cockerel w/ crooked neck


12 Years
May 7, 2007
Southwest Missouri
I have a 9 week old RIR cockerel. Last night he was fine. This morning his neck is twisted. He held it up a couple of times while I was checking feeders/waterers. I carried him in and put him in a chicken hospital and helped him drink. He's keeping his head almost under his tummy and rolled over a couple of times. He keeps his eyes closed a lot. Is this Marek's? What do I do? Is it contagious? I am at work now and won't be back to help him until 4:30 unless I run home on my 30 minute lunch break.

I have isolated him from his coop mates. I hatched them (8 mixed birds) from my flocks own eggs. He hasn't been anywhere except my place and I haven't had any visitors in the barn.
Could be wry neck. If he seems healthy other than the neck, you might want to pump some vitamin supplements into him, especially B vitamins. It could also be from an injury from fighting, or getting spooked and flying into something head first. Personally, I have had to deal with this once, and I ended up putting him down because nothing helped. Good luck!
Thanks for the advice. I will get some supplements on the way home. I only hope it isn't to late.

What about being contagious? Does anyone have a good word for me on that?
IF that is what it is, it is not contagious. It is better to keep him quarantined until you are sure though, just to be safe. Good luck!
he will be unable to drink enough which will exasperate the there anyone that can regularly check in on him and help him drink during the day while you are at work? an electrolyte mix such as durvet in his waterer might be a good idea.
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Last night I gave him a vitamin supplement in his water. I felt his crop and thought it was full and hard. I started worrying about what to do for an impacted crop. I helped him drink and kind of massaged it. After a while I thought it felt softer and he was holding his head up and walking around pretty good. I was excited. This moning he has his head under him again. His crop didn't feel full and hard like last night. I helped him drink again.

I couldn't find any help in my books about what to do for an impacted crop. I have read on this forum about crop surgery, but don't think I can do that. None of my other chickens are doing this. I really don't know what is wrong or what to do.


Pics from last night
Impacted crop won't cause this kind of behavior. Doesn't really look like wry neck from those pics. I do think that he may have injured his neck though, possibly breaking it to a degree. Does it bother him when you mess with his neck? Wish I could be more help, but he looks healthy other than that to me from what I can see. I would continue with the vitamins, and if others start picking on him, separate him, and just see what happens. He may get better on his own, or not, hard to say.
Oh yeah, I separated him into the chicken hospital immediately. Yesterday morning when I first noticed he wasn't right I moved him to the feed room.

He lifts his head some, but most of the time it is bent under his chest towards his stomach.
...when the neck hangs down it is called limberneck (and not crookneck). Botulism can cause this as well as some toxicants... altho not all possible causes of the limberneck symptom is listed in the link below, this resource has some good information (limberneck will somtimes progress to paralysis which is why I am posting it):
(from VETERINARY TOXICOLOGY) >Toxicants that Cause Paresis or Paralysis
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