Chicks jerking/shaking their heads. What is it?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Flock Leader, Aug 31, 2013.

  1. Flock Leader

    Flock Leader Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello there! In the past week I noticed a strange phenomenon in our Silkie chicks: they make a kind of short jerk/shake of their heads, every couple of minutes. It looks like some neurological disorder. Has anyone encountered this? I found a couple of threads on the forum, but none with satisfactory replies. Is it a disease? A parasite? They are about 5 weeks old and have never been outside. I still feed them chick starter + some treats.
     
  2. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When my silkies do this it means they need a trim,feathers from crest are in their eyes.
     
  3. Flock Leader

    Flock Leader Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh no, they are too young for that - no crest yet, they are just beginning to get the head feathering.
     
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    It can be from mites, or it can be that you are talking to them and they shake their heads from the sound.

    Whenever I talk to my chickens inside the shed they shake their heads.
     
  5. Flock Leader

    Flock Leader Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They do it even if I just observe them quietly, unnoticed by them. It's a sort of twitch.

    What can I do against mites?
     
  6. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    If they have never been outside then it can't be mites...sorry I reread your first post and must have missed it. Later if you get mites, you can use Poultry Dust from the feed store and dust them and the coop. Retreat in 7 days for mites and 14 days for lice. But I wouldn't do it on itty bitties "just in case" or in chickens who are still in the brooder.

    Since they are silkies, I'd do the vitamin thing for "neurological silkie" symptoms.

    I'd buy a poultry vitamin pack...either avian pack from jefferslivestock or from your feed store. This may help them...I don't know. Many times silkies do odd "neurological" things and vitamins help.

    Here is a nice link if you ever have to deal with wry neck/crookneck in your silkies later on. Also some nice silkie articles:
    http://browneggblueegg.com/Article.html
    on left column you can click under "silkie skull" and "crookneck" to read some articles about silkies

    Shows a pic of the silkie skull if they have the huge vault (open spot in head like a baby).

    If you are against artificial vitamins, you can simply feed them scrambled or chopped boiled eggs....very nutritious and perfect chick food! Also good to give them very short grass clippings, about 1 inch long for vitamins.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2013
  7. Flock Leader

    Flock Leader Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for the helpful info! I never had any idea about the special skull structure of Silkies.
     
  8. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    You are welcome. I have read that not all silkies have the open skulls (vaulted skulls)...but I don't know much about it and don't know how to tell other than maybe the size of the crest. I am not a silkie expert but do have silkies.
     

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