Crooked neck, paralyzed legs, spinning in circles, sleepy chick.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ruth, Jul 9, 2007.

  1. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    Hi - I am new to this site (as a member) but found it a few weeks ago when I ran into my first problem with the new chicks I had bought. I am also new to chick ownership. Anyway, after buying and reading every book in bookstores and every on-line thing I could find I still couldn't find an answer to my problem. I have joined this site because it was so helpful in so many ways so I thought I would share my experience with Ruth with everyone else. I bought my first 4 black sex links in April and have had no problem. A month later I was having so much fun at chick ownership I bought 5 (supposedly Auracaunas which I now know are Easter Eggers at best). After about 4 weeks the one I thought was so cute and quiet and bashful and sleepy - would quietly walk up to feed dish and eat - was found laying on the floor of the pen and the others were just trampling all over her. She wasn't moving and my husband proclaimed her dead. After I took her out and examined her I saw she was still breathing. For those old Monty Python fans - he declared her "mostly dead" and said he would "take care of her in the morning if she was still breathing". Anyway - my theory is "Nothing dies on my watch". So here's what I did. First, since she was barely breathing I began dropping a watery milk solution straight down her throat with a medicine dropper. I did that every few hours till she could sit up. Slowly I made it more of a watery mush, mixed with cheese, cat food, egg yolk and anything else of high protein content that I could blend, mix, melt in microwave and drop down her throat. I know you are all going to tell me about the dangers of drowning her but I had nothing to lose since she was desparately trying to die and I just was not going to let her. She eventually began to open her mouth for the food like a baby bird would do. When she regained strength I found that she could not walk, could only spin in circles, feet and legs paralyzed and head twisted to left in horrible S shape and would fall asleep in a heartbeat. Still I would not let her die. Kept her isolated in her own little bin inside with heat lamp and kept up the food. I also fed her a vitamin E capsule each day. Eventually she began to eat on her own and with a serious appetite. She dove at the pieces of cat food in her bowl (mixed with milk and egg yolk) and ate like a vulture. It was day after day of this routine. She would only eat if I held her and held the food mix to her. Today it's been about 4 weeks and I'm happy to say that Ruth is very much alive and well, is a pet, comes when called, runs up my legs to get on my shoulder, and is now in the new coop/run that we have recently built with the rest of the flock. She even has claimed dominance over 3 of her fellow hatchlings and actually runs up and chest butts them and chases them away even though, at 8 weeks, she is one-fourth their size. I'm attaching pictures of Ruth who is a true survivor.
    Ruth's neck is almost straight but I continue to massage it each day as I've done from the beginning. Her body feathers are just starting to come in and her wings are much bigger than her body but she is growing and doing well. I still isolate her for feedings because she is still a slow and delicate eater and still eats much better if I hold her. I feed all the chickens cheese, tomatoes, lettuce and other goodies twice a day. They really come running when they see me. I'm posting this lengthy response in the hopes that anyone else looking for help on twisted neck, paraylized legs, sleeping chickens will be able to use my experience. I'm believing that it is a vitamin deficiency of some sort or a disease that TLC can see them through. I'm also a devout believer in God and the power of prayer and that He cares for all of his creatures.
  2. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007

