Chicken cannot raise her head

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by luludaxia, May 18, 2017.

  1. luludaxia

    luludaxia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This morning I found one of my hens cannot raise her head, her neck was streched foward, or sometimes she twisted aside. She can stand or walk one step or two, but otherwise very weak. She has no interest in food or water. Her eyes are open and very clear. No discharge, no labored breathing. But her neck was completely limp.
    Yesterday in the day she was well, then in the evening she didn't fly up very high to go to sleep, as she was used to. Then this morning I found her in a very bad situation.
    I fed her water with electrolyte whole day. I don't think she has drunk much as she struggles, some water came out and sometimes she got choke. Now she can raise her head a little bit, but not for long.
    She's one of the free ranging hens, I suspect it's botulism as the day gets very hot and wet recently. She may have eaten something outside that contains the tocsin. I felt her crop, there seems to be nothing. She dropped some green poo. I didn't feel any eggs in her vagina, I don't think it's egg binding.
    So far all my other chickens seem to be fine. Does anyone has the experience with botulism?
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

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    I have no experience with botulism, but it does sound like it. Another possibility is Mareks. From my understanding some can recover from botulism if it isn't too bad, but it doesn't sound too hopeful for your hen.
     
  3. luludaxia

    luludaxia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for your reply. Yes, she does not look good, she does not eat or drink at all. Only her neck is not so limp as in the morning. I don't know if she's suffering. She's raising her head and then put it down again, as if doing some exercise. Do you know usually how long it takes for them to die?
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

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    Sorry I don't. I believe they eventually suffocate, but if she's moving her head around it is hard to say. I would either cull, or keep her quiet and warm and see how it goes, you just never know.
     
  5. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Can you take her to a vet?

    The symptoms you describe could be Botulism or a neurological symptom like Wry Neck. Botulism will usually cause paralysis of the wings, legs and neck. While Wry Neck looks like a twisting of the neck (crookneck). Wry Neck is a symptom of certain conditions like vitamin deficiencies, head injury and diseases like Marek's.

    You can try a toxin flush to see if she improves - it may help if she has Botulism. If it's wry neck, you would need to try to get some Vitamin E, B vitamins and Selenium into her if it's caused by vitamin deficiency.

    Either one can be very hard to treat if advanced. Do the best you can to get her hydrated. Offer her some chopped egg in addition to her normal feed.

    Keep us posted.
    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/19/botulism/

    http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/700526/flushes-for-aiding-in-toxin-removal
     
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  6. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    One of the ways to check for botulism is to gently poke the corner of their eye to see if they can move their nictitating membrane. If it moves there is a pretty good chance that it's not botulism.
    [​IMG]
     
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  7. luludaxia

    luludaxia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for all the replies. I poked the corner of her eye this morning, she draws her third eyelid very quickly. So it is not botulism at all? I have no idea what that is. I think from the description of Marek's it looks like it is a paralyzing disease. But she is not paralyzed, she can stand, she can move her neck, only she's weak, she seem to have no strength to hold up her head for long. And wry neck looks it is like a twisted neck, but her neck is not twisted at all, only when she can not hold it up she stretch it forward on the ground. This morning she stands there, sometimes she almost looks like a normal chicken. But she's still not interested in food and drink. I tried to force feed her, but couldn't get any down her throat, she refused to eat, and struggles a lot. I have 50 other chickens, half of them are free ranging, but none of them showed any similiar symptom so far. If it is Marek's, then I think most of them have already caught it, since it's highly contagious. I don't think any of them are vaccinated. The day before yesterday and yesterday there were heat stroke, many chickens panting and flapping their wings. Other than that, they are fine. The barn is not insulated and it has a metal roof, so it gets very hot when the sun shines on it. I do all I can to keep them cool.
     
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  8. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Can you post a video?

    Your mention of the heat - she may have suffered from heat exhaustion. Do your best to get her hydrated - give electrolytes and wet feed or offer something wet and tempting like cool watermelon.

    Heat stroke/exhaustion can take several days to recover from.

    Keep us posted.
     
  9. luludaxia

    luludaxia Chillin' With My Peeps

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  10. luludaxia

    luludaxia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have uploaded a video about her. Just now I give her some starter she ate a little. Now I give her water by gently pushing her beak inside the water bowl, she will drink once or twice, then refuse to drink any more.
     

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