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Help! worried about hen doing weird movements with her head and neck

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lapsarian, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. lapsarian

    lapsarian In the Brooder

    Oct 2, 2008
    Hi there,
    One of my hens has been doing this freaky thing-- bobbing her head up and down and side to side. she stretches her neck up tall first then bobs it around. She does it in short spurts, then stops, then starts again. I've never seen her or any of my other 13 hens do this before (although we just got them in the spring). It seems uncomfortable for her, but she doesn't seem in distress. it's definitely not normal, though. It happens after she eats, although I'm not sure if that is the only time she does it.

    the other hens seem to be picking at her a bit, too. I've seen others picking at her back, and some of her feathers are missing and some tips seems to be broken off on her back.

    does anyone know what the head bobbing might be? I'm concerned about her.
    thanks so much,
    Lee Ann

  2. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    I would like to know too, as I have never seen mine do that either.
  3. katrinag

    katrinag Songster

    Could be that she is trying to get the food down. Just for kick I would seperate her and add water to her food and see if she still does this.
  4. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    Quote:Good idea. Is she coughing at all? Any breathing issues? Might also try giving her some yogurt. She may also be having some crop trouble. If you look in Index, above, and go to Emergencies, etc., there is a lot of info there. Good luck, hope she's ok.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2009
  5. lapsarian

    lapsarian In the Brooder

    Oct 2, 2008
    thanks for the advice,

    I'm going to start giving her yogurt, and separate her out from the rest. I'm also going to check her crop tomorrow morn. she seemed to kind of throw up liquid the other day, so maybe it's a sour crop...
    poor Polka Dot!
  6. lapsarian

    lapsarian In the Brooder

    Oct 2, 2008
    oh, and she's not coughing or having any breathing problems.
  7. katrinag

    katrinag Songster

    you can also add apple cider vinager to her water. I think it is 3 tablespoons to a gallon.

  8. pamperedpoultry

    pamperedpoultry CHICKENFIED

    I've heard of chickens picking on the weak and sick ones.. She hasn't been sick before has she?? some disease they get leaves them with nervous problems that sometimes come and go
  9. chookchick

    chookchick Songster

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    Do a search for "crook neck" or "wry neck" to see if that could be the problem?
  10. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Also, search for "limberneck" . . .

    I'm no expert on this but be sure that her water source is clean and fresh every day. Limberneck is not an infection - it is the result of consuming a toxin from bacterial decay.

    It is good you are concerned. She will probably benefit on all counts from extra special care.


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