04/25/2011 Hi I am Gayle and have been a lurker to backyard chickens for a couple of years but finally had need to become a member.
I have had my own flock for 2 years now. As a new Chick-a-holic I didn't know what kinds of breeds to use, so I got a mixture. My flock consists of Buff Orphintons, Auracona, Black Astroloup, Rhode Island Red, Cochin, Brahma, Barred Rock, Black Sex link and one Bantum. I have around 50 chicks with 3 roos. I raise the chickens for their eggs which I sell to our local community. I am strongly considering adding some ducks to my flock as I have been asked to provide duck eggs.
My new batch of chicks contained one chick that I'm not sure what to do with. The chick is a buff and is approximately 2 days old (was born Saturday night/Sunday morning) It seems like a healthy chick. It has bright eyes, clean vent, and fluffy feathers, however its head will go back until it rests on it's back. (it doesn't twist it's neck around like birds tucking their head under their wing) it is just straight back. It arches it's back so much that it sometimes flips the chick over onto its back. I can take my finger and gently hold it's head straight and have on occasion seen it drop it's head to peck at something. However, whenever I remove my finger, the head slowly moves back as if it doesn't have the muscle tone to keep the head upright.
Wondering if anyone has any experience with this type of problem. Will the chick grow out of it? My husband is telling me to give the chick to a friend with a snake, but I hate that idea. Any help would be appreciated.
04/26/2011 Well a BYC wonderful person told me that she thought my chick was a "star-gazer". When I looked it up, I knew that was exactly what was wrong with it. Knowing it didn't come from an injury, but was hatched that way, I am hoping that it will grow out of it. (I keep trying to help it every time I go in the brooder and it seems to be keeping it's head down for longer periods of time before it arches it's head back again). I have also been giving the chick some yeast water in the hopes that it needs some Vitamin B.
04/26/2011 - Good news! The chick is starting to keep it's head down and is practicing its walking. The head still goes back when resting, but I am encouraged by her progress.