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Urgent! Hen sick, turning her head and rolling

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by journey11, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. journey11

    journey11 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I saw her out ranging with the others and she looked fine only an hour ago. I just came back from shutting the coop door for the evening and found her laying in the bedding material below the roost. I picked her up to get a better look at her and she is turning her head and neck like a corkscrew and her body tries to turn and roll with it. If there is room to roll, she goes over. Her eyes are bright and she just blinks and looks a little scared and confused. She is not breathing hard or anything like that. Other than twisting, she appears otherwise normal as far as I can tell. I've never seen or heard of anything like this before. It's like her equilibrium is off? I felt her crop to see if maybe she was impacted, but it seems normal. The other girls seem fine, up on the roost. She is also the low chicken on the totem pole, so I checked to see if maybe she had been injured, but there are no obvious injuries. She had to have been ok a little bit before to have made it up the ramp into the coop. What on earth could this be and is there anything I can do for her?
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013
  2. ariconnie48

    ariconnie48 Out Of The Brooder

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    I don't know what caused it, and I don't know a treatment, but I would separate her from the others until she gets better. Give her her own little cage to live in, or if you have a extra coop, use that. Make sure to keep her warm, and give her lots of water. I hope this helps and that your hen gets better.
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    It sounds like she may have wry or crook neck (torticollis.) It is a symptom of a disease (such as Mareks or others), a vitamin deficiency, or a head injury. Since Vitamin E and selenium may help, I would start her on poultry vitamins right away. Selenium is a mineral that is in the soil in different amounts, and can be toxic if too much is given. The safest way to give it is with a type of vitamin E that already contains selenium. If you can't get the selenium, just give vitamins. Until you get poultry vitamins, you can give PolyVisol without iron 2-3 drops daily by mouth or on her food. Separation in a cage for peace and quiet may help while she recovers. Here is some info: http://oureggbasket.blogspot.com/2013/04/wry-neck-or-crook-neck-understanding-it.html
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013
  4. journey11

    journey11 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for your help guys. I just got back from making her comfortable in a separate cage in the warm basement. She is still twisting and rolling, but she tries occasionally to right herself and can get her body upright, but her head is always turned at least sideways.

    My chicks were vaccinated for cocci and marek's when I got them from MMH. I am suspecting a head injury at this point... I took their grit hopper out of the coop in case that was what she might have hit it against.

    Does anyone know if this will pass in time or has anyone treated this successfully? I am not sure how she can eat or drink on her own right now. I will have to try to get water in her with a syringe, I think. If there is hope that she can recover, I will surely baby her until she gets better. If there is not, I would feel it would be best to end her suffering. :(
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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  6. journey11

    journey11 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you, I will read through those threads. I am headed to town tomorrow to the feed store and will look for the vitamins.
     
  7. fried green eggs

    fried green eggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hope she gets better [​IMG]
     
  8. journey11

    journey11 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I haven't been able to get her to eat anything today, but she is taking water. I didn't find the Vitamin E with selenium. I did buy "Kickin' Chicken" vitamin supplement at Tractor Supply. I wasn't sure this was the best vitamin to get though. Other than chick vitamins, I didn't find anything that you could put in their water, just stuff that you put on their food. And of course she's not eating anyway. [​IMG] Maybe she'll feel like it tomorrow. I will keep trying.
     
  9. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    If you look back at the link in post # 3, it has an ad for the vitamin E with selenium. Also some people just take selenium tablets and scratch a tiny amount daily onto the food. Others use PolyVisol without iron baby vitamins 2 drops daily. Where are you in WV? I'm near Huntington.
     
  10. journey11

    journey11 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We're about an hour north from Huntington. :) I must have an adblocker running, because I don't see anything. I forgot about the polyvisol. I already have some for the toddler, but it's got iron. I know where to get it though.

    I'm glad to report that she's doing much better today! She didn't eat at all yesterday and would only take water from a dropper. It was really nice outside today, so I thought I'd put her out in the grass. After a little bit, she straightened up considerably and rolled/wandered around a bit. A little later, I saw her trying to peck at bugs! When I brought her in for the evening, she is able to hold herself up much better. Her neck is no longer turned so drastically. She bobble-heads a little bit and turns just a little to one side, and her balance is still off, but she is holding herself much better now. She is drinking water from a bowl on her own too. She still hasn't eaten much though.

    She flailed around so much in her cage last night, I really thought I was going to have to put her down. Maybe it was a bonk to the noggin and hopefully she'll continue to come out of it. Thanks for all the help and advice!
     

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