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Silkie hen unbalanced, tucking head

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jettgirl24, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. jettgirl24

    jettgirl24 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2010
    Duvall, WA
    Hi All,

    I have a Silkie hen who has been acting funny for several days now and I can't figure out what is wrong. At first I thought she was broody - She was sitting in one place and making her usual angry broody noise when I touched her. She didn't have any eggs under her but frankly that wasn't a new thing. I take eggs daily and there have been multiple times when I take them and she continues to brood an empty nest. But this time I came back out later to check on her and she had her head tucked under her chest. I picked her up to check on her and when I put her down she rolled right over onto her back, kicked her legs for a second, then righted herself and immediately tucked her head back under her. VERY weird.

    I immediately separated her and she has been in the "hospital box" for the last several days. She is eating and drinking, moving things through her crop, pooping regularly, and her droppings look normal. I went ahead and wormed her and gave her a four day course of Penicillin since I had some on hand in case it was some kind of infection. She doesn't seem any worse but no better either. Anyone have an idea of what might be going on or what else I should try? I'm at a loss at this point [​IMG]
  2. jettgirl24

    jettgirl24 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2010
    Duvall, WA
    Ok, I know I just posted this but I have an update... I took her out of the hospital box which is just a big rubbermaid container that I used to use for a brooder. I let her loose in one of my empty 12x12 horse stalls just to see what she'd do. She sat still for a little bit then got up and started pecking around. She looks alert, her balance actually looks ok, she was preening etc. Then she started scratching around in the shavings like a normal chicken. But then she would tuck her head under her and start backing up until she either bumped into the wall or tripped and rolled over backward. It almost looked like she either had something on her belly that she was trying to get off or saw something under her belly that she wanted to peck? [​IMG] I checked her out again, there is absolutely nothing on her belly, no signs of irritation/mites/etc. It's really, really weird. After she bumped into the wall or rolled over she would just go about pecking and scratching and preening like nothing happened.

    I'm even more at a loss now. Anyone ever see a chicken behave in this way before?
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2013
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
  4. jettgirl24

    jettgirl24 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2010
    Duvall, WA
    Argh... Now I feel awful that I waited so long to post but I'm glad I did. I'll read through the link more extensively (thank you for sharing that) and start treating. After a quick read through I'm now wondering if this has been developing for quite some time but showing less severe signs, which makes me feel downright awful. I have quite a few Silkies and a couple of outcast LF in that pen and no one else has shown any signs of illness or wry neck so hopefully that rules out Mareks or some other infectious disease but I will be keeping a close eye on the rest of them. In the meantime I have her isolated and will see if I can treat her.

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