Wonky neck and spinning head on a silkie chicken!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Samuel67, Aug 24, 2014.

  1. Samuel67

    Samuel67 New Egg

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    Aug 1, 2014
    Northampton uk
    Hi, I'm hoping someone might be able to help me. I'm quite new to owning chickens and I have got 4 young silkies. One of the younger ones, about 20 weeks old has always had a bit of a wonky neck and tends to have its head on one side, and always seems a bit more clumsy than the others. The last few days it's got worse and keeps falling over and it's head spins round in cirles like a propeller! This morning when I came to look the others were out but she was still inside in the nesting box, on her side with her head sort of stuck underneath her. I picked her up and her head again spun round and round, still tilted to one side and sort of spins round out of control. It looks like she's had a stroke or something. But when I out her on the ground, she carried on like this for a moment then sorted herself out and got up and walked off, still with her head slightly tilted to one side. A few minutes later she fell over again and her head was spinning round, like she can't get her balenence or something. She has definitely sort of lost her confidence the last few days as its got worse. I feel really sorry for her. She is struggling to get up and down tiny steps as she tends to fall over when she does and then the head spinning starts and she can't get up. Any help would be appreciated as I feel really sorry for her. I did have a 5 silkie I had got from somewhere else and that wasn't right in a different way and died, I did take it to a vet but had to ring loads before finding one that would see her as none of the vets will see chickens, and the one that did admitted they didn't know anything about chickens and wasn't really any help, so I am reluctant to to try the vets again with this one. Thanks in advance, Sam
     
  2. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

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    :welcome It sounds to me that your bird may be suffering from wry neck or stargazing as some people seem to call it. I have had polish suffer with this. Silkies and polish can get it by having a peck or injury on the head because they have a vaulted skull. It can also be caused by diet and vit and mineral deficiency. Also some reports suggest it could be genetic. The most important thing is to separate the bird some where safe. You need to make sure she gets enough food and water wry neck can sometime cause them not to be able to eat and drink. You may need to hand feed and water. You also need to start giving a vitamin supplement in water for the chick it would not hurt the others to have it too. Hope this helps and the most important thing is that it can sometimes take several weeks to recover and sometimes unfortunately they don't but try not to give up.
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC. Wry neck is a neurological symptom of brain inflammation caused by a head injury, vitamin deficiencies (Vitamin B1, Vitamin E, and selenium,) or from certain diseases such as Mareks, Newcastles, and other respiratory diseases. Some silkies have a vaulted skull which can be prone to injury. Treatment is providing limited stimulation, helping her to eat and drink, and treating with the vitamins above. Eggs, canned tuna, and ground Brazil nuts and sunflower seeds are high in selenium. In some cases, prednisone may help. Here are some links to help:
    http://www.browneggblueegg.com/Article/Crookneck/Crookneck.html
    http://oureggbasket.blogspot.com/2013/04/wry-neck-or-crook-neck-understanding-it.html
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/97121/lets-talk-wry-neck-crook-neck
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2014
  4. Samuel67

    Samuel67 New Egg

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    Aug 1, 2014
    Northampton uk
    Hi, thanks so much for your replies. I have tried to implement the things you have suggested, I've have took her in and put her in my cellar which is clean and dry (which I think she is appreciating as its very wet out at the moment and she was getting damp and she kept falling over and getting stuck yesterday. I tried giving her tuna but she didn't really want any, but she does have de-shelled sunflower seeds every day anyway. I don't think it's respitory as her breathing is fine, and the other one I mentioned which I took to the vets & died was definitely respitory related. I dont think it would be diet either as she came from a good breeder who was very knowledgeable and caring with her chickens and I feed them well, constant supply of good quality pellets, plus various fresh foods, pasta, etc each day and is free range in my garden. The vitamins you suggest, are they available from pets shops? Is it just a multi vitamin that would be suitable? There isn't really any chicken specialist shops where I live, just normal pet shops, I had to travel quite far to get the chickens. Also, I noticed a bit of a kink in her neck when I got her, and it's got gradually worse up to this point where she can't get up any more if she sit/falls down, so that's been about 5 weeks since I've had her, so is it likely she won't recover? She is eating ok, I hand feed them the fresh foods each day anyway and the sunflower seeds and corn etc, and I think she has been eating the pellets herself, until mabe the last day or 2. Also, I am worried about separating her from the others as it took a while for the first two silkies I have to accept her and her friend when I got them 5 weeks ago, so there was some pecking which mabe made things worse, it wasn't too bad and I kept them separate for a while first, there's them loose in the garden together but separate at night, so I did build it up gradually and it was more a few hard pecks when there was food offered or the odd one here and there. I will try and get some vitamins today if they have anything like that at the pet shop but as I said they are not particularly knowledgeable about chickens or stock very much chicken related products, so other than separating her and hand feeding Im not too sure what else I can do? This morning she is standing up when I went to check on her, whereas the last few days she has been stuck upside down in the coop and unable to get up, so hoping that's a good sign, but other than separating her her and keeping her inside I haven't really done much different, will the warmth, and less stimulation be helping already? Not sure if I should out her outside with the others for a bit today? Thanks for all your help, I will try anything to get her better as she is a sweet little thing and only about 20 weeks old so want to do what I can to help her! Sam
     
  5. Samuel67

    Samuel67 New Egg

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    Hi, just wanted to say that my chicken with the wonky neck that was falling over & spinning around etc is now completely fine! I put it in the cellar for a while, put some vitamins in the water & gave him a couple of neck massages before putting it to bed & each day there was improvement and it's now back out side with the others, can get up the steps at night & out in the morning unlike before and is as good a new! So thanks for your help and I'm glad I didn't give up and neck him like everyone who saw him told me to do!
     
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Samuel, it's great news to hear about your silkie improving. I noticed you change it from a her to a him, so I hope that's good news. I just noticed that I didn't see your previous post, so sorry about that. Good luck to you and the chickens.
     
  7. Samuel67

    Samuel67 New Egg

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    Yes I'm very pleased, he's completely fine now which is unbelievable if you saw what he was like, I almost gave in and was going to let him go as was horrible to watch but turned out well! I don't mind that she is a he, but depends how loud he is and how the nieghbours take it but fingers crossed he's a quiet one as really want to keep him!
     

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