Twisted neck 3 months now...


13 Years
Jun 18, 2010
My Silver Duckwing Bantam rooster has had a twisted neck approximately 3 months now. Vitamins and prednisone hasn't helped. I don't know what to do. He keeps his head down and eyes closed the entire day except when he eats or drinks. Often he winds up on his back and can't regain his composure because he is weak.
Obviously, I baby him and keep him in a tub at night and during the sunny days, allow him outside with his favorite old hen.
Today, I noticed a HUGE lump on his chest while bathing him. I don't know if it was his crop, but it is larger than the size of a golf ball!
I don't know what to do with this poor little guy. Winter is approaching, and several people have suggested euthanizing him.
Will some experienced chicken lovers or experts offer me advice, please? I want to do the humane thing and put it out of his misery and yes, I feel he is in misery. Is three months long enough to expect recovery?
Thanks in advance to anyone who responds!
Hi Kathleen,

I'm not that experienced and by no means an expert, but I do have experience with wry neck. There was a discussion of this subject a bit ago. Hopefully the link works.

Let's talk Wry Neck/Crook Neck

It sounds like your mind is made up. Some would say 3 months is too long. Some would say keep giving him support if you feel you can. I've had about 5 chickens with wry neck now. Each treated with Poly-Visol. All but two have fully recovered. I assume they had vitamin deficiency problems and that extra bonus put them on the mend. Of the two with continued issues one is a Silkie. Her symptoms started at about 3 days. Initially vitamin treatment straightened her out. However she grew a very full and fluffy crest which blocked her vision. She lost weight. I could barely feel her when I'd pick her up. She started to do somersaults. I'd find her lying on her back under her roost in the mornings. It was distressing to see. Trimmed up around her eyes, brought her in and hand fed her mash with vits mixed in for about 3 weeks. She fell asleep during these meals and never finished them. But over time she got better/stronger. Now she's about to start laying. She holds her chin a bit low, but otherwise is fine. Her name is Pirouette because of her circling tendencies.

Then I have Sammie, a Salmon Faverolle. Her symptoms started when she was close to 3 weeks of age. All the chicks were weak. I got the eggs off of e-bay, Anyway I'd never seen such a severe case. Her neck would go under her chest and twist totally over. She mostly walked in circles, dragging her head and twisting it under her. Vitamins didn't improve her much. We kept her inside. We were hatching lots of chicks so would just keep her with each new clutch so she'd have company. Eventually she got another Salmon Fav friend. They were grown out together in our living room. She was always light and behind in size. We tried her outside a couple of times. The other birds ignored her and she didn't move from where we placed her, other than spinning. Once it was rainy and she did move from the dry spot she was placed and ended up laying in a puddle. When I found her I thought she had died of the cold. After that we gave up on the outside till the weather warmed. I feed my outside flock mash 3 times a day. (organic chick starter corn and soy free, organic milk kefir, garlic powder, and cayenne, watered to make mushy. Plus any yummy table scraps) I'd place her on a nice branch set before a tall dish filled with mash. If she wasn't perched on the branch she would loose track of the food and circle nearby. I'd reperch her about three times each meal. She'd always eat gustily. That was in May of this year. She finally grew to full size and started to lay in early August.



Today I no longer have to set her before the food or use the food perch. She fully wanders the yard and even runs to greet me and get treats with the other girls. She often holds her head up and we have trouble telling her from one of our other Favs. She loves to preen our Silkies, follow us about the yard, run with her Fav friend, picks fights as needed, catch worms in the mornings, and dust bath. She still spins and twists her head under her when she is excited, frustrated, or being picked on. She lays for about 3 days at random locations in the yard. Then takes 1-2 days off. We are very fond of her. I never thought she'd ever get to the point that she'd lay. I'm always so proud of her when I find one of her eggs. We'll see what happens when it gets colder. The big thing with them seems to be getting and keeping the weight on them. Get that set and they function fine.

Sammie looking at me straight on. She's a little over a year old in this picture. I don't know whether this will help with your decision, but this has been our journey.

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