Hen has a limp neck and trouble walking

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mamasunseri, May 15, 2010.

  1. mamasunseri

    mamasunseri Out Of The Brooder

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    May 15, 2010
    Napa, CA
    Hello,

    This is my first post and I am new to raising chickens (aside from the ones we had when I was a kid). I have two hens I bought from my local feed store. They are about ten months. The man at the feed store says they are vaccinated. About three days ago, the Araucana had a prolapsed vent, which after some tending, resolved itself. I washed her bottom as best I could with water and a little peroxide. After smearing it with honey, it went back in and I treated the area with a little neosporin. It hasn't come back. Now, she's developed what looks like a palsy at first: bobbing head, listing to one side. The next day, her head was hanging, upside down. She can get up and walk, and hold it up pretty well, but when she sits down or I hold her, it flops.

    She gets up and walks around, pecks for food, drinks, and tries to keep up with the other. She's even laid an egg every day. I called the feed store and he said it sounded like a vitamin B deficiency, and that I should give her drops, which I started yesterday. At first I saw a marked improvement. This morning, however, she's really wobbly. She's still eating, just misses the mark sometimes. I feed her laying crumbles, they have fresh water everyday and are free range most of the time. They also have a large coop that I can confine them in if I need to.

    I have read some posts here about Mareks, and one lady had what sounds like the same experience (and hers died of Mareks). My girl is still trying to act normally. Do you think this could be a result of the prolapsed vent? As far as they go, it didn't seem to be a "big" one. About the size of a large cherry tomato. No other injuries that i'm aware of.

    Thanks in advance for any feedback!
     
  2. shellybean40

    shellybean40 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2010
    Boerne, TX
    I wish I could help you with a response, I am also waiting for an answer on an injury question. i hope your hen gets better!!!
     
  3. mamasunseri

    mamasunseri Out Of The Brooder

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    May 15, 2010
    Napa, CA
    Thank you! Right now she's flopped over in her bed looking not long for this world. I hope your injury improves too.
     
  4. mamasunseri

    mamasunseri Out Of The Brooder

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    May 15, 2010
    Napa, CA
    Update: 5/16/10

    Hen is still hanging in there. The more I read, the more I think she has crookneck. Last night I went out to the coop expecting to find her dead, and she was laying on the floor of the coop because she's no longer able to get up to her roost. She was alive, though, and I put her in a laundry basket in the garage with food and water. This morning she was still alive and after giving her vitamin B and water with a dropper, I set her outside. She promptly went into her nest to lay her daily egg, bless her heart.

    Today I found that if I hold her head she'll eat (laying crumbles mixed with water). I keep giving her water through a dropper several times a day. She's back in the garage tonight, propped up on towels. Everything about this chicken looks healthy aside from her droopy, upside-down head: comb is healthy and red, appetite is good, eyes are clear, poop is runny but normal colored and she's still laying. She doesn't seem to be improving at all though. This started on Thursday, it's now Sunday, and I've been giving vitamin B since Friday afternoon. I'm feeling as though I need to do the humane thing and take her to the vet for euthanization if she doesn't improve in a few more days [​IMG] I really hate to do this. We are all very attached to her.
     
  5. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

  6. mamasunseri

    mamasunseri Out Of The Brooder

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    May 15, 2010
    Napa, CA
    Thank you for your reply, I appreciate the input.

    I saw this link earlier today in my searches. I took a picture of my hen today, if only I could figure out how to display it here. My chicken can hold her head up for a time. But then it flops to the left and her head is upside down. She seems unable to keep her head from going any direction than left. Then she is exhausted and lays down, head still upside down.

    Poor thing.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2010
  7. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    Darn! I wish I knew more and could help. Best of luck to you.
     
  8. Xodrana

    Xodrana Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2010
    I don't know much about chickens but maybe you could devise some sort of neck brace to keep her head from flopping over. poor little girl, i hope she can be helped somehow.
     
  9. babsbag

    babsbag Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 12, 2010
    Anderson, CA
    To put a picture on the forum look for the "Uploads" link in the blue bar at the top of the page. You upload that photo and then use the link from the upload in your post.

    I hope your hen gets better. I know that some people of been able to succesfully treat wry neck with vitamins. I hope that it works for you.
     
  10. mamasunseri

    mamasunseri Out Of The Brooder

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    May 15, 2010
    Napa, CA
    Thanks for the responses! I really do appreciate them. I tried to make a brace out of duct tape, but it was too slippery (I used the silver side, I didn't want to take off all the feathers around her neck!). Someone mentioned vet tape. I am going to call the vet.

    No change today [​IMG]
     

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