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Why is my hen shaking her head

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Zoom Zoom, Jun 15, 2015.

  1. Zoom Zoom

    Zoom Zoom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 15, 2014
    Rolla, MO
    Last week I noticed my one year old BO, Annie, occasionally shaking her head - I don't know how else to describe it. The head shaking is getting worse. I have checked her over and found nothing wrong. Her comb is lighter than it was, she sits a lot and is first to the roost at night. She is eating, drinking, scratching, dust bathing, doing all the things chickens do. She joins in the fun when I bring treats out. I don't know if she is laying or not. I have six hens and almost always get five eggs; once in a while I will get six. I've tried to catch them on the nest to see who is laying but not having much luck. They all come running when they hear the gate open. I made a video this afternoon but haven't yet figured out how to attach a video. I'm asked to enter a URL??? I made the video with my phone and tried to attach it using the internet on the phone but that didn't work either. Very frustrating. I realize it's almost impossible to try to diagnose without the video but I'm hoping someone will have an idea and I'll send the video if I ever get it figured out. Thanks so much.
     
  2. Free Feather

    Free Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

    I do not know if it would fit, because I read about it a while ago, but perhaps you should look into gape worm.
     
  3. Zoom Zoom

    Zoom Zoom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks. I'll look into it.
     
  4. Zoom Zoom

    Zoom Zoom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Reading up on gape worm I should mention she does not sound like she has respiratory problems. No wheezing, sneezing. Everything seems normal except for the head shaking and sitting a lot.
     
  5. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    It's not gapeworm and it doesnt sound like a respiratory disease. Check for external parasites around the head/neck area. Ear mites are also a possibility. There might be something stuck in her esophagus or perhaps it's just her way of adjusting her crop or gizzard which would be normal.
     
  6. Zoom Zoom

    Zoom Zoom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How do I look in her ears? I felt her neck and didn't find anything unusual. How can I tell if she has something stuck in her esophagus? Wouldn't that hinder her eating and drinking which is normal? Thanks
     
  7. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Get a q-tip and remove some of the cotton from the top of the q-tip in order for it to fit inside the ear/ear canal, do not remove all the cotton from the tip. Then snugly wrap your hen in a towel and lay her down on one side on a table, her head should be the only part of her body that is exposed. You'll need to tie her lower legs together (close to her feet.)...I use a shoestring, and tie it like tying your shoe, not too tight. Make sure you have good lighting to see what you're doing. Pull back the ear flap on the side of her head. Slowly and gently insert the q-tip into the ear canal. DO NOT go in deep. Very gently swab the ear canal, then slowly withdraw the q-tip. Flip her over and swab the other ear following the same precedures I mentioned, use the other end of the q-tip or a new one...doesnt matter.
    Then take a look at the cotton on the q-tip: If you see what appears to be dirt or wax, like human ear wax or sort of red in color or black/red dots...it's mites/with feces.
    If you see yellowish/white gunk, it's a bacterial infection. If it's yellow/green gunk, probably a fungal issue.
    If it's ear mites; use an eyedropper with vegetable oil in it and put a few drops in the ears. The oil will smother the mites.
    For a bacterial infection; use an eyedropperful of hydrogen peroxide and put a few drops in the ear. It will bubble up, then after about 30 seconds use a clean q-tip to slowly and gently swab the ear clean and dry. Then use neosporin ointment, gently inserting the tip of the tube into the entrance of the ear canal and gently and slowly squeezing the ointment into the ear... then you're done. Do not overfill the ear. Flip her over and do the same thing to the other ear.
    If you see yellow/green or just yellow on the q-tip, it's possibly fungus; dampen the q-tip with warm water, slowly and gently swab the ear clean. Then apply lotrimin ointment or monistat 7 (miconazole) cream into the ear as best as you can.
    These steps might need to be repeated several months or longer down the road.
     
  8. Free Feather

    Free Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you for this! I have an itty OEGB pullet I will need to do this for.
     
  9. Zoom Zoom

    Zoom Zoom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My internet has been down AGAIN[​IMG] Luckily I had printed off your recommendations. I checked Annie's ears and didn't find anything on the q-tip and I checked her again for external parasites and didn't find any. She has a vet appointment in the morning, I want him to take a look in her ears - will make me feel better if nothing else. We have become regulars in his office with our dog with arthritis, cat with an ear infection and another cat losing all her hair. Other than the pale comb, head jerking and sitting a lot, Annie seems to be OK. Any other suggestions will be welcome. Thanks for sending the detailed instructions.
     
  10. sapphirethehen

    sapphirethehen Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG] maybe there is dust on her head, or parasites.
     

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