EMERGENCY Please help!


Pine Hill Farm
11 Years
Apr 24, 2009
1) What type of bird , age and weight. Six week old Silkie

2) What is the behavior, exactly.
Bloody stool before I noticed head/neck issue. Instead of the head flipped backwards as in wry neck that I've researched, this chick has her whole head forward and between her legs. When she walks, she's trying to walk backwards, I can't get water into her because when I try to gently straighten her neck to tube feed, she seems to start spasming in her neck and head, so I can't safely feed or water her.

3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?
Saturday I noticed something was up with her, and brought her in the house, she ate some scrambled eggs and seemed back to 100%. I checked her this morning and her crop was empty. Noticed more bloody stools.

4) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.
No. She did have a large vaulted skull at hatch, though.

5) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.
Maybe seeing her pass a bloody stool in person may have made me be too rough getting her out of the hutch? I really don't feel as if I did anything to her, I was as gentle as always.

6) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.
Scrambled eggs Saturday night and feed yesterday. I don't see how she is eating now. I did get some Vit E into her, though.

7) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.
Bloody 5 times on Saturday, Sunday and now normal colored and consistency.

8) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
Started her on Sulmet on Saturday evening when I noticed behaviour and stools. Gave her Vit E from the capsule this evening.

9 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?
10) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
I have no option but to treat her myself since there is no vet that treats chickens anywhere near me.

11) Describe the housing/bedding in use
First hatched in the house, brooder was rubbermaid container with pine bedding. Then moved her and her hatchmates, she had been in the garage for 2 weeks with (3 others) in a double decker rabbit hutch, and now in the house and in a dog pen since Saturday, then moved her tonight in case of Marek's since I had new chicks hatch today. She's on the back deck in the dog pen with paper towels shredded (4 rolls) for bedding.
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Bloody stools to me means coccidiosis, but not the head down and spasming. There was a thread on botulism that showed a hen with her head down - but I don't think spasming. Here's the link to that thread: https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=219553&p=1

you feed medicated chick starter? Could she have gotten into something else?

Can you get fluids into her? Maybe by dribbling liquid from a syringe into the side of her mouth?
I agree with the above post. Is there anyway the Sulmet dosage was miscalculated? Could she be having a toxic reaction? Did she start exhibiting the head symptoms before or after the Sulmet? Idk- just an idea? Hopefully someone will come along with a better idea? Good luck!
I actually erred on the side of caution and low dosed the meds. Maybe I didn't make sense. I took her out of the hutch because I saw her poo blood, at that very same time, she has the head/neck involvement. The head/neck thing is worse today than it has been yet.

No medicated feed, just the game bird starter. I feed it to all of my Silkes, from babies to adults. Adults also get scratch and layer for treats. I will work on getting fluids into her now, thank you.
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i had this begin happening with a whole batch of chicks i ordered. it began at 3 weeks..was a type of encephilitis that is passed from egg to chick. no bloody stool...just the head between legs and going backwards. if you kinda move them in circle and then hold head down and they seem to have head shimmies then is what u have...if so will not survive and best to put down. the hatchery had one breeder location that did not vaccinate its breeder flock right so every one who had chicks from there lost them. do keep it away from others cause can spread to other young birds...adults show few signs and get over it usually. good luck!

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