie cross females (sister sibling) hatch in the NYE HAL that showed wry neck. (I put it down) I now have two Silkie cross roosters showing clear signs of wry neck after being stressed when I had them penned separately in a smaller coop by themselves before we got the coop renovations done.
So as I suspected in December, I would consider these Silkies to have a heritable genetic defect, possibly with in the utilization of vitamins/minerals which predisposes them to getting wry neck. I've been reading as much as I can about wry neck; I don't have any evidence of injury or otherwise. I don't believe they have vaulted skulls...they're crossed birds and not bred for the poof.
I also have 4 purebred non-related Silkies who have not shown anything.
Anyone who has followed the HALS since December has read that I have not given my birds a balanced diet this winter. Every other bird has performed beautifully, which is what I want to see. My roosters maintained great fertility. The hens began laying young (5 months, both EE's & OEGBs) and the older girls through molt, with only short amounts of daylight on an unbalanced diet when I didn't even want them laying...lol. The chickens haven't eaten each other or developed any other problems...other than these Silkie x's who were showing signs when they were on a balanced diet last year.
If you are a breeder, even though you may feed a balanced diet...the people you sell chicks to may not feed a balanced diet. The very last thing you want is people having issues with your chicks if problems show up down the road.
A quick story: I cannot convey to you as a livestock breeder how many people keep progeny from animals who have problems, like vaginal prolapse (a heritable trait.) I've been a breeder of Katahdin sheep for 16 years and I've had extensive experience correcting (culling) other breeders very poor choices in keeping stock. I started with 4 unrelated lines; one line of females (IGB), 4 out of 10 females prolapsed. The females from the other 3 lines did not prolapse at all. I took the entire IGB line of females, plus the ram I never got to use, out of purebred production and raised slaughter stock lambs only that were shipped straight to slaughter. I had another "breeder" contact me to buy this line of females because she wanted to outcross with another sheep breed. Of course I refused as any reputable breeder would. A neighbor of ours purchased about 20 females from this breeder 3 years down the road and ended up giving everything away because EVERY female prolapsed. I've corrected prolapsing with calcium/vitamin injections (helps with muscle tone/strength) if a ewe has issues with prolapsing. But that female is no good to me as a breeding animal if she can't properly utilize what she needs on her own.
My idea is cull the problem and you won't have problems.(survival of the fittest genetics) If it's a pet for yourself, it's a different story.
But if this chick wouldn't survive without your help, it probably shouldn't survive to carry on those genetics. There are exceptions of course.
But this is just food for thought. (And I don't mean to sound SO serious...lol)