Rooster neck injury

Zach123

Songster
7 Years
Mar 10, 2012
142
137
151
Platteville, CO
Hey all, I have a rooster about 6 months old that got a neck injury last night. I don’t know if he fell off the perch or what but he definitely got hurt somehow. He won’t hold his head up straight and when he tries to walk he just ends up twisting his head around and flailing around all over the place. He seemed to stand okay for a little bit this morning but really won’t be still for very long. I’m doing my best to keep him immobilized by wrapping him in a towel and blanket but once he decides he’s tired of sitting he tries to get up and walk around and He’s going to end up hurting himself so he can’t be left alone for very long but I can’t stay home from work indefinitely.

He is 100% alert and alive, drinks just fine and gobbled up his breakfast in short order so I’m not ready to give up on him yet. Any suggestions on what to do would be greatly appreciated.
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
Apr 9, 2016
12,115
15,074
762
California's Redwood Coast
Sounds like possible torticollis aka wry neck... a vitamin deficiency. But to rule out injury, try getting a good look at him and feel for any swelling or extra hot places that indicate the body trying to make a repair. Third possible suspect to rule out might be Marek's.

What breed is he and what do you feed including treats and supplements? Did you have to treat for coccidiosis when young? Have you ever had a fecal float done for internal parasite load or are you able to now?

Hope he recovers quickly! :fl

ETA: https://www.raising-happy-chickens.com/wry-neck.html

http://www.poultrydvm.com/condition/wry-neck
 

Zach123

Songster
7 Years
Mar 10, 2012
142
137
151
Platteville, CO
He seemed to respond well to me massaging his neck and it seemed a little swollen, but as I don’t generally get the opportunity to feel their necks, I could be wrong.

I suspect wry neck as well. I think he fell off where he was sleeping last night. I heard a commotion in the coop after I had put them to bed and when I went in to check on them he was in the corner with his head cocked and seemed kind of “dazed and confused”. So my big question is did the fall cause the “injury” or did the “injury” cause the fall. Since I didn’t witness it, I might never know.

He eats the same feed as all the others, a normal, commercial chicken feed. I usually put out both a layer feed as well as a little higher protein, less calcium feed like meat bird for them as well. They were getting scratch grains for a while but quit buying it a few weeks ago so as to emphasize them eating their regular feed. They are also free range so he gets whatever he finds.

He’s definitely the low man on the totem pole. Not just the low ranking rooster, but even the hens sometimes give him a hard time so he doesn’t get to eat with everyone else, he stands off on the sidelines until everyone else is done. I try to give him his own pile of food during feeding time. He very well could be nutrient deficient if he’s not eating enough.

I did end up bringing him to the vet. If it is a neck/head injury that is something well outside the realm of care I am able to provide. But as I was putting him in the cat carrier he made some normal chicken noises (rather than what I can only assume were shrieks of pain he was making earlier) and took a few steps without flailing all over the place. His head was still sideways but wasn’t twisting in an awful convulsion like when he tried to walk before.
 

Zach123

Songster
7 Years
Mar 10, 2012
142
137
151
Platteville, CO
Got a call back from the vet, he said no sign of trauma so he said the options were:

Newcastle’s disease which he said would be very rare unless he was living with birds that had come from places like Latin America (he’s not). So far, I haven’t noticed any signs of respiratory issues in the flock either but he did say to check just in case.

A virulent influenza strain which he said was somewhat unlikely as he hasn’t heard of any break outs in Colorado in a few years, but still possible.

An ear infection. I’m hoping it’s this because that’s just a round of antibiotics and it should clear up.

He said he didn’t seem as if he was malnourished, but to me it could be because he hate like crazy this morning. I don’t know as he typically gets unfettered access to food like he did when he was in the house today.

He said since he was vaccinated against Mareks that it wouldn’t be that.

The vets professional prognosis was that this guys has less than a 50/50 chance of surviving, from what he said, mostly because he’s concerned about him regurgitating on and asphyxiating on his food and water.

I’m not going to give up on him that easily and going with a round of antibiotics as well as continuing to give him food and chick starter (electrolytes + vitamins and minerals). in his water. Is there any particular nutrients I should be looking for (from research it looks like Vit. E and B). Do they usually sell specific supplements at places like Tractor Supply?
 
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Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium member
8 Years
Apr 3, 2011
48,612
37,937
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southern Ohio
I would give him 400 IU of vitamin E daily, along with some thiamine (B1) which can be from a poultry vitamin or vitamin B complex. Selenium in a small amount is good, but can be given in a food, such as a small amount of cooked egg, tuna, or sunflower seed. Too much is not good, so a supplement is not necessary. As said previously wry neck can be from head or neck trauma, vitamin E or thiamine deficiency, or diseases such as Mareks. It is good that he was vaccinated, so that is a little less likely. It can take days or weeks for wry neck symptoms to go away.
 

Zach123

Songster
7 Years
Mar 10, 2012
142
137
151
Platteville, CO
Thanks Eggcessive, I appreciate the help. Weird new development...

I brought him home from the vet this evening after work... When he is outside in the “yard” he acts fairly normal. He keeps his head cocked slightly but otherwise walks and runs around, stretches his wings, eats, drinks, preens himself and clucks. Basically like a normal chicken with almost no issues. Once it started to get dark, and he was going in the coop, he started acting all weird again, twisting his head around, falling over flailing around. It’s like he is trying waaaay to hard to see what’s going on up above him, but seemingly only whenever he’s indoors.
 

Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium member
8 Years
Apr 3, 2011
48,612
37,937
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southern Ohio
Wry neck can be really strange, different in every chicken. I have a rooster who has been curling his neck under when he is on the roost at night, and sometimes when he is outside during the day sleeping. The other 70% of his day, he runs around, free ranges, hangs out with his hen, runs across the lawn to chase her down. He gets a balanced diet, extra vitamin E and B vitamins.
 

Zach123

Songster
7 Years
Mar 10, 2012
142
137
151
Platteville, CO
Thanks again. All the supplement I could find at Tractor was something called “rooster booster” seems like a multivitamin for chickens. I also have him running on the chick booster that has some vitamins in it as well.
 

Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium member
8 Years
Apr 3, 2011
48,612
37,937
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southern Ohio
Poultry Cell and Poultry NutriDrench tonics both have the E, B1 thiamine, and the selenium needed. But it doesn’t have as much E that is necessary. You can use a human vitamin E capsule 400 IU and open it onto food. Also foods such as chipped almonds, sunflower seeds, tuna, and broccoli are some food sources that are high in E.
 
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