Can a chicken have a broken neck and not be dead? Help me diagnose!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Mommieeeee, May 6, 2009.

  1. Mommieeeee

    Mommieeeee New Egg

    Apr 16, 2008

    I need to know what to do with this chicken, quick! I have a Rhode Island Red. She has previously been very healthy, giving eggs. My daughter went out to feed and water and pick up eggs today. She ran in saying that our Red is sick. I went out there and she is laying on her bottom, wings flapping, her neck is twisted back. She has her eyes closed. When I touched her, she would open her eyes and flap her wings, but wasn't going anywhere. She can't stand up. SHe cannot bring her head forward to the upright position. She just goes around and around on her bottom. I am perplexed. I was thinking maybe she broke her neck, but wouldn't she be dead?

    I just need to know whether or not to put her down. I cannot keep her in pain (if she is in fact in pain or not.) She is one of my best layers and I hate to put her down, but cannot keep her if she is sick or in pain.

  2. kartking22

    kartking22 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 12, 2008
    Your hen does have a serious problem. As sad as it is to say, you may need to end her suffering. I would dispose of her because of the fact that you do not know the real reason for this behavior. If you feel her neck, you might find a fracture or "kink" that may have caused this problem. If nothing is found wrong with her neck, isolate her from the rest of the flock just in case it is a disease coming on. I have seen this happen once when my hen flew into a 2X4 in the coop. It was a broken neck with her that time. She was butchered because I saw it happen and knew what had happened. Don't even think of butchering a chicken if you don't know the reason for thier actions. Keep safe and I'm very sorry for your loss.
  3. NotTheMomma

    NotTheMomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm no expert!!!!!! This sounds exactly like my wry neck chick did at the beginning. She can walk, eat, etc., now, but spends lots of time sleeping. Some say it can be fixed with vitamins but so far they haven't helped Eeyore. I've even tried splinting her neck, and that just made her fearful, and she hated it. If you can feel the neck, my chicks feels just like a capital Z! It literally crookes this way and then that way. SHe only looks to the left until I give her a massage on the back and neck, and then she straightens the neck.

    Our poultry expert at Virgnia Tech said it could be from the Marek's vaccine! Ugh, so frustrating that she's not getting better, and like you, I wonder if culling wouldn't be better!
  4. cobrien

    cobrien Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2009
    Oakland, CA
    wish I could help. many suggest culling at any sign of a problem, maybe it is the right thing to do in some cases, but I could not discern that from what you wrote. I can say that as a kid we had one chicken who's neck would do that sometimes, but not all the times. she lived a long and healthy life. please get some different opinions before culling unless you really think she's suffering or if you are convinced it feels like the right thing to do. good luck and sorry for this problem!!!
  5. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Some of our members have had luck with offering the contents of oil-based gelcaps of Vitamin E, combined with vitamins in water. Assuming she can be medicated and given water by dropper. That said, you must separate this bird in case this is a sign of disease.

    You also need to trust your observations- if you believe she has broken or badly sprained her neck, you may need to cull.
    Last edited: May 7, 2009
  6. peepsthechick

    peepsthechick New Egg

    Apr 26, 2014
    i had one who died cause of broke neck it would have been dying or having hard time to breath

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