EE Hen, uncontrollable and strange neck spasming

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by barba, Mar 11, 2017.

  1. barba

    barba Just Hatched

    May 20, 2016
    Coco is an EE hen around 8 months old. I only noticed this behavior today, but I have not been home for quite some time so I am unsure as to how long this has been going on. She does eat feathers and we've applied Rooster Booster Pick-No-More cover-up lotion to the other birds, but I've seen their disgusted "yuck!" head shake after pecking the lotion and this is most certainly not it.

    Here is a video that captures the unmistakeable spasms.

    We have the opportunity to take her to a vet tomorrow and thus I will update this thread with any new information, but if anyone has seen this before in chickens, please let me know your thoughts.
  2. mymilliefleur

    mymilliefleur Keeper of the Flock

    Nov 4, 2014
    East Tennessee.
    The video was very helpful. I think your hen has an impacted crop. I have an old EE hen right now with an impacted crop and she does the exact same thing. Impacted crops are often caused when they eat something like hay, feathers, or long pieces of grass that then get bound up in their crop and cannot by passed down into their gizzard. Your hen is probably trying to push the bound up material out of her crop (for lack of a better way to describe it) You can easily tell if she has an impacted crop by going into the coop early before she has eaten anything and gently messaging her crop. It should be completely empty. If it isn't, then her crop is impacted. I hope this helps.
  3. MrsBachbach

    MrsBachbach Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 6, 2013
    Yeah, I agree. Looks like she is trying to adjust her crop. Something is stuck. Pick her up and feel it. How big is it? Is there a distinct lump in it? Or does it feel like a water balloon. It should empty or get significantly smaller overnight.
    If she was a feather eater, I am sure that is what is bound up in her crop. Do they have grit in their coop? If not, get some. It might help, it might not. Bound up crops are difficult to resolve and sometimes surgery is the only option. If it isn't resolved the bird will starve to death. You also need to resolve the reason for the feather eating in the first place. Either the hen was not getting enough protein from the feed (get a higher protein feed, 18% will usually do it) or she was too nervous to go to the feeder because of other more bossy hens and was picking feathers or eating them off the ground to get her protein. Put in an extra feeder is solution to that.

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