What is this....head-twitching/palsy?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by dixiechick, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. dixiechick

    dixiechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have had two hens die recently after bout with some sort of head-twitching/palsy. After a while, they lose the ability to walk/stand...then even sit upright. I just had a chick hatch with the same symptoms. What is this? How do I treat? PLEASE ADVISE!
  2. Elphaba2140

    Elphaba2140 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2010
    Northern Illinois
    Read up on mites. I saw this same thing in my flock. Started with one and then they were all doing it. Just treated them and all but one have stopped shaking their heads.
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Chicks hatching with nervous type twitching/tremors in the neck are most likely AE, Avian Encephalomyelitis. It is a virus passed into the egg from the parent birds. And sometimes even the booster shot they get at the hatchery will give them a touch of it.

    It causes tremors to the point of falling over. Sitting on hocks, not eating or drinking. If the chick has yellow, foamy poo, than this is sure sign. If it does not kill the chick, it will pass after about 5 days. The chick will be immune to it forever, however can have lingering affects the rest of it's days.

    I have had 2 chicks with this issue from different broods, all surviving, however it is a brutal thing to watch the chick go thru. Sometimes you have to pick the chick up and dip it's beak in the water to keep it hydrated and hand feed it what ever it will eat to keep it going til the virus passes. There is little else you can do. Keep the chick warm and hydrated, keep your fingers crossed.

    As for the hens, it is possible that they also have AE, but generally the adults have immunity enough to ward off AE. Mereks is more likely for adults and loss of twitching, tremors and other issues. Here is a link to the most common poultry diseases. I refer to it all the time and can give you some idea what you are dealing with.


    Good luck with your baby. [​IMG]
  4. Yardfarm Family

    Yardfarm Family Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 24, 2012
    Mchenry County, Il
    3 of my 6day old chicks are twitching too. They all seem healthy otherwise. If it is a sickness what would be other symptoms to look for? Could it just be a twitch? I am really worried!

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