Can anyone tell me if my chick is sick or if she is injured?


11 Years
Apr 2, 2008
Southern California
First time ever owning chicks. Everything has been going smoothly until this evening I noticed one of my 6 week old rhode Island red acting odd. So I observed hoping Im was just being a worried "mom" but no. My chick keeps her head in the shape of a "hook" meaning she walks with her head tucked down and she lays this way too. She also is twitching her head every few seconds. Even when she rests. While observing her this evening she actually fell head forward into a summersault. Anyone have any idea if she hurt her neck or if she is sick? She is eating and drinking.
Do you have a general supplement like Avia Charge 2000 to give it >if so do this ...if not you can order it from McMurray or Strombergs....
Are they outside? It could be several things including botulism (main symptom of botulism is limberneck>this is where the head hangs down as you describe)... separate and keep in a warm temp stable place where you can observe it better... ensure it drinks sufficiently (you may need to help)
What about the rest of the flock? Will I need to give them the same med. since they have been exposed to her? How do they get botulism? They have been kept inside until recently we moved them to the garage. Is it something I have done or havent done?
The Avia Charge? No they do not (it is only available online from those two sources as far as I know)...
Dehydration is a real danger here and if your bird is dehydrated you will need an electrolyte mix. Look for an electrolyte/vit mix at the feed store...they may have a brand called duravet....You can also give three drops of Polyvisol enfamil (this is childrens liquid vitamins) will not hurt and may help. (once a day for a week then taper off the next) In addition to that,you can also give the chickie a human vitE gel tab. (There is a combination one with selenium...try to get this as vitE uptake is also dependent on selenium.... make sure the selenium content of each pill is no more than 50 MICROgrams>this is very important) >p r ick a hole in the tab and squeeze out the contents and give into beak a bit at a time. give one geltab ( in total) a day for two days then once every two days three times and see if that helps. ( VitE/selenium is helpful with most all neurological symptoms and toxicoses.)
You MUST ensure it drinks enough...I can not stress this enough as dehydration will kill your bird quicker than what ails it.
This symptom is very scary I know but I know of many ppl that have got their birds through it.... if a bad case of botulism there is no just have to cross your fingers and wait it out and ensure it does not die from dehydration before it can get beter.
Because it is not eating enough is why I suggested the Avia Charge (which is a complete daily supplement which can be added to their feed or waterer to concentrate the nutrition) however you can also go to a pet store and get baby parrot handfeeding "formula">this is a powder you can mix with water to a thick or thin consistency and can mix in with the feed or feed on its own a wee bit at a time in the beak. When giving water or feed you must ensure it swallows it on its own (so dont overfill the beak with food or water as it will aspirate into lungs if you do this).
If you find it difficult to do the feed and vitamins direct into beak you can also take a wee bit of plain white bread and let it soak up the vitamins and handformula and give wee bits of that into beak...cup the neck in your hand gently (after he ahs settled down in your hand on your lap) and gently stroke underneath the neck to encourage to swallow.
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SO if I give her the polyvisol enfamil then this should help? Do I also give her the vitE or is that already in the enfamil? How often do I do this for her? And how much of the polyvisol do I give her?
it will not harm at any rate and the vitamins contained in it are (in combination with the vit E) helpful for neuroligcal symptoms which you describe no matter the cause. The POLYVISOL is only an A-B-D supplement so you will need to purchase the E/se separately...I know many agway and walmarts carry the combo one with the correct amount of selenium... but check it just in case. The durvet is electrolyte/vit mix which you will put in the waterer... use that at full strength the first day and once he gets to drinking sufficently stop.
ETA: The polyvisol is three drops a day for a week then taper off the next week. It will take quite a few days maybe even a few weeks before you see the bird recovered usually.

second edit: You can purchase the durvet (electrolytes/vit) at the feed store.... the polyvisol enfamil and vitE/se is human and will not be available at a feed store.
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How do they get botulism? They have been kept inside until recently we moved them to the garage. Is it something I have done or havent done?

I was under the impression you had let them out to freerange and not that they were in the garage... botulism is usually from a tainted water source or from an insect or a carcass (dead)...insects can also carry it from a carcass they have fed on (think mouse) or they can also carry toxic substances they have ingested (think if they fed on a mouse that had eaten mouse poison) .... it might be something toxic instead of might be from a head injury (though you did not mention a head injury it can happen without showing outward injury)...​
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