Maybe it's Botulism? *UPDATED - I think she's feeling better!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Country Gal, Sep 19, 2007.

  1. Country Gal

    Country Gal Chillin' With My Peeps

    334
    0
    149
    Feb 2, 2007
    Capac, MI
    Yesterday when I went into the coop to let my chickens out to free range for the evening, one of my SLW hens was crouched down in the middle of the coop twisting her neck back and forth in weird positions. I picked her up, noticed that she had been pecked by her tail, then I put her back down to see what she would do. After a couple seconds, she perked up and went free ranging with the others.

    When I went to "tuck them in" for the night, I noticed that she was not up on the roost with the others. This morning, she was hiding underneath the next boxes.

    When I got home from work today, it's the same situation. I isolated her from the rest of the flock. I have her in a dog crate with food and water. After a few minutes, she did finally start eating and drinking. I noticed that her earlobes seem a little dry.

    I've read several of the posts about twisted necks and botulism - do you think that's what this is?

    Should I do anything else at this point aside from getting her some Vit E/Selenium and trying to feed her some higher protein foods like dry cat food?

    Please help!
    Thanks,
    Kelly
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2007
  2. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Wow Kelly, I dont know. I hope someone comes on SOON to help ya with that one. Whats her poo look like? Is she eating and drinking? Check her for mites! Thats about all I can help ya with. Maybe she has mites, and they are in her ears?? I hope she makes a full recovery soon...but watch the others as well!
     
  3. tiffanyh

    tiffanyh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2007
    Connecticut
    Ive read if it IS botulism, you are supposed to give them laxatives I believe. My girlfriend and her husband had similiar symptoms in one of their birds and did that...it worked.

    I hope someone has more info for you.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2007
  4. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    4,871
    23
    251
    Jan 11, 2007
    toxicities (from a poisonous plant or mycotoxins (fungus in feed or such) etc) will often be involved with this symptom, however botulism usually produces a limber neck (head hanging forward)...
    separate her to better monitor her and help with drinking and such which is often hampered (the bird will die quicker of dehydration complications than that which ails it)...
     
  5. Country Gal

    Country Gal Chillin' With My Peeps

    334
    0
    149
    Feb 2, 2007
    Capac, MI
    Well, I definitely wouldn't consider her head hanging "forward." It is more like she is turning it around to face the same direction her tail is, and sometimes it almost looks upside down. It's the weirdest thing!

    She is eating and drinking. I haven't had a chance to check her droppings yet. I had to go to the city after I isolated her, and it was dark when I got home. I'll definitely check tomorrow.

    How do I check for mites?

    I'll try calling my vet tomorrow as well and see if they take chickens as patients...

    Thanks for the responses!
     
  6. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Night time is the best time to check for lice and mites.....get a flashlight, and shine it on her bum....if she has em, you will see them scampering around her vent area. Also....check under her wings. Good luck, and let us know how she is doing!
     
  7. Queen of the Lilliputians

    Queen of the Lilliputians Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2007
    Maine
    Hmm... I hope you find the answer to this!

    I had a hen do something similar. I looked out the window at the group free ranging, and she was just standing there, moving her head like she was dancing. I brought her inside, and she spent a few hours convulsing her neck strangely, moving her head around and around. She wasn't holding her head centered on her neck.. more off to one side and at an angle. I was quite worried. The only thing I could think was that my Clara ate something she couldn't immediately get down. She pecked a bit at some treats I gave her, and that was about it. I thought we were in for surgery-or-cull, but in the morning she was perfectly fine. Not a problem since.

    Not sure if that's what you are dealing with, but wanted to share in case that might be going on. Good luck and I hope your hen pulls through ok.

    -Meghan
     
  8. Country Gal

    Country Gal Chillin' With My Peeps

    334
    0
    149
    Feb 2, 2007
    Capac, MI
    Ug. I checked on her this morning and she's still kind of crouched down with her neck twisting all over. I filled her food dish (she knocked it over at some point during the night).

    I read on one of those "poultry diseases" sites this morning to try putting Epsom salt in her water (for Botulism)? So I'm going to give that a try when I get home from work, along with the Vit E/Selenium. I'm going on the assumption right now that she has Botulism - though I have no idea what she would've gotten into that the rest of the flock didn't.

    The tough part now is that my DF and I are leaving next Wednesday for Tennessee to get married. We're going to be gone for 6 days. I'm going to have to find someone to take her for that period of time and take care of her. I have one farmer-type friend in mind, but if he says no, I'm kinda screwed.

    Any additional tips are appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Kelly
     
  9. robin416

    robin416 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2007
    Bring her with you, there's enough of us down here that someone could take her in and you would have a chance to keep an eye on her.

    I would be willing, she'd be here in the same room as my computer. I just got done doing a thorough cleaning after the last residents left. But that's just not the condition this room should be in. It should have feathers, feed on the floor and a talking bird in here.
     
  10. Country Gal

    Country Gal Chillin' With My Peeps

    334
    0
    149
    Feb 2, 2007
    Capac, MI
    Thanks for the offer Robin! [​IMG]

    Trust me, if taking her to TN with us was even an option, I'd do it in a heartbeat and probably just end up keeping her in the cabin with us! However, we don't have large vehicles and between our luggage, wedding dress, his suit, and our hiking gear, the car is pretty full - definitely no additional room for the crate that she's in. (And DF absolutely refuses to drive any length of time with chickens in the car - I've already tried talking him into making a stop or two on the way home to buy some additional hens) [​IMG]

    In the mean time, I did manage to find a back up hen-sitter if my first option doesn't work out...
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by