Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by richkay, Feb 19, 2015.

  1. richkay

    richkay Hatching

    Oct 17, 2014
    I'm a newbie as a chicken owner. I bought my first Bantam Showgirl Silkie hen about a month ago. I purchased a very expensive, but cheaply made, chicken coop online, painted it all pretty, made numerous alterations and reinforcements to the coop to make it safe and predator proof, built a chicken run and read every single article that has ever been written about chicken care and chicken health to make sure I was fully prepared. Then I purchased a couple of standard hens about eight or ten weeks old as companions to my Showgirl for egg laying. I made sure they were docile breeds and about the same age as my showgirl so they'd grow up together and get along. I got a ten week old golden sex link and a longhorn (I think). I put the showgirl and the two standards together in the coop and all was blissful and perfect in chickenland . . . .for about a week. Then, one morning I noticed something weird was going on with my Showgirl. At first, I noticed a slight discharge of water from her vent and she was dropping her head a lot. I thought maybe she had some kind of infection so I separated her from the other two and administered a broad spectrum avian antibiotic and put her under a heating lamp. Then the vent dried up but the head dropping got worse. She was tucking and twisting her head under her belly and it was horrible to watch. I went online and started to do some research and discovered that my Showgirl was exhibiting what appeared to be consistent with Wry Neck disease. Now, I have read every single article there is on the subject of Wry Neck and its symptoms and treatments so I'm past the basics. She is currently eating and drinking and pooping. In addition to the basic chicken feed, I've been combining a high quality dry egg food that I feed my finches, or a boiled yolk mashed up when I have it, vitamin e and selenium, turmeric tea, honey, children's liquid vitamins (without iron), yogurt, ground-up sunflowers and pumpkin seeds, a few drops of apple cider vinegar in her water for her crop, a little yogurt for bacterial, a little chopped garlic etc. All the things that are supposed to work. I have been giving her Medacam as an alternative to Prednisone as an anti-inflamatory. I've not taken her to the vet because the only bird vet I'm aware of in the los angeles area is an exotic pet vet out in Pasadena who charged me $400 when my rabbit got sick so I'm trying to avoid that cost. Although I suppose it might be helpful to get a fecal float test done at this point to rule out certain things. But, it doesn't appear to be coccidiosis, at least from the list of symptoms I have read, she did have a little bloody diarea a couple of times but not mucousy. She's eating (even voraciously) at times and she doesn't appear to be lethargic. I dont think its Mereks as her eyes are solid black and not grayish and she's not thrusting her leg out in front of her. I know I'm not a vet but that's just my feeling. It could be from the ingestion of a toxin of somekind. I do have a potbelly pig and he did a big crap in front of the coop one day. I did clean it up and also watered the lawn down afterwards but who knows. I have flowers in my back yard that are probably on the toxicity list for animals (i.e. geraniums, day lilies etc.). But, the other two standard chickens are fine. I’m leaning towards being pecked on the head by one of the other hens. Maybe at night when roosting. Anyway, I'm on day 6 and I'm exhausted and completely stressed. Sometimes she'll go five or ten minutes and she's fine. Then, all of a sudden she’ll throw her head under her stomach like she's preening herself and then start twisting her head around and sometimes topple over. Sometimes its only for a brief period of time. Sometimes it'll last a good five minutes or so. Today, I let her go outside for a while under my supervision and away from the other chickens and she seemed fine. She was out there doing her thing like there was nothing wrong. If I pick her up though she immediately goes into severe head twisting. It appears that the stress of being picked up brings on the symptom. There have a been a couple of times that I have been forced to administer fluids and Medacam directly into crop with syringe when her symptoms were severe. I have some experience working with syringe as I have finches and over the years I have had to learn how to do that. When I do, she exhibits severe symptoms so I only do when necessary. Anyway, sorry for long post but I wanted to make sure I didn't leave anything important out. Thanks all of you in the chicken community for any help or information you may be able to provide. Rich.
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Welcome to BYC. Sorry about your chicken. Wry neck can be a symptom of vitamin deficiency, heredity, head injury, and any disease that can cause brain inflammation such as Mareks, avian leukosis, Newcastles, and severe or advanced respiratory diseases. Sometimes chickens never recover from wry neck, but vitamins, selenium, keeping stimulation and noise to a minimum, and help with eating, are all I know to do for it. If she does not recover, I would try to get a necropsy performed by your state vet to rule out diseases. Mareks does not always cause eye problems or paralysis. Avian leukosis can look similar to Mareks, without paralysis. I hope that eventually she will recover, but sometimes it takes weeks.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2015

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