Head shaking issue

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chuckachucka, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. chuckachucka

    chuckachucka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 22, 2016
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    I have only four chickens at the moment, three females and one male. The male I've had to keep inside for parts of the day since he started crowing due to neighbour complaints and I've noticed he shakes his head every time I speak. Its like a quick rough jerk/shake. If I speak a lot he does this repeatedly. And it is only when I or someone else speaks near him. Not with any other loud sound.
    Today i went out to check on the hens when they were settling down for the night and noticed one of them doing the same head shake while she was sitting down listening to me. The other two were so busy finding a comfy spot to roost that I don't think they were listening, or maybe they are not doing it.
    Anyway I cant see anything wrong with them all and am baffled as to the reason for this. Cant find any other cases of this kind of head shaking ONLY when listening to humans speaking. Is this normal? I'm worried it could be an issue with their ears.
     
  2. PaulaMc

    PaulaMc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi

    I am in Bolton near Manchester and a newbie to keeping chickens-7 months.

    I am not an expert but if they can hear it is not a problem with their ears. Maybe they love listening to you[​IMG]

    I have a silkie that every now and again has an head shaking episode. My understanding is that she is shaking her crop so I give her olive oil and it seems to sort her out.

    Hope this helps
     
  3. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    A single head shake does not head shaking make. Chickens do that.

    Now, if your chicken stands in one spot repeatedly shaking its head, plus clawing at the ear with a foot, then you might suspect something is going on in that ear. Sometimes it's just dry and itchy. Mineral oil in the ear helps.

    Inspect the ear. Sometimes a foreign body gets stuck in it, such as a blade of grass or wood shaving.

    But a mere shake of the head means anything the chicken wants it to mean.
     
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  4. chuckachucka

    chuckachucka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the replies. They shake their heads in a way that looks unhappy as if voices annoy them or hurt their ears. Its a quick rough shake like trying to get a fly off your face and they do it again and again as long as someone is talking to them. I've checked inside the ears and cant see any problems. Its very strange. They are otherwise healthy but could there be some kind of internal infection?
     
  5. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Can you post a video of normal activity vs. when you speak to them so we can see what you are talking about?

    Have you checked to make sure their crop(s) are functioning properly? Feel the crop at night when they go to bed, then first thing in the morning before eating/drinking. The nighttime crop should be full, the morning crop should be flat/empty. Some chickens will make a head shaking/neck movement to adjust the contents of the crop. But usually this is done when they eat/drink, not when someone speaks to them.
     
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  6. clchickenlady

    clchickenlady Out Of The Brooder

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    Three of our chickens are in a molt. The temperature in our area of Minnesota has been pretty cold. A few days ago the temp went down to -27. My favorite chicken was the worst of the three molters. Well after two or three nights of the cold we lost her when we checked them in the morning. Our Silver Laced now is showing that she has lost a lot of her feathers. The weather is now 15 degrees but in two days the weather is going to go back to minus two digit temps. We will probably bring her in on those really cold temps. She is also acting strange in that she is backing up and tucking her head as she goes back. She will stop the behavior but will do it again and then stop. I have been feeding her feather fixer and meal worms to help with the protein she is taking in. My question is why is she doing this? I can't find anything on the web to indicate why a chicken would do this. Any ideas?
     
  7. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I'm sorry for your loss.

    Bring her in for some TLC. Molting can be very hard on them. Tucking the head and backing up could be due to vitamin/nutritional deficiency. Offer some poultry vitamins in her water (Poultry Nutri-Drench or Poultry Cell) and make sure she is staying hydrated. You can also give her some chopped hard boiled egg or some tuna in addition to her normal feed.

    Hopefully this will bring her around. If she happens to not make it, then I would suggest you send her in for testing/necropsy since you lost your other girl, there may be more going on than molting.
     
  8. clchickenlady

    clchickenlady Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you. I just ordered the Poultry Cell from Amazon. Tomorrow I will bring her in our garage until she shows her feathers are coming in.
     

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