HELP!! Pullet cannot hold her head up!!!

sonderah

Songster
6 Years
Mar 26, 2013
1,545
60
153
Hardinsburg, Ky
I went out this morning and found 1 of my Gold Laced Polish pullets, about 5 months old, just sitting in the run with her face on the ground. She cannot hold her head up at all. I tried to check her crop and can't even find it because its apparently empty, her breath does not smell sour, her eyes and nostrils have nothing running and look good, they aren't laying yet, but still felt for egg binding, and found nothing. I cannot find any signs of anything being wrong, other than she's so weak she cannot stand it hold up her head.
I removed her from the flock and gave her vitamins/ electrolytes by syringe. Its a little cool, so I'm fixing to add a heat lamp. Idk what else to do!
400
 

Eggcessive

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Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
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Has she been out free ranging where she could eat something bad for her, such as a rotten animal or fish carcass, or vegetation buried in the ground that may cause botulism? Poison from lead or chemicals could also be possible causes. She seems to have paralysis of her neck muscles which can be a sign of botulism (sometimes called limberneck) or Mareks disease. Wry neck is where the neck twists in spasm, either to the side, downward, or looking up over the head, and this doesn't seem to be that. Can she stand if you lift her, or can you tell if she has any paralysis in her legs or wings? Is there any diarrhea, and will she eat if you give something special like an egg or some feed with water mixed in? I'm a little concerned that she may have Mareks, but do you know if she has had the vaccine? Here are some links, and the first is about botulism, then Mareks disease:
http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/19/botulism
http://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource000791_Rep813.pdf
http://partnersah.vet.cornell.edu/avian-atlas/#/disease/Marek's_Disease
https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq

This is one of many different positions of Mareks:

MD-108A%20x750.jpg
 
Last edited:

sonderah

Songster
6 Years
Mar 26, 2013
1,545
60
153
Hardinsburg, Ky
Has she been out free ranging where she could eat something bad for her, such as a rotten animal or fish carcass, or vegetation buried in the ground that may cause botulism?  Poison from lead or chemicals could also be possible causes. She seems to have paralysis of her neck muscles which can be a sign of botulism (sometimes called limberneck) or Mareks disease. Wry neck is where the neck twists in spasm, either to the side, downward, or looking up over the head, and this doesn't seem to be that.  Can she stand if you lift her, or can you tell if she has any paralysis in her legs or wings?  Is there any diarrhea, and will she eat if you give something special like an egg or some feed with water mixed in?  I'm a little concerned that she may have Mareks, but do you know if she has had the vaccine?  Here are some links, and the first is about botulism, then Mareks disease:
http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/19/botulism
http://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource000791_Rep813.pdf
http://partnersah.vet.cornell.edu/avian-atlas/#/disease/Marek's_Disease
https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq

This is one of many different positions of Mareks:

MD-108A%20x750.jpg

She is able to stand somewhat, and can raise her head a little. She isn't actually paralyzed, just seems EXTREMELY weak. I gave her more vitamins/electrolytes and she has improved slightly, was walking a little, only the top half of her neck arched and hanging, and has begun drinking on her own. She will not eat yet though, nothing at all as far as I can tell. I did go ahea and leave some food in with her, & found her sleeping with her head in the dish, but it does not appear that she has eaten any of it. She has been out free ranging some, but they all have. Idk if she would have been able to eat anything, without the others joining in. Sooo confusing!!
 

Suzie

Crowing
11 Years
Jul 9, 2009
3,113
774
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Auvergne
I would at least try giving her some Vitamin B12..and Vitamin E...hopefully she may show some improvement soon...if you suspect botulism she would benefit from a flush of molasses...so hard to second guess what she is suffering from..anything is worth a try to make her more comfortable...

Good luck to you both!
 

sonderah

Songster
6 Years
Mar 26, 2013
1,545
60
153
Hardinsburg, Ky
Omg! So I go out to look around to see if I see any signs of something strange she may have eaten. And I find a Silkie juvenile with a twisted neck!!! How do 2 have the same thing going on????
 

sonderah

Songster
6 Years
Mar 26, 2013
1,545
60
153
Hardinsburg, Ky
I also found a pic of the same thing the pullet was doing, on a wry neck site. She has a "hook" midway on her neck, her head is just turned down instead of sideways.
 

Suzie

Crowing
11 Years
Jul 9, 2009
3,113
774
351
Auvergne
I guess that some chickens do not absorb as well as others to the feed we give them...I have had a few show symptoms of wry neck...they have been fed the same as all of the others in the flock and I have no answer that will explain why...the vitamins do help tremendously...hope yours respond well too!
 

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