eating upside down

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ctyankey, Jun 14, 2008.

  1. ctyankey

    ctyankey New Egg

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    Jun 14, 2008
    [​IMG] OK, I'm new to this whole chicken thing and this might be totally normal. I bought a house that came with a chicken coop so I thought I would give it a go. I have a variety of 12 week old chicks, two of which are golden polish. One of them has started a very odd behavior and I am concerned that it may be inefficient enough that she may starve. She began eating "upside down" this week. She sticks her head between her legs and grabs food behind her while her head is upside down. She is good at it but unless there is a lot of scratch I'm afraid she will starve. This is the only way she eats now. Is this normal? I thought maybe her tophat was obstructing too much of her forward vision so I trimmed it a little around her eyes but she is still doing it. Her sister is eating normally as are the other 17 chicks. Help! I need to know if I need to intervene some how. Thanks
     
  2. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

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    I had a polish like that and she didnt live long. So I put her down.

    Maybe others have a solution to this.
     
  3. HorseFeathers

    HorseFeathers Frazzled

    Apr 2, 2008
    Southern Maine
    You need to talk to CoyoteMagic. She has a chicken with this problem, I think... Hey, Coyote, get over here!
     
  4. HorseFeathers

    HorseFeathers Frazzled

    Apr 2, 2008
    Southern Maine
    Quote:^This is Tessie, quote taken from Hen Contest by justino15.
     
  5. ctyankey

    ctyankey New Egg

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    Jun 14, 2008
    Thanks all for replying. My chicken walks around perfectly normally, she seems to see the food on the ground and then when she puts her head down to eat she keeps going and starts picking at food behind her through her legs. It is very odd. I confess to being a vet and am trying to figure out what type of neuro lesion would do this and can't come up with one unless it is is some type of inner ear issue, i.e. vertigo when she lowers her head? It's very strange. Anyone else have any ideas. What has me stumped is that she wasn't always like this, started about a week ago that I noticed it. I have to say the two polish are definitely a different breed, they march to a different drummer for sure!!
     
  6. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Have you tried putting her topknot into a hair scrunchie or elastic or a barrette? Maybe that's the only way she can see to eat.
     
  7. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

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    Sounds like it has more to do with her mop. She may do that to keep her eyes clear to see the food rather than straight down with them over her eyes. Neuro most likely would have been present sooner. Yes?
     
  8. ctyankey

    ctyankey New Egg

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    Jun 14, 2008
    That's what I was thinking, both on the neuro and the featherdo. Are you all telling me that I have the poodle of the chicken breed? Scrunchies, barettes? I thought of those but more as a joke, can you really do that with a chicken? I will give it a try and see what happens. I'm not optimistic though, she got caught in a downpour today and when the fringe was slicked back she seemed like she was unsettled. Maybe it takes some getting used to. I know it does with me when I get a new hairstyle. lol She acts normally in all other ways...well normal for a Polish I guess.
     
  9. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    My Coop
    I'd say she is sick and needs some antibiotic meds. I had one act this way for awhile and had I not interveined, she would have died. She is totally normal now. Teramyacin w/ milk did the trick for me.
     

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