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My beautiful Frack is sick/injured? Can't hold head up. Update: Happy ending to this story!!!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Sjisty, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

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    Frack is a dark Brahma hen, about 8 or so years old. She has been my friend since the day she hatched. She is housebroken and comes inside to lay her eggs, although in recent years she has only been laying occasionally. She still comes inside every day to visit and for a treat, as she did yesterday. I saw nothing to make me think she was sick.

    This morning when I opened the coop doors, Frack did not come running out. She was in her corner (she always sleeps on the floor, being too big/lazy to jump to the roosts). Her head was hanging down. I picked her up and put her in the middle of the coop. She staggered a step or two, but then wouldn't try to walk. Her weight is fine and she has no symptoms except for her head drooping. She can't seem to hold it up.

    I'm not sure what to do. Any suggestions?
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013
  2. AshP

    AshP Out Of The Brooder

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    Firstly, Sorry to hear your friend is not well.

    A hen this age would be a lot less susceptible to some of the broad range of diseases compared to one much younger but does make it more susceptible to some others. Its hard to say its probably this or probably that as I could with a younger bird it would be best to be conclusive and have some tests done so your able to treat immediately.

    Are the droppings completely normal?

    Best of luck.
    AP
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013
  3. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She is a beauty,and 8 wow. Keep her inside so you can monitor her,there is no point in guessing what could be wrong until you see other symptoms or she does not improve. Could be a natural decline due to her age or perhaps she injured herself in some way. Will she eat/drink?
     
  4. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

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    She is inside now. She is interested in food but doesn't have control of her neck so isn't eating. In a while I will dribble some moistened food in her mouth to keep her strength up. She is close to 12 pounds, so is not in danger of wasting away any time soon. I did help her with some water with electrolytes earlier. Her eyes are bright and she doesn't seem to be sick or in pain. Years ago, my light Brahma, Rocky, had something similar. His neck was like wet spaghetti for three days but he recovered fully and is now also around 8 years old, but he was much younger, probably around 2, when he had this. I hope Frack at her age is also able to recover, if it's the same thing.
     
  5. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm not sure, buts its possible that she has Botulism. Botulism causes a limp neck, lack of coordination, and trouble walking. It often comes on suddenly. However, your bird doesn't seem to fit all of the symptoms. Still, you could try treating her for it. You need to give her a flush to drive the poison out of her body. A molasses flush is best. You can make it with four tablespoons of molasses to one quart of water. Give it for no more than twenty four hours. Get her to drink as much as possible.

    She might not have Botulism, but its a possiblity.
     
    Abriana likes this.
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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  7. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

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    Well, it's evening now and Frack is still in the kitchen. She is pooping a little, and it's runnier than usual. I have been dribbling water with electrolytes in her mouth every couple of hours. I also put some moistened food in her mouth a few times and she is eating it. Her eyes are bright, she's not sneezing. She's also not walking much and the head is staying down, although at one point she was preening. She is a strong girl and I'm hoping she will get through this, even though she is getting "up there" in years.
     
  8. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

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    Frack made it through the night with no change in her condition. She ate some scrambled egg, with help from me as she cannot lift her head, but swallowed well when I put bites in her mouth. She is otherwise strong and I've got my fingers crossed. Getting water down her throat without aspirating is a challenge, but I am soaking bits of bread and she is eating those.

    About 6 or so years ago, my rooster, Rocky, had these same symptoms. He recovered by the third day, so I'm hoping the same for Frack.
     
  9. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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  10. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

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    There seems to be a bit of an improvement. Twice today I saw her lift her head up normally, just for a few seconds, but she did it! She had a little egg this morning for added protein and some watermelon a couple of times throughout the day to help with hydration as it is difficult to get a decent amount of water down her throat without her aspirating it. At one point today she was trying to eat by herself, but gave up after just a few tries. I am spoon feeding her moistened crumbles and bread soaked in water, again to try to keep her hydrated. She hasn't moved her bowels since this morning though. I hope there's not a blockage there. Fingers crossed!
     

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