Sick chicken, please help!

azygous

Enabler
12 Years
Dec 11, 2009
26,002
40,069
1,232
Colorado Rockies
It would be helpful to know your location. People do not realize how much information about their chickens this gives us.

Here on BYC, we may not be able to tell you precisely what is wrong with your chicken, but we can make suggestions that might save her life.

Wry neck has many causes. The important thing is to treat it and the consequences of it going on long enough to be a death risk from dehydration and starvation from not being able to eat and drink with an upside down head.

You will need to tube feed her. Can you get some plastic tubing like they use for aquariums and for people who need to be on oxygen? Then you will need an oral syringe that fits the tubing. Or you can ask your vet to sell you a tube feeding catheter an syringe. It costs just a few dollars if you are in the US.

The importance of tube feeding is that you can't possible rehydrate her and feed her enough to make a difference by just squirting a tiny bit into her mouth at a time. It would take you all day and wear the both of your out.

Next, you need to treat the wry neck. You need vitamin E 400iu and a bottle of tumeric 500mg. Also a bottle of selenium, a scant shaving off a tablet once a day. The E and tumeric are give directly into the beak once a day. These will restore her neck to normal, but may require several days of treatment.

Do you feed the layer feed to all of the chickens, baby chicks included? Has this hen been eating layer feed since she was a baby?
 

chiki1

In the Brooder
Jan 6, 2022
30
34
34
It would be helpful to know your location. People do not realize how much information about their chickens this gives us.

Here on BYC, we may not be able to tell you precisely what is wrong with your chicken, but we can make suggestions that might save her life.

Wry neck has many causes. The important thing is to treat it and the consequences of it going on long enough to be a death risk from dehydration and starvation from not being able to eat and drink with an upside down head.

You will need to tube feed her. Can you get some plastic tubing like they use for aquariums and for people who need to be on oxygen? Then you will need an oral syringe that fits the tubing. Or you can ask your vet to sell you a tube feeding catheter an syringe. It costs just a few dollars if you are in the US.

The importance of tube feeding is that you can't possible rehydrate her and feed her enough to make a difference by just squirting a tiny bit into her mouth at a time. It would take you all day and wear the both of your out.

Next, you need to treat the wry neck. You need vitamin E 400iu and a bottle of tumeric 500mg. Also a bottle of selenium, a scant shaving off a tablet once a day. The E and tumeric are give directly into the beak once a day. These will restore her neck to normal, but may require several days of treatment.

Do you feed the layer feed to all of the chickens, baby chicks included? Has this hen been eating layer feed since she was a baby?
Thank you for the information/suggestions. I believe we have been feeding them the layer feed since they were chicks, with occasional bird feed, sunflower seeds, and chopped veggies.

EDIT: i forgot to add, we live in Maine, lots of people have chickens here but yet no vets treat them around..
 

LaFleche

Meadow Devil
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Sep 22, 2012
7,988
29,802
952
Germany
Feeding layer feed to baby chicks will compromise their kidneys (way too much calcium) and lead to malnourishment because of protein deficiency. Which will make them susceptible to diseases of all kinds.
 

azygous

Enabler
12 Years
Dec 11, 2009
26,002
40,069
1,232
Colorado Rockies
Thank you for the information. Every little bit helps. Now. Can you find the tubing to get this chicken fed and hydrated so she doesn't die? I will instruct you how to tube feed. It is very, very easy and simple. And very safe.
 

chiki1

In the Brooder
Jan 6, 2022
30
34
34
Thank you for the information. Every little bit helps. Now. Can you find the tubing to get this chicken fed and hydrated so she doesn't die? I will instruct you how to tube feed. It is very, very easy and simple. And very safe.
Thank you so much, we can try and find the tubing. Would it be okay to use a feeding tube extension? It's an extra extension for my sisters G-Tube.
 

