Head shaking

Lee_Scion

In the Brooder
Jun 16, 2018
15
23
41
Hello everyone,
I have a mixed flock of eight hens, all around the same ages (five of them will be exactly 22 weeks tomorrow, the other three are a little younger all hatching in mid June to early July)

We finally actually integrated the two flocks last night, in a new coop to everyone, and we noticed they were all shaking their heads. A lot! (Like every ten to fifteen seconds)

I hadn't noticed any of then doing it prior to this, and there are no other symptoms. No one is sneezing, there is no discharge from any mouths, eyes or noeses. I checked for any external parasites and didn't see any, and with the exception of one intestinal lining poop I found I have seen no unusual droppings. All of the hens are also still alert, and eating and drinking normally.

My question is, will chickens shake their heads because of stress? The timing of this setting in seems a little odd to me, what with them just becoming and integrated flock in a new coop, and I just want to make sure I'm not being paranoid before I rush them off to the vet (I have an appointment booked for Wednesday currently)
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
5 Years
Apr 9, 2016
14,342
19,904
832
California's Redwood Coast
I just want to make sure I'm not being paranoid before I rush them off to the vet
Sorry you face this. :(

Is it a shaking like to get something out of their throats? Or is it kinda like a turrets type tick? Wonder if Marek's is a possibility? :hmm In my own flock when I saw it I thought it was genetic, and cull for it so it doesn't pass on... but I breed my birds. Now I'm wondering if there is more to it than I realize! :confused:

No, chickens don't shake their head due to stress in my experience. But stress can make other things rear their ugly head that we didn't know were there. Add in hormonal rush approaching lay and that is when many things will present themselves. Reasons for head shaking could be... gape worm, ear infection, to clear food from the beak, New Castle disease, and more...

Where are you located?

Hope you get answers! :fl
 

Lee_Scion

In the Brooder
Jun 16, 2018
15
23
41
It looks like it is an irritation shake not a nerve twitch. They also scratch at their faces occasionally. I assumed what I was looking at was a parasite of some sort.

Most of my flock was vaccinated for Mareks. And they have no other signs of Mareks that I can see.

I am located in Southern Ontario.

As I said in the first post I do have a vet appointment to figure out exactly what it is, I just wanted to make sure I wasn't stressing my hens out and pestering my vet over nothing
 

Lee_Scion

In the Brooder
Jun 16, 2018
15
23
41
The vet thinks it's most likely mites, and I have been given Ivomectin to give them. Hopefully it gets the job done and stops the head shaking soon!
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
5 Years
Apr 9, 2016
14,342
19,904
832
California's Redwood Coast
The vet thinks it's most likely mites, and I have been given Ivomectin to give them. Hopefully it gets the job done and stops the head shaking soon!
Did your vet see any or just listen to your description and make suggestions? Did he say what kind of mite he suspected? Will look forward to an update! :fl

Can you post a video using vimeo or youtube? So we will have it for future reference. :pop
 

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