Rooster suddenly has bent neck- broken neck? Sickness? Please advise...

One Chick Two

Jun 13, 2013
Yesterday we noticed one of our P RIR free-range roosters, Brownie, standing around, and bending his neck strangely. (Ignore bald spots- he's molting.)
We don't believe his neck is broken, but, it is very bent at an odd angle, and he does not want to straighten it, although he can move his head on his own, occasionally somewhat up and down, and a bit side to side. Maybe a sprain, or dislocated vertebrae?

It seems like there's a bulge at the bend area, possibly. He doesn't like it when we touch him on the bent area.

He has the desire to eat and drink, but prefers to not lift his head. He eats delicately, and has been slumbering on and off. I have helped him lift his head when eating or drinking, but he returns it back to this downward position. His crop is soft with a little food in it, and some liquid. His poo looks runny (it has been hot here), and is mostly whitish. It's definitely off I think.

Could this be Cocci, wry neck/ crook neck, a fracture or sprain or something else? Is there anything we can do for him? Please advice.

Here he wason the roost some time ago.

He's a sweet, charming little guy, who gives hugs, so it would be a shame to have to put him down if we don't need to.

I think he's too old for wry neck. But it does look neuro to me. How old is he?

He turned one year, June 8th.
Also, no problems with him standing, roosting, or walking a few steps. He will pull his head away if I lift his head up. Also, his eyes seem clear, and normal, not affected.
Wry neck is a general term for neurological symptoms that can include torticolis or twisted neck, and walking in circles or backward. The neck can be flexed forward, down, or to the side. Young chicks may get it from a vitamin deficiency at hatch or shorty after, but older chickens get it commonly from head injuries, certain diseases that cause brain inflammation, and also from a vitamin deficiency. Most people will treat with decreased stimulation and noise which seem to increase symptoms, and give vitamins--thiamine, vitamin E, and selenium. Poultry Nutri-Drench and Poultry Cell vitamins contains all of those, or you dose them separately. PolyVisol without iron 3 drops daily sometimes is used, but selenium has to be given separately or in foods such as eggs. He should be in a crate by himself, so that he is not hurt further. You may need to help him eat and drink, and I would recommend wetting his food and feeding eggs to make him eat well.
I forgot to say in my last post that I do believe he has wry neck. Prednisone may also be prescribed by your vet. Here are some links to read more, and the first has vitamin dosages:

Thank you so much for responding, and for the links.

I'll read and see what can be done. I'm thinking this was probably caused from a head injury of some sort- he was perfectly fine that morning and this came on extremely fast. Since this group of chickens freerange, plus get daily feed from us, garden and orchard goodies daily, scraps, eggs, BOSS, ect. I don't see how it could be a vitamin deficiency, but broody roosters like Brownie always give away their food to the hens- so you just don't know what he's really taking in for himself.

Thanks again!
Just wanted to say thank you for all the help!
Took a week, but, Brownie is now up and around now, acting more like his old self again.

He basically slept for a majority of the week, so we placed him on a towel, then, rolled up another towel loosely, and he laid his neck across the second towel to support his neck. He seemed to like the "pillow" quite a bit, and used it often. He cried at first when we touched that swollen area on his neck. This is what he looked like at first.

He couldn't eat or drink, or swallow on his own (head erect.). The food or liquid would just fall out of his beak, as he became weaker, so we tube fed him 3X daily, a raw egg mixed with Poly Vi Sol (without iron), and mixed with a small amount of water. We also offered scrambled egg with buttermilk, and layer mash with warm water, and innards of tomatoes which really interested him, but he couldn't reach down, and couldn't swallow them on his own. It was looking as though he wasn't going to make it. His comb turned really dark as you can see. We offered him as much food or drink as he would take.

Then, day before yesterday, he started to lift his head more, and stood erect for longer periods. He took a tiny bit of food on his own. Yesterday I took him outside in the garden. He ate a bit of the inside of tomatoes, ate mash with scrambled egg and PolyVi Sol and water on his own. He even croaked out his first weak crow in a week. This morning he ate tomatoes and feed, and I just spotted him standing on one leg, and acting like nothing had ever happened.

This is Brownie this morning. You can see all of the black is gone from his comb. He is on solid food again. Hopefully he won't have a relapse. He will look better when his feathers finally all come back in. He doesn't appear to have caught any secondary infections.

Thanks again!

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