Neck Brace for a Hen?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Tigen14, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. Tigen14

    Tigen14 New Egg

    Feb 8, 2017
    Hi All,

    I am new to BYC but have had my ladies for a year now (started as chicks). In late October one of my EE bantams, Ariel, was missing at bedtime, all that could be found was a large pile of feathers and we thought she had been taken by the hawk that had been casing the place. The next day we found her, barely alive, with enormous tears in her neck and back. We made her as comfortable as we could in a lined shoebox in one of our warmer bathrooms, and I read all of the posts here on BYC regarding helping them after a predator attack.

    I used a tiny portions of baby aspirin, partial portions of a general antibiotic we had been prescribed for a dog's kennel cough and crushed them up with some water and soluble feed. I flushed the wounds with Hydrogen Peroxide and filled them with anitbiotic gel and just tried to make her last hours comfortable.
    Well, she just kept trucking on, and each day I would feed her by syringe a few times a day and then she began to eat and drink on her own. Remarkably, her wounds healed very quickly but she had serious damage to the right side of her neck and so she struggled to stand and eat, eventually she would just sort of sit/stand and eat. She was rail thin but she lived and eventually began to gain weight.

    It is now mid-March and she has not only recovered most of her weight but she began to lay eggs again in February! She only lays an egg about every 5 days or so but lay she does! She lives at night in a large bird cage I bought off Craig's list and during the day she sits by a large mirror or stumbles over to sit near my feet as I work (I'm a home based employee).

    My question is related to her very damaged neck. She looks rather like an avian version of Quasimodo, with a neck that is sunken and bent severely to the left. I can manipulate it back to center, and try to gently do so a couple of times per day, but it appears that the tendon on the right side of the neck may have been permanently damaged. She has a hard time keeping her balance and when she walks, she travels rapidly around in left-directed circles, rather like a a whirling dervish, but she does eventually make her way to her destination. I cannot let her outside with the others as I am sure they would pick on her but I know she is lonely for friends and while I do bring the roo in at night (He crows at 4 in the morning and the nieghbor's were gathering pitchforks and torches!) which keeps her some company, I know she would be happier outside during daylight hours.

    I want to get her neck straightened out as much as possible so she can at least, literally, stand up for herself. I was hoping someone had created some type of neck brace that might have helped some of the other neck issues I have read here which may be hereditary or associated with lack of vitamins.
    I am trying one of the No-Crow collars but it is a bit too wide for her due to her naturally diminutive size and breed-specific, shorter neck. I can and will fashion one but rather than starting from scratch, thought I would employ the considerable group-brain cleverness I so often see displayed here.

    My five year old daughter is particularly attached to this little princess, so any and all advice to make our little Ariel's life a bit "straighter" would be very welcome and much appreciated!

    Thank you!
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Flock Master

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Hi [​IMG] Welcome To BYC

    It's wonderful to read about your dedication and care of your hen!

    I don't know if it would work, but you could try making a brace out of foam - like the kind you wrap around plumbing pipes. There's some photos on the link below where people have made some for chickens that have Wry Neck.

    I know that her neck is crooked from injury, but if you haven't done so, you may want to add some Vitamin E and Selenium to her diet. This may be beneficial in helping with her neck. Selenium can be found in eggs and Vitamin E is in Poultry Nutri-Drench or can be found in foods like fresh greens.

    We would love to see your hen and if you do make a neck brace for her we would love to see that as well. Your information and photos will be helpful to others.

    Keep us posted. (photos start at Post#45)

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