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new chick with crooked neck...please help!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by bantybev, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. bantybev

    bantybev Songster

    Nov 11, 2009
    SW Michigan
    I ended up helping a chick out of it's shell after watching it's little beak and one leg sticking out half the day, not wanting to interfere if at all possible. I was so afraid I would do the baby some harm, as I am new to chickens and this is my first hatch. Momma hen went broody and I put her with 3 eggs in my sunroom. First chick was hatched on Wednesday (3 days ago) second one on Thursday. I was thinking if this egg didn't hatch by tomorrow I would take it out, as momma hen was spending more and more time off the nest with new babies. This morning I heard the egg chirping, with beak and one little foot out. About 2 hours ago I gave in and helped the little guy out. The membrane inside shell was dry. He seemed a little large for the shell when he, finally came out. Thank heavens for this forum. I read up on helping and got the little guy out.
    Now the little guy's head is on his chest and he can't seem to raise it on his own. He rolls around on his back and flails his legs and ends up doing circles and headstands. [​IMG]
    I don't know what to do. He is active. Will this correct itself, or should I do something for the poor liittle guy? It's heart breaking to see him like this. I have him isolated in my bedroom with a heat lamp. He has pooped once and I got him to sip a little water off of a q-tip. Please tell me he will be fine as soon as he gets his strength and will be able to hold his head up. I am at a loss. I think he was just stuck on that position too long and I hope it's not permenant.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2010

  2. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    I'm sorry that your first experience has a problem. My first was born with this sac outside his body and ultimately died.

    I'm thinking that maybe your eggs were from different days, or maybe this one was just a bit cooler. Anyhow, being a nurse, I sometimes see babies born in positions that are abnormal, such as ankles up by their ears. They do straighten out. I would give the chick some time. I'm hoping that you can feed her and give her water till she improves. I'm going to pm you a name of a member who is real good with orthopedics in chicks. Good luck
  3. bantybev

    bantybev Songster

    Nov 11, 2009
    SW Michigan
    Thanks for the quick reply. It is just so heart wrenching to see the little guy on his/her back or side doing circles with it's head tucked down. I don;t know if I should try to hold it's head in an upright possition...or just let it roll around like a wobbly little ball. SHe is drinking from a dropper and seemed to be very thirsty. Hopefull this is a good sign. Maybe I am just worried sick over nothing and she will get stronger and be able to hold her head up on her own by tomorrow.
    Again, thanks for the fast reply [​IMG]
  4. The Sheriff

    The Sheriff Crowing

    Jun 17, 2009
    Northern CA
    Do a search for "wry neck" and follow the recommendations. Keep us posted. Dang! I just noticed she is offline. I hope the little chick is better.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 9, 2010
  5. Momo

    Momo Songster

    Mar 16, 2008
    Nelson BC
    I wouldn't worry yet ...
  6. Janos&Jen

    Janos&Jen In the Brooder

    Jan 3, 2010
    Spring Hill, FL
    I hope it all works out good!
  7. bantybev

    bantybev Songster

    Nov 11, 2009
    SW Michigan
    Thank you so much for the replies. I love this site...everyone here is so helpful.
    I couldn't reply last night, as I was keeping the little guy in my bedroom and dont have my pc in there, or any computer access. I was afraid to leave him alone for even a short time.

    UPDATE....My "special" baby is doing better than I thought he would be. He is holding his head up on his own now, but it leans more to one side than normal. I spent at least 10 minutes of every hour, up till 3am, gently holding his headupright for him, until he started showing improvement. I also helped him have a sip of water every hour or so because he had no balance whatsoever on his own. His foot on the side he "leans to" is slightly turned in, and the wing on that side is also about 1/3 the size of his other wing. I really think the poor little guy was just too big for the tiny banty egg he hatched from. He is very alert and is attempting to eat and drink on his own this morning. He is still pretty unbalanced and doesn't walk as well as the other two that hatched did by their second day. He sort of runs on tiptoes in a drunkenly fashion [​IMG]
    I seriously think his impairments are all physical, though. He does recognize where the food and water are. He tries to eat and drink on his own now. He is just so unsteady that he falls into them and staggers around, so I am still helping him. He recognizes my voice and comes running/stumbling to me whan I approach his box. I put a stuffed animal in with him and he huddles with it. He is just so adorable!
    My husband thinks I should go ahead and put him back in with his mother and the 2 other chicks now that he can ambulate. I am apprehensive, as he is so unsteady still and feel he needs more care than I would be able to provide, as his moither is not very friendly, especially now that she has babies. I am also a little fearful that she won't accept him back, or will recognize he is "different" and possibly hurt him. I'd like to know what others think about reintroducing him back to his mom and nest mates.

  8. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    If his mother isn't very friendly, then I wouldn't risk putting him back with her. It is a chicken's nature to peck (and kill) the injured.

    ETA: I forgot to add, I'm glad your little guy is doing better. I hope he continues to improve. I too have a chick that I had to help. He tore himself open at the umbilical area when he hatched. I never expected him to make it but he did, and he's now 11 weeks old. He's still behind in development (no tail feathers) and he has some toe problems, but he gets around pretty well. He can get in/out of the coop, but he's not roosting yet, and I don't know that he ever will.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2010
  9. crosbygroup

    crosbygroup Songster


    How is the little one doing now?
  10. bantybev

    bantybev Songster

    Nov 11, 2009
    SW Michigan
    SO sorry for not checking this post for the last several days. I have been so busy.
    I am happy to say, my "special" baby is doing great ! We kept him in our bedroom with a heat lamp in a homemade brooder. Although a little wobbly and uncoordinated, he has control of his head and neck, but tends to lean a little more to the left side. His foot that turned out more than normal has corrected itself quite well. The shorter wing seems to itch him a bit, and I hope that is a good sign that is it trying to grow to catch up with the other one.
    He did seem to be getting a bit lonely. The stuffed animal and a small mirror helped. He spent all his time not eating in front of the mirror and chirping to it.
    The two chicks with the mother are also doning great. We debated on trying to introduce the little guy back to momma and his siblings (at night, as I had read that would be the only possible way she might accept him ). Momma chicken has a little rough with the two babies she already had, stepping on them and pushing them out of the way to eat their food. I have only had her since the first of November and she was never handled. After great thought, and lots of reading we decided to add the two siblings to the brooder with the "special" baby and place the mother hen back with her sister and the roo. It was a hard decision, as I feel so bad for the momma. We planned on adding to our original trio to build a nice size backyard flock and would love for the newest members to be friendly and handleable. I still feel bad taking the babies from mamma.
    We added the two siblings this morning to the little guy in the brooder and they are all doing very well. They are both a little bigger, but no picking on each other. They all seem pretty happy together, and all love the mirror...lol Momma hen seems no worse for the experiance and I gave her lots of extra treats today and appologized to her several times.
    The only thing I am worried about now is the two chicks that spent a week with momma are eating non stop. Their little crops are quite full and I am wondering if they will overeat? They only came out of the nest a few times a day while with their mother and had to eat fast to get their fill before momma took them back inside the nest area. Will they slow down, or can they get impacted crops on chickstarter?
    I am loving my new babies. Perhaps, as a new chick mom, I worry too much.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2010

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