Chicken holds her head down

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Chuckles, Jun 1, 2008.

  1. Chuckles

    Chuckles Hatching

    Jun 1, 2008
    One of my 4 week old RIR chicks holds her head down almost all the time. Her head is underneath her body, against her chest. She'll do this while she walks, and has lost her balance a few times.

    Oh, she's also sneezing more than the other chicks.

    Other than those two things, she seems healthy. She is growing, eating, friendly etc. I'm just worried that something terrible is wrong.

    Has anyone seen this before?
  2. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    It could be the start of crook neck/limp neck. That's about the age it starts. Not sure about the sneezing part though - that could indicate something else.

    For crook neck buy some Poly-Vi-Sol. It's a baby liquid vitamin supplement. And some Vitamin E capsules. Give it a couple of drops of Poly-Vi-Sol in beak a couple of times a day (dribble it on edge of beak), and add some to its water. Cut the top off a Vitamin E capsule and squeeze out the contents and let the chick eat it. My little chick, Ruth, loved the vitamin E capsules. Finally, feed it high protein vitamin enriched food like scrambled egg.

    Crook neck/limp neck can be due to a few different causes, including vitamin deficiency/malabsorption that some chicks have and others eating the same things don't.

    Good luck.
  3. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    By the way Chuckles - Welcome to BYC and congrats on your first post. May it be the first of many.
  4. coffeemama

    coffeemama Barista Queen

    Mar 5, 2008

    I have a 3 week old chick with the same problem. Went to the drugstore-baby aisle and got some poly-visal. She was doing much better after 2 days of that. I did three dropstwo times a day.
  5. pixiechick

    pixiechick Songster

    May 23, 2008
    Jonesborough, TN
    My mom's favorite chick had the same problem. His head twisted all the way underneath him and he drug it on the ground. He fell a lot and could only walk backwards. I gave him the infant vitamins and E for two weeks and kept him seperate, with a baby silkie for company because the other chickens started pecking on him. He made a full recovery after about 2 1/2 weeks. Maybe if you start treating before symptoms become so sevier it won't take so long.

    Watch to make sure your chick is able to drink since chickens need to lift their heads up to swallow. I had to assist mine with this for a while until his neck began to straighten out.
  6. Chuckles

    Chuckles Hatching

    Jun 1, 2008
    Thanks, I happen to have some of that on hand. Getting her to take it is interesting.

    I'm not sure how to measure 3 drops, since drops can vary in size.

    If I add 3-4 drops to the water that she shares with 3 other chicks (in addition to the drops I'm giving just her), will it adversely affect them?

    edit: Oh, thanks for the welcome, if it wasn't for this site I probably wouldn't have felt prepared enough to get chickens at all.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2008
  7. M@M@2four

    [email protected]@2four Songster

    Mar 12, 2008
    Hello and WELCOME!!! [​IMG] Sounds like wry neck...give her a couple drops of polyvisol drops. I hold them in my hand firmly, tilt their heads up a bit and you just have to pry the lower beak open a bit and hurry up and squirt a few drops down. I never really measure--I just drip about 4-5 drops in their mouth. She also may have a cold--are you feeding medicated chick feed? If not, you may want to. Good luck and keep us posted!
    God bless,
  8. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    putting the drops in the waterer will dilute it too much. You need to hold her and let her get comfy (this might take a couple mintes then getly tilt head to side and drop it on beak...she should swallow it on own. you must also assist in feeding or she will get too little nutrition... you can concentrate the nutrition in her feed by getting some baby parrot handfeeding formula (look at the petstore in the bird feed section > it is a powder that you add water too) >mix this in with her feed... you may need to try a couple different ways of helping to feed her before you find one that works for you...
  9. sammi

    sammi Songster

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    one way is to roll the moistened feed into small pellets, place one in the mouth..
    stroke the throat downwards to encourage swallowing.

    others might have ideas for you.

    good luck.

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