11 week old chick with wry neck/head injury - HELP...desperate new chick owners!

UPChicks

Hatching
Jun 6, 2020
4
0
1
Hello everyone, my family and I are new to keeping chickens and we have a scary and sad situation going with one of our Blue Maran chicks. She got pecked in the eye by one of our other rooster chicks on Tuesday, the 2nd, I think. It's hard to see, but the eye may be missing. We are medicating the eye socket and surrounding eye area with Terramycin ointment. Right after she was pecked, she would cock her head to the side. We initially thought that she was compensating for only being able to see in one eye, but her head tilt has gotten progressively worse. We are now almost certain that she has wry neck from her injury. I know that wry neck neck can be caused from injuries/brain damage.

Her neck is now twisted to the point that her peak is pointed to the ceiling. Her head will sometimes do "flips" and move in circles. She can't stand very well. She spends the majority of her time sleeping, probably 20 hours/day. She also is pooping very infrequently. She pooped twice today, very large piles of droppings, SUPER smelly and gross. After we hold her for awhile, she all the sudden starts walking backwards and chirping loudly almost like she is scared or maybe in pain? It's like she is trying to leave our lap.

We have her inside with us for most of the day. She is still eating and drinking with assistance. As of Thursday, we have been adding scrambled egg to her chick feed and softening it with a little Gatorade for electrolytes. Also as of Thursday, we have been treating her with Alan Stanford's wry neck treatment plan from BrownEggBlueEgg.com. However, we don't have Prednisone and have been giving her 20 mg of crushed Aspirin over her food twice a day instead. She is drinking water if we place the tip of her beak in the water, she sometimes will also take a drink herself if she sees the water. When she is asleep, her head becomes more relaxed and it almost goes back to normal. We've been trying to keep her head in a normal position when sleeping. Sometimes when she sleeps, she will move her head around slowly, and lift it up. She hasn't really improved much since we started treatment, it seems like she has maybe worsened since yesterday.

Does anyone have any suggestions or knowledge to share? Again, we are brand new to this. We love her and are very worried for her. We really want to save her, but don't want to prolong suffering. Should we put her down?

How do we know if she is eating and drinking enough? Is it normal for her to sleep so much, maybe just her reaction to the trauma she's experienced? If the wry neck is due to head/brain injury, will she still recover by doing the vitamin therapy? Also concerned that she is pooping so infrequently. Should we be keeping her warm? We hold her most of the day, and support her head. Her head always seems so warm, almost like a fever, is she too warm? She isn't panting or anything though. We noticed that she seems to enjoy sleeping on her side, her neck is also in much better alignment this way. We also take her outside a few times a day to breathe some fresh air and lay in our garden/yard with her sister chicks. Is it true that aspirin can only be given for 3 days? If so, is there something else (preferably natural) we can give more long term to control brain swelling, assuming that is what she has?

How long would you say it will take to see improvement if she will improve at all? At what point would you recommend we put her down, if she isn't improving?

Any advice would be much appreciated, so sorry for the long post! Thank you.
 

Eggcessive

Addict
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
59,660
51,395
1,302
southern Ohio
Sorry about your pullet. Injuries from mating behavior or dominance from cockerels can be common, so it might be good to remove the cockerel from the flock, especially since there are more than one. I have raised chicks and once the cockerels are about 4 months old they will run around making the lives of the hens very stressful.

Prednisone is not good to give without a vet. Aspirin can cause intestinal bleeding when used for more than a few days. A vet can prescribe meloxacam as an anti-inflammatory drug. Vitamin E 400 IU and thiamine (B1) along with a small bit of selenium (some in cooked egg or sunflower seeds is plenty) can help treat wry neck. I would treat at least 2 weeks to see if she improves. Head injuries can take awhile to recover from. Tube feeding could be considered if she is not eating enough. Her sleeping may be helping her, and not being awake to eat enough probably is causing her droppings to be fewer. Hopefully, you will see some improvement in the next few days. Here is some info on how to learn tube feeding:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/go-team-tube-feeding-updated-12-29-2019.805728/

 

UPChicks

Hatching
Jun 6, 2020
4
0
1
Thank you for your reply. We have already separated the hens from the roosters. She again only pooped twice today, and both times it was a large amount of nasty smelling diarrhea. I'm thinking that maybe the B complex vitamins I've been giving her are causing her poops to smell bad. Maybe I am giving her too much? Also she has been on the antibiotics for her eye. Does she need probiotics or yogurt for just topical antibiotics? Could the antibiotics be causing her diarrhea also?

