A happy ending to a wry neck chick story! (WITH PICS) - WITH UPDATE

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chinzilla, May 9, 2012.

  1. chinzilla

    chinzilla In the Brooder

    65
    13
    31
    May 4, 2012
    I would like to preface this post by saying if your chicken has wry neck (aka “crook neck”) do not despair and do not give up hope! It takes patience, time, and dedication, but you CAN help your chicken pull out of her crisis.

    We have only been chicken owners for the last three or four months – so it has definitely been a “learn as you go” deal. We have five chickens – Lil, Bo, Peep, Butch, and Pistol. Lil, Butch, and Pistol are silkies – Bo is believed to be a silkie mix and Peep is definitely a Rhode Island Red mix. Bo and Peep were our original two chickens and then we decided to bring on more (because you all know that you can’t just have two chickens) and so Lil, Butch, and then Pistol were added into the mix. We noticed on day one that Butch was a little wobbly with her neck but didn’t give it any thought. Here is a photo of her (or him) before the wry neck:

    [​IMG]

    Then we noticed that she started tilting her head a lot more (seen here):

    [​IMG]

    Then one day out of nowhere, she was dragging her head across the coop, unable to lift it, and then holding her head in a completely 180 degree angle which gave me nightmares:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It was horrifying. I called the sweet woman who we had purchased the silkies from in a panic – she suggested it might be wry neck. I immediately hopped on the computer and began researching. We immediately pulled Butch out of her coop and brought her into the house into our bathroom in a large box. Whenever she moved in the coop, Lil got so excited that she bounded over and jumped on Butch – causing her neck to worsen. Wry neck worsens with stress so you must remove the chick from a stressful situation. I went and purchased Poly Vi Sol and began giving it to Butch to start with 2x a day. She made zero progress. It was heart breaking. I had to give her water through the dropper as well.

    After more research, I went and purchased Selenium tablets and vitamin E capsules, and electrolyte powder to put in her water. I crushed the selenium tablets and put it in her food (she would untwist her head a little to eat, but then would fall right back into twisting) but then I realized she probably wasn’t getting any. I crushed ONE tablet of the selenium and inserted it into HALF a bottle of poly vi sol and opened up the capsule of vitamin E and poured it in as well. I increased her dosage to a quarter of the dropper 3x a day with this new mixture (and at this point my heart had broken and I was losing hope). After giving her the mixture, I would fill the dropper with the electrolyte water and give it to her (one drop at a time so they don’t drown). Then I would GENTLY untwist her neck (be sure you’re going the right way!!! They twist in a specific direction. Going the wrong way will make the chick chirp painfully and you can snap it’s neck – but you MUST help them get out of their twist) and put her by the food – which she would then start to peck at and eat. Right after eating she would go back to the twisted position.
    Thursday she could hold her head up for about 30 seconds at a time.

    Friday she made it up to 15 minutes. Saturday she progressed to 30 minutes at a time. (Saturday she also regressed worse than ever – be prepared for ups and downs but don’t give up). On Sunday I tried something new after she made it to almost two hours. I remembered that Bo and Peep got really stressed and aggressive with house lighting – so I turned off all of the lights on Sunday night before I went to bed (I normally left on a little tiny light as a night light). Monday she progressed to four hours of head up! By Tuesday morning (after another night of darkness) her head was still up from the night before! She had made it 8 hours!

    I honestly sat down and cried I was so emotional (hey – you really begin to bond with the chick when you’re feeding her with a dropper several times a day praying for her survival!). During the day I covered the box with a towel to make it dark inside. I came back for lunch – head still up. That night… head STILL UP! This morning she’s made it to 36 amazing hours of no twisting! (all this time still giving her the mixture 3x day and finishing it with the water).

    I feel like we have finally gotten over the hump. Wry neck can easily regress, however, if you don’t give your chick sufficient time to recover. She will remain in the bathroom for the next two to three weeks until we are confident that she has regained all of her former strength and that going back with the chickens will not cause her to stress and twist again.

