please help: head shaking and head drifting and listless

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Conrad Schweizerhof, Sep 23, 2017.

  1. Conrad Schweizerhof

    Conrad Schweizerhof Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 23, 2017
    Hi, I am new here (and the whole raising chickens thing) and im wondering what is wrong with a chicken of mine. I had 5 born about 16 weeks ago give or take a couple of weeks. This one has always been the runt and little one, and often looks "stoned". but for the most everything has been normal overall.
    Then a few days ago she started becoming more listless and lethargic and was like pecking at food and missing it, so I brought her inside for a day and made sure she ate and drank and she perked back up so I put her back out in the barn with the others (I know she can still see cause when she was feeling better she could do everything normally including fly up onto me), but yesterday I noticed she wasnt doing well again so I brought her inside and she was sleeping on me, or trying to, but her head kept drifting off different directions and then jerk back, besides that shes also shaking her head a lot and like bites at her neck too it seems like. she also seems pretty uncordinated and stumbles a bit. Her breathing seems a little bit weezy at times but not very bad I dont think.
    I've tried checking for mites and stuff and havent noticed anything, but I also probably dont know what im looking for very well.
    There are older chickens there too, but its a closed population with no contact with the outside world so I dont know how disease would get in.
    I've uploaded a video of the head drifting, the head shaking just looks like a dog shaking their head.


    I uploaded another video with the shaking
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2017
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  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Hi @Conrad Schweizerhof :frow Welcome To BYC

    What does her poop look like?
    What type of food/treats do you feed?
    Are you noticing any discharge from the eyes (are her eyes slightly swollen) or mucous from the nostrils?

    It seems like she is breathing a bit heavy to me. With your mentioning she was pecking at food and missing it, she may have something like Marek's and be having trouble seeing well. In the 1st part of the video she looks like she is preening, but being off balance is not usually normal. Check her ears to make sure there are not ear mites, debris, discharge/infection. Here's some good photos of check for external parasites http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/08/poultry-lice-and-mites-identification.html

    Do your best to keep her drinking, offer some poultry vitamins in her water and see that she is eating her chick starter.

    Keep us posted.
     
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  3. Conrad Schweizerhof

    Conrad Schweizerhof Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 23, 2017
    Thanks @Wyorp Rock

    Her poop is mostly white mixed with like darkish green and occasionally some brown
    She used to be on medicated chick starter but now she is just on regular purina layer crumble stuff, dont really get any treats.
    not really noticing any discharge from the eyes or nostrils, heres a close up pic
    21624241_10155033576073652_1708605395_n.jpg

    shes actually been drinking pretty well this morning, and I just got home from picking up some vitamins for her that I will start her on.

    I will try to figure out how to check her ears, kinda new to this still

    thank you for responding
     
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  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    You may want to feed her chick starter or an all flock type feed. The layer may not have enough protein - you could also offer extra protein by giving some chopped egg or tuna as well.

    Green poop can be an indication of not eating well/not absorbing nutrients, infection, disease and sometime worms or Coccidiosis. If you have a vet that can perform a fecal float to rule out internal parasites and Coccidiosis that would be a good idea.
    Photo taken from http://www.fresheggsdaily.com/2016/09/do-you-hear-what-i-hear-all-about.html The ear is behind that little tuft of feathers - gently part them and you should see the ear canal - look in there to see if she has anything in them.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Conrad Schweizerhof

    Conrad Schweizerhof Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 23, 2017
    @Wyorp Rock
    I looked around on her body and didnt see signs of anything, and I checked her ears they seemed mostly normal as far as i could tell. A little bit of gunk it kinda looked like on the right side but not much
    21942122_10155033605988652_1017365156_n.jpg
     
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  6. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Is the other one clear - it should look like a "hole" with no "gunk".

    She most likely has an infection - having a vet clear it is best. You can try putting a couple of drops of Hydrogen Peroxide just on the gunk to see if it will help bubble it out, then wipe it clear. Sometimes you may need antibiotics to help clear the infection as well.
     
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  7. Conrad Schweizerhof

    Conrad Schweizerhof Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 23, 2017
    I don't have a vet to take her to at the moment unfortunately :( I might be able to find someone Monday or something.

    I read about people cleaning out their chickens ears with hydrogen peroxide and Q-tips, how do I do that with a chicken so small?

    She seems to be doing a little bit of less of the usual had shaking but instead she's like dropping her head to the ground and then like backing up well shaking her head
    @Wyorp Rock
     
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  8. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Do you have a helper?

    You can gently swaddle her in a towel so her wings and legs are captured. Just leave her head sticking out so you can work on the ears. Drop a couple of drops of Peroxide in the ear, let it bubble, then gently wipe out what comes up. Repeat on the other side if there is any infection in that one. Don't press or hold her too tightly, you want her to breath well and not be under too much stress.

    Provide her with poultry vitamins ( like Poultry Nutri-Drench) along with chick starter and keep a watch on her. The head dropping is a bit concerning, but could be from the clogged up ear.
     
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  9. Conrad Schweizerhof

    Conrad Schweizerhof Out Of The Brooder

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    I wrapped her up in an old t-shirt and did it earlier this afternoon before I left for work , it's awkward but doable by yourself and she isn't fighting very much seems like she's always trying to sleep, I'm not sure how well I got it in there though I will try it again when I get home from work in a couple of hours, makes me sad when she cries out when it goes in her ear.
    I got nutri-drench and another like granule based one this morning and I got some of that in her before I left for work today to as well as some amoxicillin that I have that I mixed with some water and got in her mouth with an eyedropper
    When she puts her head down she often ends up running backwards while shaking her head like she's trying to get away from something
     
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  10. Conrad Schweizerhof

    Conrad Schweizerhof Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 23, 2017
    I will get some chick starter tomorrow morning
     

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