    above link will provide you with info on the many cause of neurological symptoms/crookneck (neck twisting back) and Limberneck (neck hanging down) with or without commonly occuring neurological dysfunction such as circling and walking backwards, head tremors etc.
    Crook neck is a symptom and not a disease and it is often helped by a supplement of B vitamins (think polyvisol for instance) and most importantly vitamin E/selenium combination (you can find this at agway,walmart or your local drugstore>>>ensure that the selenium content does not exceed 50MICROgrams per tab>prick open and give into beak according to the schedule in the treatment article by Alan Stanford PhD which you can find the link to at the above thread)...the vitE/selenium combination supplement has been extensively researched and found to be clinically significant in many situations including toxicoses and shock.
    When you have a silkie or polish head trauma will often be the cause of crookneck as these birds have a skull anomaly where the skull does not close...and head trauma from a peck or such occurs quite this case prednisone is often required to prvide relief from the brain inflammation...Alan Stanford developed a treatment for it with some university professors and vets and you will find a link to that article at the thread above.
    Concerning the diet...if your bird is so poorly it cannot eat itself and is not able to get sufficient amount of food (usually the case unfortunately) then I highly recommend you get some handfeeding formula at the petstore (sold for parrots) ...this is very concentrated nutrition. (If this is impossible then you can order AviaCharge 2000 which is a complete vitamin/nutritional supplement) online through McMurry or Strombergs and mix that up with some feed "mush" (make this by cooking oatmeal in water and ading feed to this) ... do not give your birds milk as they lack the enzyme lactase to process it and it will irritate the intestines disturbing the processes necessary to absorb nutrients from their feed.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2007
  3. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    Hey Ruth,
    This is a link to my crook necked chicken.

    I refer to her as Tessy the Headless Chicken because her neck is so twisted. She does do the walking backwards and circling but it doesn't stop her. She gets out there and runs with the rest of them. She's 11 weeks old
  4. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    Thanks to both dlhunicorn and Coyote Magic - I had previously found both of your sites and links and info helpful. That's where I found out about the vitamin E/Selenium and began giving Ruth that and found out that "headless" chickens can live. Ruth is thriving now and I'm grateful to have found this site. As I mentioned, I had been looking on it and researching other's experiences. I only gave Ruth milk the first couple of days (watered down) since it was a life or death issue. Since then it's been all high-content protein, vegetables, vitamin E, and a liquid bird vitamin. I also moved her to a pen out in the sunlight (in the shade) for more natural vitamin D. Her neck today is virtually straight and she actually dominates three of the four fellow-hatchlings. I am convinced, after reading about so many sick chickens on this site, that much of it is due to be being raised in captivity, small quarters, depending on a commercially made food. In nature, these birds would roam, eat mostly bugs, slugs (protein) as well as dirt/rocks (minerals), grass and other vegetation. I'm going to do my best to see that my "girls" get as much of those food sources as possible - as well as lots of exercise, fresh air and sunshine. You can see my new coop, run and my guard dog (Rex) on the coop page. Again, thanks to all and to this site. I'm having a great time in my new endeavor and learning so much.
  5. beaglex3

    beaglex3 Chirping

    Mar 19, 2012
    B'field, IL
    i'm not sure how old this thread is but i wanted to get some advice. i have a similar problem with one of our chicks. we got 20 pullets and 1 roo 5 days ago. 2 pullets died right after arrival but everyone else looked great.......for a couple days. 2 days later we noticed willie, the roo, seemed to be sitting more than walking around. he would move if a pullet ran over him or i reached in to see if he was ok, but that was all. the next day he would fall over when he walked. he kept trying and would make it a few steps before toppling, but he could still get to food and water. by yesterday he couldn't walk at all and spends most of his time lying on one side. his legs move when he tries to get up as he spins in circles trying, but they can't bear his weight at all. when i try to stand him up, or even put him on his breast like he's resting, he falls over onto his side. if i carry him to food/water, he eats/drinks with gusto, but can do nothing but lie on his side and peep. he doesn't seem to be in pain...only peeps when he sees the rest dashing all over the brooder, like he's saying "hey, girls. i've fallen and i need help".
    i have been giving him water with vitamin/electrolytes in hopes that it will help strengthen his legs and tried to feed him some mashed egg yolk & yogurt last night but he was having no part of it. if he is still alive when i get home from work, i'll try your recipe of protein packed gruel. how do you get the beak open? i tried prying it open yesterday to get some yolk in his mouth, but no way did that work.
    i find comfort in knowing your ruth was in similar shape and made it. willie has become pretty special to us, even in such a short time. i am hoping your thread is just the answer to his problem.
    if you have any more helpful advice, please send it asap. thank you!!
  6. mstricer

    mstricer Crowing

    Feb 12, 2009
    It is from 2007. Are these chicks?
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012

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