Chicken walking backward-video-how to help her?

rbnk1

Crowing
Jul 10, 2017
297
643
267
Clarksville, Michigan
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I have a 7 month old EE girl who is doing EXACTLY what the hen in the video does- walking backward repeatedly with her head down. (My video would not load).
Shes last in the pecking order, gets pecked often, and keeps to herself quite a bit.
I've checked her over, no bugs, ears look fine. I've upped protein and added Sav a chick to the water.
She is the only one of 6 who does this. I had an EE several years ago who was like this and the other chickens took her out one night:oops: so I'm concerned.
Is it neuro? Anyone else deal with this??
 

Thumper51

Chirping
Aug 8, 2019
25
38
54
Columbus, OH, USA

I have a 7 month old EE girl who is doing EXACTLY what the hen in the video does- walking backward repeatedly with her head down. (My video would not load).
Shes last in the pecking order, gets pecked often, and keeps to herself quite a bit.
I've checked her over, no bugs, ears look fine. I've upped protein and added Sav a chick to the water.
She is the only one of 6 who does this. I had an EE several years ago who was like this and the other chickens took her out one night:oops: so I'm concerned.
Is it neuro? Anyone else deal with this??
The hen in the video appears to be displaying extremely submissive behavior to the other hens. I can't say for sure since the video is not your hen and her interaction with the rest of your flock, but from what you describe of her being last in the pecking order I wonder if this may not be the case - that she's showing extreme submissive behavior. If you're concerned about her safety, i.e. getting pecked frequently (especially if she is getting injured or if there is blood), and if the other hens are overly aggressive I wonder if isolating the "top chick" (or even a few of the top chicks) for a few days then re-introducing the flock may change the dynamics. However, if your girl that's getting picked on has an extremely submissive personality the pecking order may end up the same after re-introduction. But it might be worth a try.
 

coach723

Free Ranging
6 Years
Feb 12, 2015
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North Florida
If you can post your video to youtube and put the link here, it should show. It may be a form of wry neck. I would supplement vitamin E (a 400iu capsule) with some cooked egg or tuna for selenium, daily to see if you get improvement. A human B complex tablet ground up in feed would also be good. B's are water soluble, so no risk of overdosing, using E long term can result in too much so only a couple weeks max for that one. Wry neck can be from vitamin deficiencies, head injury, or sometimes disease (like Marek's).
https://www.raising-happy-chickens.com/wry-neck.html
 

rbnk1

Crowing
Jul 10, 2017
297
643
267
Clarksville, Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Thank you for your replies!
I'm just worried about her making herself a target with her odd behavior.
As I mentioned, I lost an EE several years ago who had some strange behavior.
We are in a new location with a new flock now, Ethel is eating and drinking fine.
Her walking backward shaking her head has been going on for about a month.
I suspect shes been pecked in the head. Other hens not especially aggressive, but she is definitely skittish.
I'll keep up the vitamin water and protein supplement and keep and eye on things.
 

coach723

Free Ranging
6 Years
Feb 12, 2015
6,662
11,146
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North Florida
If she does get attacked by the flock (it happens) then putting her in a wire crate inside the run, so everyone can still see everyone, and she is still with the flock works well. That way she isn't stressed by being separated, and is safe from being hurt. Good luck, I hope she improves. The vitamin water may not be strong enough to reverse a deficiency, so if you don't see improvement I would use the stronger amounts in the supplements to see if it helps. Most regular vitamins are doses for maintaining correct levels, if there is a deficiency you often have to give much higher doses until it's reversed, then normal doses are OK again.
 

Eggcessive

Addict
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
61,321
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southern Ohio
I agree that it could be neurological and that is sometimes seen with chickens who have wry neck. Sometimes they will also run around in circles. It sometimes is due to a head injury, a vitamin E or thiamine deficiency, and can be a sign of certain diseases, such as Mareks disease.

Treating with vitamin E and 1/4 tablet of B complex tablet for thiamine, or giving her foods rich in those 2 vitamins is the usual treatment. A small amount of chopped egg p, tuna, or sunflower seed is also good for selenium. I have seen 1 of mine who did that once, and then never again. I would treat her for a couple of weeks to see if it helps. It helps to make sure they are eating fresh dated balanced chicken feed with no added (or very limited) corn or scratch.
 

so lucky

Crowing
9 Years
Jan 31, 2011
1,249
2,854
372
SE Missouri
She looks to me like she's having a seizure. I don't think the other birds are making threatening postures or movements when she starts walking backwards. Most of the time they are paying no attention to her, at least in the video you provided. When she stops, she shakes her head as if to say "What just happened?" And then resumes pecking around.
 

rbnk1

Crowing
Jul 10, 2017
297
643
267
Clarksville, Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
She looks to me like she's having a seizure. I don't think the other birds are making threatening postures or movements when she starts walking backwards. Most of the time they are paying no attention to her, at least in the video you provided. When she stops, she shakes her head as if to say "What just happened?" And then resumes pecking around.
Yep. My girl looks just exactly like the chicken in this video when she does her backward walking thing, shakes her head to one side a bit too. My husband saw it for the first time last night and it freaked him out. I guess I mainly dont want her to be suffering. If its just a quirk but she keeps eating and drinking and egg laying fine I will try not to worry about it. Well, try anyway lol
 

MANNA-PRO

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