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Drooping necks... Marek's? Botulism? Wry neck? A little unsure...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Qalupalik, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. Qalupalik

    Qalupalik Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2013
    BC
    Last night everyone was fine.

    This morning, one of my pullets (11 weeks old) would not get off the perch, and her head was drooping heavily. I went to grab her and she flew off the perch, but because she cannot move her neck, she tripped and fell when she landed. I quickly scooped her up and brought her inside and put her in a crate. I have been giving her water with an eyedropper. This afternoon, another one from the same batch (11 weeks) started to exhibit similar signs, though not as severely. This other one can still move his/her neck, just slowly and he/she gets tired very easily. I put him/her on my lap to watch a show, and he/she stayed put the entire time, (and these are not tame birds).

    So I've been researching but nothing that I've found seems to fit.

    1. Their legs and wings are fine, it's just their necks.

    2. They still have good appetites.

    3. Poop is normal.

    4. No panting/respiratory problems.


    Any ideas?
     
  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Jul 24, 2013
    I would treat for Botulism. Treat with a molasses flush, which consists of four tablespoons of molasses in one quart of water. This should flush the poisons out of the body. Just give the molasses mixture as the birds only drinking water. You should also try to get them to drink something using a dropper or a syringe. If the bird does not have Botulism, this flush will not seriously harm them, though it could dehydrate them.

    A vitamin deficiency is also a possibility. After trying the molasses flush, get some vitamins, and see if they make any improvement.

    Good luck! Please keep us updated!
     
  3. Qalupalik

    Qalupalik Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2013
    BC
    So I tried the molasses on the first two birds, though when I gave it to them, I wasn't sure of the amount. I just put some molasses in a bowl of water and dropper-fed one and the other drank it on its own. I also added some hypericum to the same water. This morning I also added some dried nettle to their feed.

    When I was shutting them in for the night, I noticed another bird couldn't stay on his perch, his legs were shaking a lot and he kept falling off, so I quarantined him with them as well.

    This morning they seem to be doing a lot better. The one that couldn't lift her head at all yesterday can lift it now, though the two of them still get tired and lay their necks down on the ground. I'm still keeping them quarantined for now. The rest of the flock look fine, thank goodness.
     
  4. Qalupalik

    Qalupalik Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2013
    BC
    I'm really wondering what this actually was, because this has happened twice more since then. All the same symptoms, getting worse before they get better, and then bam! They're all fine again. The most recent one was from my set of second-youngest chicks and he got so bad he couldn't move his wings or feet legs either, after the first day (always starts with the neck). He had no appetite at all, but I kept dropper-feeding him a little bit of water often (he protested if I gave him more than 10ml per session). In November I'll be taking a poultry health course, so hopefully they'll have some ideas. Though I'm absolutely thrilled that they all get better so quickly, it is unbelievably frustrating not knowing what the problem is in the first place.
     

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