Hen seems dizzy, paranoid, whipping her head back and forth...help!


8 Years
Oct 7, 2011
Pacific Northwest
My Coop
My Coop
This is a new one for me. My one-year-old Cuckoo Maran, formally quite friendly, has started hiding in her nesting box and whipping her head back and forth violently if I come near her. (Like she's saying, "no, no, no").Although she can walk, she seems a bit off balance and dizzy. She only shakes her head like that when I reach for her. She's been that way since this morning. For the last few days, I've noticed she hasn't been quite herself, but nothing like the head shaking. Her coloring is normal, and as far as I can tell she's eating and drinking because she hasn't lost any weight. Any thoughts? I've never seen a chicken act like that....
Well, I'm assuming since I got no posts on this that no one else knows what was wrong with her either. Sadly, she passed, and I still have no clue what it was from. None of the other chickens seem affected at all, so that's good - at least it wasn't contagious.
It may have been caused by paranoid schizophrenia. We had a rooster that acted the same way except he would come out but he acted like he was being pursued. Sorry you lost her. We lost the rooster too.
I had a Robin that I raised this past year who displayed similar symptoms before he passed away. He had suffered very traumatic injuries as a nestling, but eventually we healed him and he lived a wonderful 6 months with no signs of lasting damage except weakness in the feet and inability to grip a perch. One night, however, I saw him go into a seizure suddenly, and he was never the same afterward. For the next week, he was inexplicably terrified into a panic at the sight of my boyfriend(who he had previously been calm around), and he acted like he couldn't see correctly and was kind of spaced out. I came home after a short trip running errands and saw that he had suffered a worse seizure and had just passed. This was after vet visits that found nothing wrong. Our best guess is that he had brain lesions, as they tend to present themselves in this way with the sudden onset of bizarre, paranoid behavior. So sad, and nothing can be done about it. :(

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