Cock stumbles backwards, holds head cocked to one side.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Barbs Organic Garden, Jun 14, 2009.

  1. Barbs Organic Garden

    Barbs Organic Garden In the Brooder

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    Jan 21, 2008
    He can't climb the three steps to get into the coop. I found him outside overnight the last two nights. I put food and water for him outside the coop after all the rest of the flock had retired to the roost inside. He was very hungry, and drank some. He has had what food he can scavenge in their pasture area, and it has rained recently so there are some puddles around. I first noticed his movements and thought he was taking a dust bath, but it didn't look quirte right, and then I realized he was trying to go inside the coop and falling backward. His head looks worse (more tilted) than when I started to see something was wrong, and that's only about half an hour. Can anyone tell me what this might be? Is it contagious? Is there a treatment? This an organic flock of 35 birds, three cocks, the rest hens, and doubtless there are some treatments that are off limits. If all else fails is this fellow safe for soup? I've never had a sick chicken up to now, and I know absolutely nothing about how to cope.
     
  2. threehorses

    threehorses Songster

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    If he's been scavenging feed from the pasture and drinking from puddles, well yes - he's hungry. Bring him inside and put him in a cage where he doesn't have to move to get to his food and water. Feed him wetted pellets broken down to crumbles in the blender - mix with some yogurt and a little boiled egg yolk, honey or some pedialyte.

    Put him inside a safe warm area.

    We can't tell you what it is - but if he hasn't eaten normally and only been drinking from puddles, he's proabably emaciated and dehydrated! Let's get that fixed and then we can figure out why tomorrow, yes?

    Please do the above immediately.

    In the mean time, please review this post and give us more information so that we can most accurately help you. Otherwise we'll just be guessing, and that's just wrong for us to do.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=3569 <-- the post that has questions we need answered.

    Thanks, and we'll try our best, if you help us out.
     
  3. Barbs Organic Garden

    Barbs Organic Garden In the Brooder

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    Thanks, threehorses. Yes, as soon as I realized he probably hadn't been in for three days I GAVE HIM A PILE OF MASH ON THE GROUND OUTSIDE, AND A CAN OF WATER THAT HE COULD REACH. aLL i FEED THEM IS LAYING MASH, SO i DON'T HAVE ANY PELLETS. tOMORROW i WILL GIVE HIM AN EGG TO EAT.
    aFTER HE STOPPED EATING i TOOK HIM INSIDE AND PUT HIM IN ONE OF THE NESTS. pROBABLY NOT A GOOD IDEA, BUT i DON'T HAVE AN ISOLATION AREA. i GUESS i SHOULD HAVE ONE READY FOR EMERGENCIES. wOULD IT HAVE TO HAVE A WHOLE SEPARATE HOUSE? i COULD FIX UP A LITTLE WIRED OFF AREA IN THE GARAGE, BUT i REALLY DON'T KNOW WHAT GOES ON IN THERE AT NIGHT. pROBABLY THERE ARE CRITTURS, AND THEY MIGHT NOT LET HIM GET THROUGH THE NIGHT. i'M IN A REMOTE WOODED AREA, AND i SHARE MY PLACE WITH WHO KNOWS WHAT. i'VE SEEN A FOX, WEASELS, SKUNKS, AND ONCE A COYDOG AND ONCE A BEAR. nOT THAT i'M AFRAID A BEAR WOULD GET HIM, BUT MAYBE A WEASEL OR FOX WOULD. (Sorry, I just noticed that my must have hit the Caps Lock by mistake.)
    I'll look for more responses tomorrow. If there is anything else I should tell you about, please let me know.
     
  4. threehorses

    threehorses Songster

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    Well whatever he can eat - if mash = crumbles, that's fine. Just something that readily dissolves in water. [​IMG] If mash = grains, might get a small bag of crumbles to supplement while he's healing. It can even be starter/grower. I use that often on weaker birds to build them back up. But the egg would be good.

    Yay for inside, the nest is fine. It would be good to have a quarantine cage ready - you can make your own cheaper. Another post on that - or PM me. A whole separate air space would be best, yes - but for now he probably would feel better around his buddies. The separate space would be for emergencies in the future. You could make the cage portable so you could chose either spot.

    And good idea on the critters - that might be part of the issue. While he's weak, you certainly don't want him vulnerable to those guys. And don't worry about caps. lol

    Let us know how he does, please. I always welcome PM's, and of course posts on here allow everyone (including me) to learn. [​IMG]
     
  5. Lanissa86

    Lanissa86 Songster

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    Sounds like he has Wry neck. I had a bird with it once. Lived a pretty normal life for a while with his head upside down and walking backwards but he managed pretty well for a few months until he just couldn't live like that anymore. I believe its a Vitamin deficiency.

    Hopefully someone with more experience will chime in, but what I did was give him Apple Cider Vinegar in his water once a day and fed him natural unflavored yogurt and scrambled eggs. Perhaps that will help your boy out!

    Best of luck and keep us updated on how he is doing! [​IMG]
     
  6. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon

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    Last edited: Jun 15, 2009
  7. sammi

    sammi Songster

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    for now..I'd feed him as suggested with the egg, yogurt, etc....
    cooked oatmeal might help..all mixed..
    keep food close by him, and keep him warm...
    he might need to hand fed and watered..
    water by drops on beak..
    make sure he is able to swallow.

    chick feed is a good idea..

    if you have poultry vitamins, give them..
    electrolytes would be good..'

    and try and get some Poly-vi-sol liquid baby vitamins..Enfamil brand..no iron..give 3 drops on beak once a day for a week, then taper off for another week.
    also give some vitamin E from capsule..
    Poly-vi-sol is available at any pharmacy, including Walmart.

    keep a check on his droppings and describe them..color and consistency.

    another possibility is he might have injured himself
    or eaten something bad.
     
  8. Barbs Organic Garden

    Barbs Organic Garden In the Brooder

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    This morning the stumblling rooster was out with the others, walking normally, but he runs into the fence sometimes. I think he really doesn't get a good idea of what's what with his head tipped over like that, although it's tipped less than last night. In additiion, this morning the feathers on his back look wet, like he walked under some low hanging branches or grass. But it also looks like the damage to their feathers that the hens get from being mounted. Do cocks ever get mounted? I know my spayed Labs are always mounting each other. But at least his walk looks more normal this morning. Last night I could just pick him up to look at him, and this morning I can't catch him. But then last night it was almost dark and they get into a sort of stupor so you can just pick any one of them up.
    The two suggestions I got: vitamin deficiency and fungus from the rain sound like problems I can't do much about; it's a good thing it's only one. By the way, did the one fed apple cider vinegar, yoghurt and scrambled eggs recover, of was this a supplement you had to keep on giving for the rest of his life? I'll give him some QwikChik that I got from the hatchery when they first came. I'll see if he gets better. Thanks for the responses.
     
  9. Lanissa86

    Lanissa86 Songster

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    His neck did improve along with his walking but never saw a full recovery on him. He was a Polish and hit his head pretty hard which set him back all over again with even more problems then just the wry neck, so I decided to Cull him for his own benefit.

    Hope yours makes it through, keep us updated.
     
  10. sammi

    sammi Songster

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    the quik chick should be ok..
    and some extra feed..such as the egg, plain yogurt (or buttermilk) and oatmeal..
    whatever you have.

    do you have canned beef cat food on hand?
    1 teaspoon if you have it...mixed with regular feed..

    hope he gets better.
     

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