Head shaking chicken!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by believer01, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. believer01

    believer01 Songster

    Dec 19, 2010
    I've only had chickens for a year so I'm hoping someone will tell me that this is just something they do occasionally!

    I've got a hen, who is about 1 yr old, part Silkie. This morning I saw her do the head shaking thing for the 3rd time in the past month. She'll be standing somewhere, seemingly comfortable, not stressed or hot or scared. She gets a vacant stare and her head/neck swivel around about an inch repeatedly! Looks almost like a cartoon character doing an exagarated double-take.

    She came to me last Aug with tattered looking feathers and may be molting now. Has laid soft shelled eggs off an on during the last 2 months, interspersed with normal laying for weeks at a time. All other indicators seem to be normal

    Thanks for any help!
  2. Jarvxs

    Jarvxs In the Brooder

    May 2, 2011
    Perhaps she has a piece of food stuck. If it only happens a few times a month this could possibly the explanation
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2011
  3. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Crowing

    Apr 11, 2011
    Perhaps the bugs are bothering her? You did mention her feathers were a bit ratty when you got her- have you checked for parasites? Good luck!
  4. Anianna

    Anianna Songster

    Feb 28, 2010
    N/E of Richmond, VA
    I would consider the possibility of a nutritional deficiency, between the twitchy neck, the soft eggs repeating every so often, and the ratty feathers. Wry neck or crooked neck, is a bend in the neck and not a twitch, but they could be related and wry neck can result from a vitamin deficiency. What kind of food is she on? Is she taking oyster shells? If she is on a good layer feed and is taking oyster shells, try giving her some Polyvisol without iron (liquid vitamin drops labeled for infants you can get at the pharmacy) and the liquid from vitamin E gel caps with Selenium.
  5. believer01

    believer01 Songster

    Dec 19, 2010
    Appreciate the info folks.

    Jarvxs, I'm pretty sure its not stuck food, as the rotation is robotic and rhythmic. No apparent attempts to cough or shake.

    howfunky, they've been wormed, most recently with Wazine, followed by Fenbendazole and the environment is pretty clean. No external parasites visible.

    Anianna, I just checked out the sites you recommended and have marked them for future use! Awesome and important stuff there. I then googled wry neck/crooked neck and watched a youtube vid of a silkie with wry neck. Gypsy's condition is nothing like that. When I bought her I was under the impression that they were being well taken care of..... now I know better. I slowly switched them all (got 4 from the same lady) to an organic 16% layer ration, supplemented with organic wheat/oats/millet (my girls won't eat corn at all [​IMG] ). They get organic hulled sunflower seeds and dried mealworms as treats. There is plenty of green stuff in the fenced pen area (much of it they won't eat) and they get out to free range our large fenced yard at least 2 - 3 hours every evening. We use no chemicals here, and have well water so no chlorine or fluoride. They get unsweetened yogurt every other day and ACV in the water 5 days a week.

    What am I missing here? Thanks again!
  6. believer01

    believer01 Songster

    Dec 19, 2010
    Any other ideas, advice or suggestions? Please!

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