Polish Chicken with a brain injury?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chsenoia, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. chsenoia

    chsenoia New Egg

    Mar 29, 2009
    Last night, after letting my Polish bantam hen "Pete" out along with the others for some playtime in the yard, I soon realized something was very wrong. She seemed extremely disoriented, was stumbling around as if drunk, walking backwards, and falling over. All the others were fine. They are about a year old, and have always been extremely active.

    We tried to get Pete to eat, but she wasn't hungry. She did start moving her head along the ground from side to side, and I thought maybe she was trying to get something from the grass, but I later read that this was another sign of head injury in Polish. I also read that head injury was common in them because their skulls are open. At this point I'm really almost certain this is Pete's problem.

    I had read a thread on here about another Polish with the same symptoms. By the time I got to page 7 I tearfully realized the chicken had died. I'm wondering if anybody has had a Polish survive a brain injury?

    Pete is now in a bed by herself. She was very agitated last night, but seems a little less jerky today. She seemed to recognize her name this morning.

    It is hard to watch as she has always been so happy go lucky. That's part of the reason she became a "Hen called Pete". Any ideas on things I can do for her will be very appreciated. I love all of my chickens, but Pete is one of those really special little pets.

  2. gpamela3499

    gpamela3499 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 26, 2009
    Near San Fran Ca
    Oh I am so sorry about your hen! Maybe some one here has some place that you can get more information on the illness in case it happens to your other hens. you might find information on her recovery as well.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2009
  3. FarmerDenise

    FarmerDenise Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 21, 2007
    Sonoma County
    I don't know anything about this, but I would certainly keep the hen in a confined quiet space until you can get more information.
    good luck. Hope she recovers.
  4. chsenoia

    chsenoia New Egg

    Mar 29, 2009

    Pete did eat tonight, a meal of egg yolk. I actually found a site with recommendations for treating head injury, including vitamins and prednisone, and have started Pete on these. She's getting rest in a private cage in the banty house.

    We talked with the manager of petsmart, and he believes their vet may have some ideas, as she treats pet birds, so I'll call tomorrow.

    I am going to be trimming their crests so they can at least see when someone is going to peck them. I don't really care what they look like, just want them healthy and happy.

    Still, if anybody knows of anything I can do, please don't hesitate for suggestions. I really love this little baby!
  5. rjg84

    rjg84 New Egg

    Jul 17, 2012
    what was the site that you found to help. my chicken has the same problem
  6. AmyLM

    AmyLM Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2011
    Buckley washington
    I was worried about similar problems with one of my polish hens. I even tried pulling up her feathers away from her eyes with a hair band thinking maybe she was moving around funny cause her feathers were blocking her vision...

    Unfortunately it was the next day that it dawned on my husband and I what her problem was. Even with her feathers pulled back...she still was very easily startled and was very confused. I picked her up (scaring the you know what out of her in the process) and held her in one hand and tried to poke at both of her eyes... She didn't blink either eye until I actually touched her eye ball.. then she would freak out. She never saw it coming. We used a flashlight and tried to get responses out of her. We think she can see very bright lights and possibly some movement if its against a bright background but not much at all. The other hens kept attacking her and pecking the back of her head open so we had to pull her out of the hen out and put her in with the younger pullets.. but then they started attacking her too. So we pulled her out again and put her in a dog crate with my little black cochin bantam cockriel. They lived together for nearly a month until they were really snugly with each other. Shes now back in with the younger birds (who are just about to start laying) and Rudy Roo really is still her buddy and protects her a lot. She cant manage to get up to the roost (I don't think she even knows its there) and just sleeps on the top of the feeder (covered with a flower pot base). Rudy always sleeps snuggled up next to her. I'm glad that she has a buddy at least but she is most defiantly blind. I have 2 other polish and only one of them seems to have normal vision. Grace is totally blind, Spazy seems to have partial vision... which would explain why she was such a spaz as a chick... hence her name. And Goldie seems fine. My polish were all from the same hatchery... I'm wondering if this is an issue with their line.
  7. Granola Ginger

    Granola Ginger New Egg

    Nov 9, 2012
    I have a bantam polish rooster that has been picked on a few times by different birds in our flock. Unfortunately I think he has sustained a pretty serious head injury. I don't have any prednisone but have tried to treat him with B vitamins, vitamin E, and selenium. So far he is still acting silly- walking around in circles, flopping his neck, etc. We have separated him and he does eat and drink. Does anyone know if a chicken can recover from this?
  8. chiqita

    chiqita Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 29, 2011
    San Jose, Ca
    They can recover, but its not a sure thing. All depends on if the swelling goes down fast enough.
  9. Jokerspore

    Jokerspore New Egg

    Dec 15, 2012
    I have the very same problem with my rooster, i believe he has had a brain injury causing him not be able to stand, walk or really move around, thus i think his days are numbered, i have kept him i'n a confined space, with nice heater, straw, and a lot of nice foods, He eats, drinks, but does not move, he doesn't even crow or chirp anymore, Please Help.
  10. Mickey 201

    Mickey 201 New Egg

    Mar 25, 2014
    Hi my name is Mickey:
    I have a 3 month old black slikie name Larry, last Thursday 3/20 he did a head over heel into his coop, The next morning I notice him shaking his head and acting strange. He is now slow and hangs his head and eats from the side of his beak. He does not peck like the other slikies. He does move his neck and cleans his wings, so I figure its not the neck an it could be brain damage, after reading some of your comments. My question is do they come out of it and what can I do to help him? Is this a brain trauma issue ?

    Thanks Mickey: new be to the chat

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