head shaking- whats wrong?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mountainroost, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. mountainroost

    mountainroost Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 21, 2009
    Ashland, OR
    I have 10 chickens. 1 of them is shaking her head almost continuosly for the last few days- getting more noticable in the last day. I don't know if its any worse than it was a few days ago, but I'm noticing it more. The shake is like a twitch. It is one 'pop' (a quick flick) and a little bit of a shiver after, over and over. She has no other symptoms and none of the others have any unusual symptoms. Any ideas? She is 21 weeks, as are all of my chickens, no one is laying yet, she is an EE.
     
  2. insiderart

    insiderart Obviously Insane

    Apr 30, 2009
    Arkansas
    I don't have an answer for you, but I am curious to know.
     
  3. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2009
    Any signs of respiratory problems. Sometimes they do that to clear their nose or breathing passages. Have they ever been wormed? I would do a search for gapeworm. It would be really helpful if you could answer the questions on the sticky so we have more information.
     
  4. woody49705

    woody49705 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 27, 2008
    Shelton, Ct.
    Are her tailfeathers pointing down? I hate to say it but the last three hens I've lost were all shaking their head's for a couple of day's and tailfeathers were noticeably pointing down instead of up.
     
  5. mountainroost

    mountainroost Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 21, 2009
    Ashland, OR
    So,
    1)she is an EE, 6 months (21 weeks), but not laying yet- but neither are any of the other nine I got at the same time, I have no idea how much she weighs, but shes not overly fat or skinny.
    2)she flicks her head over and over again. When I picked her up she stopped, but started again when I put her down. she has been doing it for at least 3 days. when I looked at her head I noticed some white sheath like things when I ruffled her feathers, kind of like dandruff but some still around the base of the feathers. I compared this to the other EE I have and she didn't have this.
    3)no trauma
    4)I think that the cause is the mystery here
    5)she is eating and drinking normally. I took yogurt with flax meal to them this morning with a special little bowl for her, she didn't want it. she thought I was chasing her when i tried to single her out to give it to her. But she did go after the lettuce and apple scraps and of course the little bit of corn my daughters sprinkle out in the morning. I also saw her drink.
    6)I have not been able to catch her pooping so I don't know what her poop looks like in particular, but I haven't seen any unusual poop on their poop shelf.
    7)no treatment so far
    8)I won't take my chickens to the vet but I will do anything I can do.
    9)They have a secure coop they roost in at night with pine chips on the floor and a poop shelf below the roost. They have a large enclosed run they spend their time in the day in. Although there is a large bird flying over lately and they run inside whenever they see it. The run has a wire roof though, for just such an occasion, they just haven't figured that out yet.
    I think that the dandruff is a corresponding symptom but i don't know of what. She is not coughing or sneezing and I see no discharge. It is really just the head shaking, and none of the other nine are doing it.[​IMG]
     
  6. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Michigan
    Head shaking is a typical sign of parasites...mites or lice. I'd especially think so, seeing the dander-like material you found at the base of her feathers.

    Most folks use Sevin dust (for plants)...dust her AND THE REST really well, repeat in 10 days. This should do the trick if she has parasites.

    If you want to pull out the big guns, get some Ivermec Eprinex (cattle wormer) - do a search on here for dosage. It's a liquid that you drip between their wings. It will kill ALL external AND internal parasites; however, you will not be able to eat eggs for sevral weeks, but it IS the most effective wormer out there (per several avian vets).

    Either way, treat them all, and if you go with Eprinext, get the Sevin dust anyway and thoroughly clean your coop/nest boxes...sprinkle the sevin in the coop before adding shavings (assuming you use shavings) back in.

    If the head shaking doens't go away, I would suspect neurological (like she hit her head on something).
     
  7. insiderart

    insiderart Obviously Insane

    Apr 30, 2009
    Arkansas
    Quote:I LOVE this! Knowledge is power! That rocks.
     
  8. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Sep 25, 2007
    Michigan
    BYC ROCKS! I can't believe how much I've learned on this forum in the past couple of years! It benefits my birds, and when I can pass along a tidbit here & there, it makes me feel great! [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. muzzles&nuzzles

    muzzles&nuzzles Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 17, 2009
    MI
    If you use pour on Ivermectin you can eat the eggs. It's only the injectable that has a waiting period.

    You can use 7 dust or pyrethrins (which I can never spell). Wear gloves if you use 7 dust.

    Is she flicking her head and scratching her head with her feet? Or is it more lick a "tick" kinda like a bobble head? If it's flicking it can be parasites. If it's more like a tick or a wobble I would give it vitamin e (just make a hole in a gel cap and put it in her beak) and you can crush up vitamin B and sprinkle it over some yogurt. You also can give a little prednisone. I don't know the dosage for prednisone. The head trauma/using prednisone is more common with silkies. The vitamin deficiency can happen with other breeds.
     
  10. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Michigan
    Nope - any type of Ivermectin you should not eat eggs at least two weeks; Ivermectin has not been tested for use in poultry; thus, you do need to use caution, which dictates withholding eating eggs for a minimum of two weeks.
     

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