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Hen laying down, twisting neck and head

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone, :frow

Any ideas what's wrong with my baby?

Pretzel is somewhere around 8 years old and has totally been in normal health lately up until I today.  I went out to take care of her this morning and she was laying down and twisting her neck and head really weirdly.  She stumbles backwards at times too.  These were my ideas:

 

1) My first thought was that she might have been poisoned by something toxic and is having nerve problems.  I don't think this is likely though because the 3 other hens she lives with are just fine and she has been in the same pen she's been in all winter so wasn't exposed to anything new.  Her food and water are the same as always.

2) There might be something caught in her throat and she was trying to swallow it but she hasn't been exposed to any scraps or big things that would clog her (unless a mouse got in the pen or something). Her crop feels empty.

3) Her neck is normal, no rope that she is trying to slip or anything.  Her body is totally normal and her foot and leg seem fine.  She grabbed my finger like she normally would when I put it in her foot so I don't think it is a leg issue.

 

When I talk to her she calms down a little and doesn't twist so hard so that makes me think it might be something she has control over maybe?  I had a chicken go crazy once and she acted like this but I don't think Pretzel is crazy because she clucked softly like normal when I pet her and her eyes are normal Pretzel eyes (not rolling up in her head or something.)

 

Does the fact that she is only leaning towards the right side tell us anything?

 

She is in her own little pen now so the other chickens don't hurt her or something.  Any ideas what I can do to help her or whats wrong?  Do I try to give her water so she doesn't get dehydrated?  Should I try to feed her something like yogurt to flush her system if its something she ate/help her pass it if its something in her throat?  Is this something that will pass on its own or is she like loosing nerve control cuz shes getting old and needs to be put down?

 

Here's a link to a movie of I put up of her on youtube.

 

Thank you for any ideas or tips!

post #2 of 4
Welcome to BYC. She is suffering from wry neck or torticolis, which is a neurological symptom of many different conditions that affect the brain. It can be seen in chicks or any age chicken. Get some Poultry Nutri-drench, and give her 2-3 ml orally each day by mouth. Vitamin E and the mineral selenium are the important ingredients of treatment. Getting her to take enough fluids and food will be a challenge. Putting water in her food and holding her in a towel to feed her 3 times a day would be good.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eggcessive View Post

Welcome to BYC. She is suffering from wry neck or torticolis, which is a neurological symptom of many different conditions that affect the brain. It can be seen in chicks or any age chicken. Get some Poultry Nutri-drench, and give her 2-3 ml orally each day by mouth. Vitamin E and the mineral selenium are the important ingredients of treatment. Getting her to take enough fluids and food will be a challenge. Putting water in her food and holding her in a towel to feed her 3 times a day would be good.

Hi,

Thanks for the welcome!  I've been giving her vitamin E and selenium and she has gotten so much better.  Thank you so so much for your advice!  When I went out to feed her tonight she could eat on her own and seemed to have like 95% control of her neck/head back!  She's still not back to her normal healthy self but on the mend for sure!  How long should I keep giving her the vit. E?  Totally going to change her food to something with more vitamins ASAP.  Thanks again!

Laura

post #4 of 4

As long as she is on a balanced fresh layer or all flock chicken feed, the vitamins in that should be enough once her symptoms completely disappear. I like to give mine a vitamin-probiotic twice a week in their water, just in case their feed isn't perfect. Always check dates on feed, and buy in smaller quantities if you don't use it within a month, since vitamins can be depleted if it sits on the shelf.

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