    Here is a photo of her this morning : notice! HEAD IS UP!! Sorry about the darkness – I didn’t want to startle her.

    [​IMG]

    I hope this gives some of you some hope and the tools you need to save your chicks. :)
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2012
  2. chinzilla

    chinzilla In the Brooder

    65
    13
    31
    May 4, 2012
    And if you looked at the post prior to now - I apologize for the picture confusion - each forum is different so I didn't realize these particular codes. Pics should be visible now :)
     
  3. Tropical Chickies

    Tropical Chickies Songster

    626
    9
    156
    Aug 12, 2008
    Central Florida
    Very informative, I'm so happy to hear your little one is doing well [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. chinzilla

    chinzilla In the Brooder

    65
    13
    31
    May 4, 2012
    Thank YOU for being so patient while I panicked like a maniac! [​IMG]

    She's officially at 72 hours with no regression. So proud of our little Butch!!
     
  5. siffis

    siffis Hatching

    2
    1
    6
    May 11, 2012
    Before we left to work this monring our 2 and a half week chics were ok. When we got home we noticed feathers (nickname for now) that she had her neck twisted and her head upside down. These are our first chic's and you know I just felt so bad. My wife and I took her out of the group and immediately started looking online as to what may be the cause.

    This site is great!!! I am glad that people share the information and have given me hope that my wife and I can nurse feathers back to health. We have seperated her from the group but included one other chic who feathers bonded with really well in the begining. That helped her quite a bit. We have started administering Polyvisol and Vitamin E. I will see if I can find the tablets that you recommended in your post.

    It is very amazing how attached I am to these little girls. Others may say that they are just little chic's but they are part of my family now. Definitely will go out of my way to help feathers out.

    Please wish me luck as we nurture feathers back to better health.

    One question, If i understood you correctly, it sounds like you added the vitamin E and tablet to the Polyvisol correct? Or how exactly were you administering them? I am using a dropper to give her electrolyte water, polyvisol. and vitamin E.

    Thank you so much for your post!!!
     
    NW Chickadee likes this.
  6. SheriSchmeck

    SheriSchmeck Hatching

    5
    0
    7
    Sep 20, 2011
    Thank you so much for posting this! Our Maran chick showed up with this just this morning, and now I know what to do. I'll let you know what happens!
     
  7. ChicksinPR

    ChicksinPR Songster

    349
    9
    121
    Mar 22, 2012
    Zone 12 b
    s what causes it. was it a vitamin deficiency
     
  8. chinzilla

    chinzilla In the Brooder

    65
    13
    31
    May 4, 2012
    Yes I did - I crushed up the selenium and poured it into the polyvisol and then I mixed in the vitamin E... that was the only way I could administer all the medications at once. :) Once the head turns around you'll see that it gets harder to administer the medication - they start squirming! I would just hold her close to me to calm her down.

    UPDATE: We graduated Butch back into the coop on Sunday! She is still receiving her meds two times a day - in the morning and in the evening - about a quarter of the polyvisol dropper. She was hazed at first because Lil and Pistol had made a new bond but when I checked today, Lil and Pistol had finished establishing the pecking order and the three of them were grouped together :) She's also discovered her voice - her chirps are suddenly LOUD and dominate. It's cute! She has officially had her head up for 8 days now with no regression!!!!!!

    We are looking to introduce the silkie's with the few weeks older mixed chicks this weekend :)
     
    NW Chickadee likes this.
  9. chinzilla

    chinzilla In the Brooder

    65
    13
    31
    May 4, 2012
    Good luck! Be patient and it'll turn around!
     
  10. chinzilla

    chinzilla In the Brooder

    65
    13
    31
    May 4, 2012
    no one really knows. [​IMG] Some say it's a vitamin deficiency some say it's genetics... the cause is unknown but at least there's a way to cure it. [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: