Let's talk Wry Neck/Crook Neck

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Shared Acres, Oct 15, 2008.

  1. Leo1

    Leo1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2011
    Saco, Maine
    I have an 9 day old Brahma that seems to have wry neck, she's now 12 days. She seemed to be having seizures as well.
    Here's what I did, since I didn't know the cause I sort of through the book at her.
    They were on a very high quality food and had vitamins in their water, so I assumed it wasn't a straightforward deficiency. In case it was a malabsorption problem causing a vitamin deficiency I gave her digestive enzymes.
    I gave her vitamin E (a couple drops from a gel cap) and B complex( 1/4 of a capsule) in addition to the vitamins in the water,
    Garlic and astragalus in case she had an infection,
    Skullcap (a very tiny amount) which is good for neurological problems as well as calcaria carbonica ( homeopathic you can get at a health food store, dissolve ten to twenty of the tabs in about 1 Tbsp of water and then give one drop for a young chick) which can help seizures,
    mixed flax oil into their mash along with yogurt ( Omegas in the flax seed are good for neurological health and the yogurt for the probiotics to help with digestion),
    Bach's rescue remedy to help reduce her stress,
    finally lots of good food including my girl's organic eggs
    It wouldn't hurt to add glucosamine to the mix as well in case there's any injury to the connective tissue.
    It's still early, but she seems to be doing well and fingers crossed will continue to get better. I just gave them all some egg and she was playing keep away with the rest of them[​IMG]
  2. gaiamethod

    gaiamethod Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 26, 2012
    Luxor, Egypt
    I have noticed the same thing with my chickens who develop wry-neck. I live in Egypt where people don't generally watch their chickens so don't notice if they wry-neck or not. If they do they eat it!!! But I have my own chickens, a mixture of traditional Egyptian breeds and different ages. We bought four new hens and they were extremely nervous. One of them developed wry-neck within days so I took her up to our flat and fed her alone. She didn't stop eating and drinking for 3/4 of an hour!!! After this she was fine and has not had it since. I noticed this morning that another one of the hens was not being allowed near the food and then I saw that that she was twisting her neck under. I managed to catch her (I've only recently taken over my Egyptian mother-in-law's hens) and take her upstairs to the other twelve 4-week old chicks. But I noticed each time that when they were extremely stressed that their condition became worse. When they were relaxed the twisting was not so bad. To me it seemed like an extreme reaction to stress and not getting enough to eat. Definitely central nervous issues and I so wish my network chiropractor lived here in Luxor!!!
  3. SaidBlacksmith

    SaidBlacksmith Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 16, 2011
    I know this is a long post and I might post it in a few forums to see what I can find out for our poor Shrimpie... Any help or reference from this great community will be much, much appreciated!

    I've recently adopted a Barred Rock Hen that is 14 months old and has what I'm guessing to be wry neck from some sort of injury or an ear infection. She went to a vet and he treated her for an ear infection, but that was months ago and she's still not 'normal' and her first (other) mom didn't think the antibiotics did much. There's a possibility that she is blind in one eye, but I think the main issue is that she has wry neck and some sort of malnutrition. I'm ok with the wry neck if she's normal otherwise, but I don't think she is and I just want to know if there's anything else I could be doing.... no one here seem to have stories of wry neck chickens that were older....

    She is able to eat and drink on her own, but seems to have a low appetite, and is very very underweight. She's isolated in what I like to call her 'playpen' during the day, with a young crested polish who I hope will become less annoying and more of a buddy, and they both sleep in a large rubbermaid tub inside during the night (has food and water and pine shavings). Neither her original flock nor my flock will accept her without some serious bullying and she isn't able to defend herself, and ends up bloody and bruised. I'm prepared to build her a new coop and pen and ****WILL **NOT** CULL HER**** until it is the only humane thing left to do.

    Here are my questions/concerns and I'd be willing to pay a vet for a phone consultation who understands wry neck related to injury/ infection (if anyone out there can recommend some one... I'd be grateful.)

    Shrimp seems to be underweight and malnourished, despite having access to (Countryside Organic) layer mash 24-7 for her entire 14 months. Her crop is usually small and rather hard at the end of the day, but is gone in the morning so I feel like it's not impacted, but it's never as full as any of my other birds. Think a big ping pong ball size instead of closer to a tennis ball size. The polish also has a small crop, and doesn't have a good eating technique... She just seems to smash her face into the food and spread it around instead of actually eating it.... another thread... but it affects Shrimp's food source so I thought I'd mention it. Shrimp can easily eat, though. It's a tractor. That food is just on the ground and I've seen her eat it, plus the water is hanging at a height just for her.

    Shrimp's legs are almost white. I'm not sure if they were this way when she came but I've noticed it more as I'm investigating her condition. I'm looking for selenium to help her vitamin absorption, but can't find it immediately, despite being in Atlanta proper. She also will turn almost white if I sit her in my lap. Her face and comb will get a level of pale that is astonishing. As soon as I sit her on the floor she returns to normal in a matter of 20-30 seconds. I'm guessing this is stress related, much like the crazy head twisting, which actually doesn't happen as much as it did when she first came, and doesn't happen when she's in my lap. Her breast bone pokes out way more than my other birds.

    She's laying but her eggs are lighter than my other barred rocks and they seem to have thinner shells, they also fry up different, with lighter yolks and they seem to be missing an inner piece of membrane. I'll post of picture if someone thinks it is relevant.
    Is it even ok for us to be eating her eggs? They're skinny and lighter in color than the other Barred Rock Hen.

    Tonight (after two days of vitamin treatment) she had little tiny poos that looked normal (with the white parts,) they were just smaller than a normal chicken poo. I've been suspecting that one of the two had runny, mushy poo, but they were both acting normal and were both walking on it all in the tractor. She didn't lay today, but no one did as there was a lot of smoky activity in the neighborhood (memorial day weekend) Should I move the tractor more than every four days? It's 5x5 and primarily in the shade most of the day, and they have a shade cover for when it's not.

    So currently, in accompaniment with the treats I'm giving her- yogurt, Keifer, apple, scratch, Brussels sprouts, raw garlic, blueberries, snap peas, grapes etc....

    I'm giving her a crushed tablet of the Vitamin B complex from Kroger (50 mg of B1, 50mg of B2, 50mg of B6, 50mg of B12) and 400 I.U. of Vitamin E.

    I crush the tablet and then dip a Blueberry pinched in half in it and feed it to her. I do this over and over until the tablet powder is gone and then start on the Vitamin E, which I cut a hole in the end of the vitamin capsule and squirt it on the blueberry, which she really doesn't mind because it doesn't have any flavor. It's easier than stressing both of us out and me trying to force something down her throat that she doesn't want.
    I'm positive that she's not getting the entire dose, (some ends up on my fingers, the plate, etc.) so I over shot it the first few days, but then I tapered off because I know that Vitamin E is fat soluble and she doesn't have a lot of fat or stuff going through her system, and I can't find Selenium. So one tablet of each, whatever I can get in her, until I understand more of what I"m doing and I find all of the right supplements.

    Will this help?? if her Wry neck is from something other than a vitamin deficiency, will an intense vitamin regimen even help?

    How do I stop the malnutrition and pale legs and get her as healthy as I can?

    Will vitamin treatment help since she was diagnosed so far from when it happened (assuming my diagnosis is correct and there aren't other things involved)

    She seems ok, she doesn't have tons of energy or really flap her wings but she moves around a lot and really wants to be only with me (but not, apparently, in my lap) (I think she might think I'm Maggie, her first mom.) I've even seen her preen a little bit in both directions of her neck. She gets baths every three weeks or so for her dingleberries, which she loves and falls asleep in my hand.

    Thanks in advance for any little bit of advice your awesome community might have to help our little Shrimp.....She's the favorite of two flocks and we'd like to see her pull through....
  4. FrenchToast

    FrenchToast "Draft Apple Ridge" a Bit from Heaven

    Jan 10, 2010
    UP North WI
    I would deworm her if you haven't already. That could be causing the pale skin and being underweight. Valbazen seems to be the dewormer of choice but and Ivermectin would be a good one to start with. The only dewormer labled for chickens.. Wazine only kills round worm. The Ivermectin will kill many more types of worms and will also get rid of any lice or mites that may be causing a blood loss. Valbazen will kill tapeworms as well as several others but will not kill lice or mites.
    Good luck with shrimpie, keep us posted.
  5. SaidBlacksmith

    SaidBlacksmith Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 16, 2011
    I give them raw garlic and pumpkin (or squash) seeds every week/ week and a half, and I put ACV in their water several times a week. I am looking for Avia Charge 2000 localy but will just order it if i can't find it by the end of the week....
    Thanks for the advice, though- How do I check for mites- I look all the time and see nothing, but I'm worried they're too tiny for me to see...
  6. appychick

    appychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 5, 2009
    I would increase protein to at least 20-22% as most layer feeds are ~16%. Possibly you might have some alfalfa plants,alfalfa pellets,quality leafy alfalfa hay,good quality alfalfa based rabbit pellets,calf manna ,ground field peas-check with somebody for ID as one variety not safe for animals,ANYTHING that would be available that would increase her protein that could he made into an edible feedstuff to add to her layer ration. Possibly when you use up that bag of feed,get a bag of feed with higher protein,or even if you could find a small bag of 20 or 22 % chick starter to give her enough of a nutritional boost to allow for healing.....I wish you the best in getting your pal healed.In my experiences-these birds once healed tend to relapse if stresssed so always will need tlc to keep them thriving .Unfortunately If it is a disease instead of nutritional or injury, all the tlc in the world probably won't save her.
  7. SaidBlacksmith

    SaidBlacksmith Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 16, 2011
    Thanks for the replies! I've started her on B Complex and Vitamin E, we finally found Selenium and will start that tonight. Also I read somewhere last night that you can give half a capsule of Fish oil as it is a natural Steriod (in place of Prednisone) so we're starting her on that as well.
    I can tell she's getting some strength back, but she's still white and will loose her color if she's stressed out.
    I"m going to try this treatment for three weeks and I'll check back in-
    Oh! I also increased her Calcium and Protein by adding more yogurt to her diet.

    Has anyone ever heard of a bird recovering from this when an injury is the cause?
  8. SaidBlacksmith

    SaidBlacksmith Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 16, 2011
    Hi everyone- is it ok to eat Shrimp's eggs?? She's been laying pretty steady since we got her and the vitamins seem to be helping and her appetite is up in general-

    But is it safe to eat her eggs??? How about with all of the vitamins in her system (I'm sure that's fine since they're human vitamins but you know- can't hurt to ask!)

    I'm so grateful this resource is here- it has been such a help with all of my birds!!!
    Thank you thank you thank you!!!
  9. SaidBlacksmith

    SaidBlacksmith Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 16, 2011
    Just chiming in to say that the vitamins are helping. I'm not sure what they're helping, exactly, but she's much more active, and is gaining weight steadily. She still doesn't have her color back, but her face doesn't drop out as much. Her neck is still crooked, but she seems to have much more mobility in it. I've seen her preen feathers in both directions.
    I have upped the Vitamin E to 2 x 400 IU pills a night, 1 B complex and 25 mg of Selinium. I added 1000 IU of Fish oil and the smell grossed me out and SHE even stank like it so I stopped for a few days just for my sanity. She seemed to slow down in her recovery for a week or so, but I've added it back and she's holding her head up more now... I have upped the vitamins because it's hard to get her to eat all of the food with vitamins in it.
    I'm going to tell you my method because forcing the crushed vitamins down their throat sounded so harsh- I crush the Selinium and drag pieces of watermelon (I'm lucky they're in season right now) through it and make her eat it so I know she gets the right dose. I them crush the B vitamin and sprinkle it ONTOP of either watermelon, cantalope or blueberries (we tried cherries tonight and she didn't like them) and let her fuss with that until it's primarily gone, but watermelon is watery so there's a lot of juice I can't get her interested in. Then I nip the tip of the two E vitamins and squirt it onto small squares of watermelon and feed her that from my hand. I use two pills becasue a lot of it ends up on my hands or my floor, and I figure she's getting close to a pill full. Then I nip the tip of a 1000 mg Fish Oil pill and squirt it into the leftover vitamin B mixture, and add fresh watermelon and let her eat as much as I can get her to. The vitamin smell seems to freak her out a bit and so it helps to switch up the fruit or veggies- also- once she comes inside for her vitamins I throw a handful of thawed english peas across the kitchen floor (make sure to get the ones with no salt!) and it entertains her until I have the dishes ready, and is a good natural source of B vitamin!

    My flock has also suddenly decided that she's an acceptable member- we had been isolating her until a few days ago when I was adding onto the new tractor for her and had to let them run in the yard to work on it and both her and our little crested Polish seemed to just fit right in... She had a few pecks on her face but they roamed for several hours with no major incident. I'm still leary and will be monitoring them for a few weeks to make sure it's safe but I hope she'll be able to free range in our yard with the rest of the flock. I know she badly wants to just be with everyone else and the polish is already insisting on sleeping in the big coop.

    I'm still not sure if the vitamins are helping a whole lot or if just maybe the added sugar at the end of the night and the TLC is what's helping her out- though she got lots of TLC at her original home, so who knows, but she is showing signs of improvement!

    her eggs are still not normal, I'm not sure how to explain it so I might just post a picture, and maybe even start a thread about it- I just want to make sure they're safe to eat- and give to friends! Any advice towards that would be super helpful....
  10. Frostyand10

    Frostyand10 New Egg

    Jul 9, 2012
    Hi. I hope your chicken made it through it's Crookneck. My 1.2 lb. silkie came down with the symptoms last Saturday. Luckily I had some Metacam, a non-steroid anti-inflammatory left from a surgery she had to fix her scissor beak so I started her back on it immediately without knowing what was wrong with her. I figured it couldn't hurt. Frosty wasn't eating or drinking so I made a slurry from her food and water, loaded a syringe with 1/2 teaspoon of the slurry and force fed her every two hours. I also force-fed her water with a syringe. About 1/2 teaspoon every two hours. Sunday morning I was surprised to see her in her cage alive, but not doing much better. I googled "bantam chicken seizures" and found someone who had a bird with similar symptoms. She has crookneck. My husband ran to the store for me and picked up the Polyvisol kid's vitamins and vitamin E capsules. I gave her 4 drops of the Polyvisol and 1/2 of one capsule of the vitamin E (I pierced the top and squeezed it into her mouth). This morning I was happy to see her eating and drinking on her own already! She isn't tucking her head underneath herself as much and she isn't unstable with her walking. It was so sad to see her go through what appeared to be seizures and look drunk when she walked. Frosty couldn't even stand on her own Saturday or Sunday morning. I will keep up the Polyvisol and vitamin E for at least two more weeks, probably four depending on how she's doing. She will be on the Metacam for at least 10 more days. She goes in to the vet on the 19th to see if the rod to fix her scissor beak can come out. If your chickens ever have scissor beak our vet, who also works at the Cleveland Zoo as one of their vets, tried an experimental surgery on Frosty to fix it. They place a handle bar shaped rod under the skin between the chicken's eyes and beak, then tape the top beak to the rod. It kind of works like the braces we use on our teeth only it's external. She has had the rod for five weeks now and it seems to be working. This is good and our veterinarians are thrilled to see the good results. Our vet is Dr. Ramsey. He employees Dr. Selig who works at the Cleveland Zoo, part time. Dr. Ramsey assisted in the surgery so either he or Dr. Selig would discuss this with your vet if you ever have a chicken with scissor beak. It must be done while they're young and still growing so the bones grow in place. Our vets phone number is 216.261.2649. You can get more info about our vet by visiting our website: www.honeyferlinfoundation.org.
    I hope this helped you! Our vet said the Metacam works as well as the Prednizone and you don't have to worry about weaning them off of it! You can email with questions at: [email protected]

    Here is some more info:

    Treating "Crookneck"
    by Alan Stanford
    Permission to share this is granted as long as you give credit to the Author

    Here is my theory and therapy for what some call "limber neck" and I call crookneck. The symptoms first show as a crook in the neck. It progresses to
    tucking the head, then tucking the head between the legs, then backing up, and tumbling over. It usually hits young birds but can happen at any age.

    It is unclear what causes crookneck. American Silkie Bantam Club members suggest water on the brain, vitamin E deficiency, and injury to the brain that
    is outside the skull and forms the knob on the top of Silkie's heads. The brain injury is the cause I feel fairly certain about.

    Water on the brain was seen in a necropsy of an affected bird. Prednisone was suggested as symptomatic relief. Vitamin E and B complex are both good for neurological disorders. Selenium helps absorb vitamin E.

    Here's what I do for affected birds. If started before symptoms get severe, the bird will totally recover. To give vitamin E - just cut the end off a human capsule and squirt it in the bird's mouth.

    It is important to be sure the bird gets enough to eat and drink while it has this problem. Birds with severe cases of crookneck can't eat and drink enough to survive. You will need to gently place their head in the feed dish and carefully dip just the tip of the beak in water. Be careful not to dip too far into the water and to not stress the bird while trying to help.

    The following is for an adult about 2 pound bird. Scale back for smaller birds.

    For the first week I give

    Twice a day
    2.5 mg of prednisone
    400 IU of vitamin E

    Once a day
    A piece of human vitamin B complex pill or a squirt of human liquid vitamins
    Selenium (50 micrograms/day for half size juvenile for 3 days)

    For the second week I give

    Once a day
    2.5 mg of prednisone
    400 IU of vitamin E
    A piece of human vitamin B complex pill or a squirt of human liquid vitamins

    Every other day
    Selenium (50 micrograms/day for half size juvenile for 3 days)

    For the following weeks I give

    Once a day
    2.5 mg of prednisone
    400 IU of vitamin E
    A piece of human vitamin B complex pill or a squirt of human liquid vitamins

    Every third day
    Selenium (50 micrograms/day for half size juvenile for 3 days)

    Do not abruptly stop prednisone, the swelling rebounds, decrease dose
    Vitamin E recovery can be slow; continue the vitamin E for several weeks at least.

    You can get the prednisone from a vet; just describe the problem of swelling in the brain probably due to injury. Yes Silkies' brains do stick out through a hole on the top of the skull.

    You can get the vitamin E, selenium, and vitamin B complex or liquid vitamins at any pharmacy.
    1 person likes this.

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