Strange Silkie Behavior - possibly prone to seizures?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Vercingetorix, Dec 8, 2013.

  1. Vercingetorix

    Vercingetorix New Egg

    Dec 8, 2013
    Hello, I am new to raising chickens and currently have a mix of Silkies, Jersey Giants, and Americaunas.

    But my silkie rooster has been having small fits or seizures every day. I found him one morning under a bush in the chicken pen on his side and mostly unresponsive, his head cradled to his body. I brought him inside and put him by the heater because I thought he had gotten cold during the previous night. That same night, I lost a hen to a fox or raccoon attack that scattered the birds out of the coop and into the pen.
    Since then I have kept him inside or inside a small cage. Every morning when I let him out of the cage he behaves normally and pecks at food for a minute. Then he begins to lay his head back on his body and slowly sits down on the floor or flops over to the side. What usually follows is a bit of his limbs twitching, and a few moments of stillness, then he seems to recover and stand back up. Usually this first episode is followed by another a few minutes later. The rest of the day he displays normal behavior, pecking food, drinking water, and generally being Slikie-like.

    I'm wondering if there is anything I can do for him or should I cull? I tried reintroducing him to the rest of the birds today, but one of my roosters chased him under my fence to where my driveway's concrete is and he just laid under there. We brought him inside and after a couple of hours of him just laying on his side, he perked up again and behaved normally.

    I would like to get into raising Silkies, and give my other birds to a friend. It concerns me that he has these fits and I worry about any damage they are doing to him, but if they are not killing him I would love to keep him and have him perform his roosterly duties.

    Thanks in advance for any advice and sorry for the long post.
  2. Fawn and Fam

    Fawn and Fam Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2013
    Hopefully you have figured out what is going on w/ your rooster by now and everything is okay. If not, I wanted to encourage you to keep him [​IMG]. I had a similar experience when I first got my girls. One of them started occasionally laying on her side and stretch out her leg and did some weird movements. I thought something was terribly wrong. Over time I learned she was just trying to take a dust bath in her pine shavings.

    Also when a chicken sun bathes they lay down on their side and go into an awkward position and lay very still and look dead. They can stay a long or short time like that. Many people have mentioned the first time they saw their chickens do it they thought they were dead or something was very wrong. Maybe you know all this, but since you mentioned you were new to raising chickens I thought I would mention this just in case.

    P.S. [​IMG]
  3. gimmie birdies

    gimmie birdies Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 12, 2013
    Eastern WA
    I had a girl duck that would get seizures when ever she would see this one dolls face. she grew out of it.
  4. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2013
    If it is a condition that recently started,i would suspect he suffered some sort of head trauma. Silkies are susceptible to head injuries due to the fact that their skulls have openings which increases the risk of brain trauma.

    I have silkies,love this breed of bird,my roosters are so gentle/sweet towards me and their hens,but my favourite is my one rooster called Boo. Boo mainly lives in the house,he suffered some sort of head trauma(he was basically comatose) months back and after tube feeding him for several days he has become extremely attached to me. He does visit the coop,but after awhile wants to come back inside with me,silly boy.

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