I'm also very concerned that she may be having seizures. The episodes I described above where she walks backwards and seems like she is scared, I'm wondering if they are seizures. She also chirps, flaps her wings, and her head tosses in circles. However, the episode stops as soon as I put my hand over her wings and support her head, although one time her head twitched for a short period of time after. Do you think these are seizures? Is there anything I can do to treat these? Will she get better from these or should I consider putting her down?

Other than the possible seizures, it seemed like she was maybe making a little improvement. She was able to hold her head up for short periods of time on her own and she was also able to stand up with very little support. She was able to roost on my fingers for awhile with some support, which she hasn't been doing since her injury. She also was able to sleep with her head almost under her wing with her head turned the opposite way that the wry neck is twisting it. She wasn't able to do these things yesterday, except that she was able to lift her head in her sleep. Is the lifting her head in her sleep worrisome? That couldn't be seizures could it? She also will put her feet down on my lap while I'm holding her in my arms and stand up while she sleeps. Sometimes she will peck in her sleep also. Are these normal occurrences, maybe like chicken sleepwalking, lol?

I don't know if she is getting enough to eat and drink. She doesn't seem to eat very much, as she gets tired so quickly and sometimes she is difficult to wake up. How much food should I be feeding an 11 week old chick? Also does she need to eat grit if she is eating scrambled eggs?

About the prednisone, there is no vet nearby that treats chickens, so I don't know if we will be able to get meds for her. Would you recommend the prednisone or something similar, because she may be having seizures, or could we go without it? Are there natural alternatives to these meds?

Thank you for your help.
 

Scandia68

Hatching
May 6, 2020
1
0
6
Thank you for your reply. We have already separated the hens from the roosters. She again only pooped twice today, and both times it was a large amount of nasty smelling diarrhea. I'm thinking that maybe the B complex vitamins I've been giving her are causing her poops to smell bad. Maybe I am giving her too much? Also she has been on the antibiotics for her eye. Does she need probiotics or yogurt for just topical antibiotics? Could the antibiotics be causing her diarrhea also?

I'm also very concerned that she may be having seizures. The episodes I described above where she walks backwards and seems like she is scared, I'm wondering if they are seizures. She also chirps, flaps her wings, and her head tosses in circles. However, the episode stops as soon as I put my hand over her wings and support her head, although one time her head twitched for a short period of time after. Do you think these are seizures? Is there anything I can do to treat these? Will she get better from these or should I consider putting her down?

Other than the possible seizures, it seemed like she was maybe making a little improvement. She was able to hold her head up for short periods of time on her own and she was also able to stand up with very little support. She was able to roost on my fingers for awhile with some support, which she hasn't been doing since her injury. She also was able to sleep with her head almost under her wing with her head turned the opposite way that the wry neck is twisting it. She wasn't able to do these things yesterday, except that she was able to lift her head in her sleep. Is the lifting her head in her sleep worrisome? That couldn't be seizures could it? She also will put her feet down on my lap while I'm holding her in my arms and stand up while she sleeps. Sometimes she will peck in her sleep also. Are these normal occurrences, maybe like chicken sleepwalking, lol?

I don't know if she is getting enough to eat and drink. She doesn't seem to eat very much, as she gets tired so quickly and sometimes she is difficult to wake up. How much food should I be feeding an 11 week old chick? Also does she need to eat grit if she is eating scrambled eggs?

About the prednisone, there is no vet nearby that treats chickens, so I don't know if we will be able to get meds for her. Would you recommend the prednisone or something similar, because she may be having seizures, or could we go without it? Are there natural alternatives to these meds?

Thank you for your help.
Hi I have one 5 weeks old exactly like yours. How is she getting on?
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom