Wobbley head*Update* Resolved!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Enchanted Sunrise Farms, Aug 17, 2007.

  1. Hello - One of my four week old silkies has developed a strange wobbley head thing she does every so often. She seems to be doing okay with eating and pooping, although i noticed her poop this morning and it was pretty watery. As far as i know, she has not suffered any type of injury. She had been in the outside pen, but i pulled her and a couple friends inside yesterday to keep a better eye on her.

    She does not wobble her head all the time, just every so often - maybe every 5-10 minutes when i'm watching her. It's like a slow twitch, where her head is up but goes back and forth and back and forth several times, then stops.

    i read what i could find on this site and others about Marek's, but could not find that specific symptom. i hatched my chicks here at home and they have not been vaccinated. although they are on a medicated feed. i don't have a lot of experience with chickens and have never seen this before. All my other chicks seem to be doing fine.

    Does anyone have any ideas about what can be causing this? Thanks in advance for your help.

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 12, 2007
  2. robin416

    robin416 Songster

    Feb 6, 2007
    Those of us with Silkies are very familiar with the bobble head routine. Is it very hot where you are? If so supplement with some vitamins, it should be enough. Most of the time they will outgrow this or stop when the temps decline.

    It can be a genetic abnormality that never fully goes away, I have one like that but do not use it for breeding.

    This can also happen when knocked in the back of the head.

    Go with the vitamin supplement to see how it does. Start small and work your way up to see if it is just the heat causing the problem.
  3. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    ...please think about ordering Avia Charge 2000 (online from McMurrys or Strombergs) ... if it is very hot where you are do think about adding electroytes to the waterer...
  4. Thank you Robin and dlhunicorn. i put the electrolytes in the water right away and have her inside where it is cooler. Yes, we are in a big heat spell right now. The outside kids have a swamp cooler, a regular fan, electrolytes in the water, and i mist them down several times a day. This weather is supposed to break soon. i will also order the avia charge 2000 right now.

    So Robin, could a peck in the back of the head cause this? i had her, with her 3 week old mates, in the pen with the group just a week older for a couple days. The littlest of the bigger guys kept picking on them, and she could have gotten pecked in the head.

    i just checked on her and it looks a little worse, but maybe only because i'm checking on her so often. i sure hope she's going to be okay.

  5. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing

    Jan 11, 2007
    Look around where they spend most of their time for moldy stuff..feed, bedding, etc. Botulism can produce this symptom as well. Hope she is feeling better inside where its cooler.

  6. JackieK318

    JackieK318 Songster

    Apr 29, 2007
    Do get the avia charge. My birds love it and are drinking more water consistanty - thus, less panting. My rooster, Splash, will just drink and drink and drink when it's in the water. Only a week after starting the supplement I can tell the birds are happier and have pinker combs. Hopefully this will at least help your bird. (it will make the water look brown, but don't let this deter you)
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2007
  7. robin416

    robin416 Songster

    Feb 6, 2007
    Yes, and it takes time and patience to treat. Involves prednisone. But you've got time before you jump to that course of treatment.

    The reason I mentioned the heat first, I had six babies about the same age do it to me last year when our temps were really high. I got the Avia Charge and like everyone says the birds loved it. But they stopped after the heat broke.

    The peep may very well be worse if she's in by herself. They don't really know they've got a bobbly head, they don't feel bad so being alone in the AC is almost as bad as being out in the heat. Bring a buddy in with her.

    I didn't bring my gang in last year when they started that, I just watched for any trouble. Did I mention that I have one that has never stopped? His is genetic, you could be looking at that too in the peep. The boy doesn't do it often only in times of stress, like when I pick him up or he challenges King. Dumb bird. He's not going to win.
  8. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    there are many many things that can cause this symptom and one of htem is dehydration (same effects as salt poisoning)... also during a heat wave birds will automatically eat less and so the chance of vit defieciency increases... if your bird gets worse then let us know... you can also mix in a bit of wheatgermoil (if you have access to a healthfood store) with their feed as this is an excellent source of natural vit E which is also implicated in neurological symptoms...
  9. Okay, got the Avia Charge ordered. Found i had a bag of Quik Chik from McMurray. It has vitamins and electrolytes, so using that today. i did bring her in with two buddies, so she isn't alone. It's not super cold in the house, just cooler than outside. Can't find any wet or moldy bedding.

    Hmmm, wheat germ oil, i don't have any of that but do have some vitamin E capsules. Might that help?

    i really appreciate all the advice, as i don't have a lot of experience. She seems about the same today - eating, drinking, acting normal except for the periodic head wobbling episodes.

    Hope she comes through this okay. She's a pretty little thing.
  10. dlhunicorn - Here is one more symptom i just noticed today. Her droppings are strange in that the green or fecal part is comprised of lots of small balls, unlike any of the other chick's poo. And, now that i'm remembering, a couple days ago after feeding watermelon to the chicks outside, my sister said she thought she saw blood on the ground. i picked up the matter and it was round balls the color of red watermelon, right next to this chick.

    i was just reading through your website on poo-ology, but can't find anything specifically addressing the small balls in the poo. But based on the watermelon going right through her, could this be malabsorption? If she isn't absorbing the nutrients, perhaps this might explain the head twitch. So then my next question would be, how might i treat this until i can get her to a vet tomorrow?

    Now this is getting scarier.

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