Help!!! Strange Acting Silkie

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ChickenNut13720, Apr 2, 2008.

  1. ChickenNut13720

    ChickenNut13720 Hatching

    Mar 16, 2008
    I have a little splash silkie, about 20 weeks old. I hatched her from eggs purchased from another bird owner. From the age of about 4 weeks, she started (for lack of a better word) twisting her neck around to where her head was actually upside down. THEN she quit doing it for awhile, and now she's doing it again.

    I've looked up all the diseases, Mareks, Newcastle etc., but they don't seem to fit what she does. She eats and drinks, and her weight is similar to the other silkies of the same age. Today she's the worst I've seen her be, but I'm not sure what to do with or for her.

    Could this be some contagious disease? Or just a neurological malfunction? I don't want her to suffer, but I don't want to put her down if anyone has had any similar experiences?
    All my other chicks and chickens seem fine; no similar symptoms or actions. And since they've always been together, I would think IF it was a contagious disease, they would certainly have begun to show similar symptoms.

    Please, if anyone out there knows of any similar situations, PLEASE TELL ME!!!
  2. Flufnstuffs~FluffySilkies

    Flufnstuffs~FluffySilkies Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    · What are my thoughts on this illness/injury?

    I totally agree with the info in the links I listed below. It is a great post.
    And the only thing I can add is that besides a head injury from a bump or an otherwise harmless peck that was just a bit to rough in the wrong spot.
    I have seen this condition come on suddenly from a bird being totally shocked/frightened/stress
    and also from what some of us think may be a lack of something in the diet. Possible a lack of protein among other things,
    so I always suggest that Silkie owners give little to no cracked corn to Silkies as it has very little nutritional value
    and corn is already present in the feeds we buy.
    Speaking of feed in a lot of them the major protein source is Soy and so I also recomend that for snacks people introduce good protein snacks such as
    boiled/scrambled eggs, dried Kitten food "FISH/BEEF", moist dog food that comes in the clear plastic bags, Meal Worms,
    None of this will be expensive to give as protein rich snacks not as a replacement to poultry feed.
    Give in small amounts PLEASE your chickens are NOT Dogs & Cats you do not want to over load them on ingredients that were formulated for another species.
    And I have noticed that by adding an assortment of healthy snacks I see less and less of Crookneck in my flock.
    I like to make a warm wet crumble for my birds.
    I put 2/3 cup of crumbles in a bowl and to that I add 1/3 cup of HOT water with a few drops of liquid Vitamins and a cap full of Molasses and the oil from one Vit E pill.
    Stir it and pour hot liquid into crumbles, MIX FAST you want it evenly moist/crumbly not totally mushy.
    Sit with the baby and encourage him to peck at the food by moving it with your fingers or picking up bits and letting it fall to get their attention. they will try to eat it,
    you may have to hold/support their necks a bit or even hold the bowl up for them. Persistence with helping them eat and drink will make all the difference.
    Also some people like to try and massage the necks.
    I have never had a bird cure its self.
    Do as many of the suggestions listed as you can.
    It will most likely get worse if not treated, Then it is harder to treat because the bird will need more hands on attention.
    You want to avoid it getting to that point.
    Start treatment as soon as possible. PUT V&E in the water.

    Alan of BrownEggBlueEgg did such a great job on this subject that I thought you all would like to look at his links if you have not all ready seen them.
    SKULLS -
  3. hypnofrogstevie

    hypnofrogstevie chick magnet

    Jul 12, 2007
    Newton NJ
    could be wry neck? If you go on youtube and type in "wry neck or wry silkie" There is a vid of a silkie doing that
  4. Moonwalker

    Moonwalker Songster

    Jan 9, 2008
    Washburn, MO
    Talk about deja vu! This is EXACTLY the same thing that caused me to join BYC in the first place.

    I found out that some birds do recover from Crook neck or limber neck. Mine got better for a while, but after a few weeks started having sezures again and had to be put down. But several people here have had them recover.
    I fed mine baby food and pureed veggies with the vitamins and meds mixed in. The quicker you start on the vitamin/meds the better the chance of recovery.

    Good luck and I hope your little one recovers. [​IMG]
  5. Flufnstuffs~FluffySilkies

    Flufnstuffs~FluffySilkies Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    How to make a Warm Crumble,
    When you have a Stressed, Sick or a Shipped Bird, You can make them a Warm Crumble to give them an Energy Boost.
    Take 1 CUP Crumbles, 1/2 CUP Hot Water with one Teaspoon Molasses and a few drops of Liquid Vitamins,
    Pour into dish of crumbles and stir fast to get evenly wet mixture.


    This is what your warm crumble should look like.

  6. sammi

    sammi Songster

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    I absolutely agree with giving the liquid vitamins (such as Poly-vi-sol childrens' by Emfamil..3 drops in beak for a week. then taper off.
    also vitamin E.
    a good poultry supplement can be continued.
    extra protein to help with stress and add to nutrition is always a good idea.
    if the bird is unable to eat on it's own, you can form small pellets with the mixture, place in mouth, stroke the throat to encourage swallowing.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2008
  7. ChickenNut13720

    ChickenNut13720 Hatching

    Mar 16, 2008
    Thanks for the prompt advice. I will certainly start her on the crumble mix and vitamins first thing tomorrow. All my chickens are really well fed though- they get rice and canned corn in the morning, plus 20% crumble and a little scratch feed. LOTS of fresh grass and greens and always fresh water everyday.

    I'll look for soy products and I do take a lot of eggs, boil them and give them back to the chickens to eat daily.

    I hate to lose her certainly, and I'm relieved it's not something contagious that would endanger the rest of the babies and my flock.

    On another note, I have some interesting chicks preparing to hatch- they'll be mixed Polish/Silkie and Polish/Japanese. I have since separated everyone since I realized the "boys" were active in that way. Can't wait to see what these little guys look like!

    Thanks again for all your help- I'll sleep better tonight.

  8. sammi

    sammi Songster

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    I would cut out the rice and cream corn, concentrate on the feed, and keep scratch to a minimum.

    canned veggies, including cream corn can be high in sodium, and don't offer much nutrient value.

    you can make a warm mash by adding warm water to the feed, chopped egg, and a little plain yogurt for the morning feed.
  9. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    salt toxicity (too much can occur from canned vegetables and also from cat or dogfood) will cause neurological symptoms incl crookneck... so cut out any source of extra salt and give your birds a source of vit E (such as wheatgerm oil) and three drops of POLYVISOL enfamil (once a day in beak for a week then taper off the next) and see if that helps.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2008

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