Tankueray

Bird Nerd
Premium Feather Member
Feb 12, 2021
249
578
136
West Texas
You've got something communicable making the rounds. Something in the "very not good" realm of sicknesses. And if that's the case, the rest of your flock is in serious jeopardy. Please quarantine the one with the leg issue away from this one, and unfortunately, please send this one off for a necropsy when she passes. I'm very sorry.
  • Where did the two roosters come from, when did you get them, and how old were they?
  • The same Tractor Supply or many? What hatchery do they source from? Does that hatchery vaccinate for Mareks? (Call the stores and ask who the hatchery is, don't take Hoovers as a generic answer, lookup the hatchery and find out whether they vaccinate.)
  • What did you get in November? Age, source?
  • The other 20-30, ages and month/year acquired and source please.
  • Same for this sick one, the other one with the leg issue, and the 4 that have died.
  • (Basically, list every chicken you've had in the last year, month acquired, age at acquisition, age now, if deceased, what from and when.) You can group them if they have the same data.
  • When did the first one get sick? Did you get any new chickens, visit anyone else's farm, go to a show, or otherwise do anything that would bring you into contact with another bird (any game, farm, or exotic) in the 4 weeks prior to the first one getting sick?
  • Any predator attacks where the body was discovered by the other chickens before you?
  • Last time you wormed them and with what.
Just answer each one as you can, don't wait to make a whole post. You may unknowingly say something that provides a clue.

Thank you so much, we can try and find the tubing. Would it be okay to use a feeding tube extension? It's an extra extension for my sisters G-Tube.
If it's about the size of fish tank air tubing, it should work. Maybe 1/4" O.D.
 

Tankueray

Bird Nerd
Premium Feather Member
Feb 12, 2021
249
578
136
West Texas
Did any of the other chickens that died look like they were doing "the splits" with their legs when they were sick?
 

chiki1

In the Brooder
Jan 6, 2022
30
34
34
You've got something communicable making the rounds. Something in the "very not good" realm of sicknesses. And if that's the case, the rest of your flock is in serious jeopardy. Please quarantine the one with the leg issue away from this one, and unfortunately, please send this one off for a necropsy when she passes. I'm very sorry.
  • Where did the two roosters come from, when did you get them, and how old were they?
  • The same Tractor Supply or many? What hatchery do they source from? Does that hatchery vaccinate for Mareks? (Call the stores and ask who the hatchery is, don't take Hoovers as a generic answer, lookup the hatchery and find out whether they vaccinate.)
  • What did you get in November? Age, source?
  • The other 20-30, ages and month/year acquired and source please.
  • Same for this sick one, the other one with the leg issue, and the 4 that have died.
  • (Basically, list every chicken you've had in the last year, month acquired, age at acquisition, age now, if deceased, what from and when.) You can group them if they have the same data.
  • When did the first one get sick? Did you get any new chickens, visit anyone else's farm, go to a show, or otherwise do anything that would bring you into contact with another bird (any game, farm, or exotic) in the 4 weeks prior to the first one getting sick?
  • Any predator attacks where the body was discovered by the other chickens before you?
  • Last time you wormed them and with what.
Just answer each one as you can, don't wait to make a whole post. You may unknowingly say something that provides a clue.


If it's about the size of fish tank air tubing, it should work. Maybe 1/4" O.D.
We got the two roosters from craigslist, as the family that had them before had kids that kept harming them. The roosters were fully grown, and we must've got them in August. We go to the same Tractor Supply, and they didn't tell us what hatchery they came from, and I'm pretty sure they're closed right now.. In November I don't think we got anything related to chickens except for a duck we rescued, i mightve said November sometime because I have trouble remembering time. The 20-30 are all 6 months save for around 6-10, who are 4 months. Meat chicken, the sick one, is 6 months. The one with the leg issue(Kevin) is also 6 months. Two that died were 6 months, and the other two four months. The first one got sick in mid to late November, and hadn't had any contact with any other chickens or flock. There was one predator attack, it was a dog whom had eaten half of two of our animals but left them alive, the chickens and ducks were with one. I don't think we've ever wormed them, we haven't heard about that...
 

chiki1

In the Brooder
Jan 6, 2022
30
34
34
Did any of the other chickens that died look like they were doing "the splits" with their legs when they were sick?
Yes, actually. One of them did for a week or so before we put him down. That was before we brought the current sick one in.
 

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