Wry neck or broken neck?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by twoacresofhappy, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. twoacresofhappy

    twoacresofhappy Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 18, 2013
    Georgia, USA
    Hi folks,
    I've got a 2.5 month old FBCM cockerel whose head is hanging down to the ground. He can lift it a bit, and he can stay upright and even turn around, but he can't lift his head enough to drink water. He can eat - it's messy but he can do it. It looks like his neck is broken moreso than wry neck, but I'm not really experienced enough to say for sure. Can wry neck present like a downward-hanging neck and head?

    Edited to add: we found him like this this morning. His crop is empty, and there is a sort of hard spot low on his neck, to the right. It's not solid like a tumor necessarily, but it sticks out a bit.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013
  2. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
    There are a couple things that cause head hanging forward or backward. The first suspicion would be encephalomalacia (crazy chick disease) which is caused by a vitamin E deficiency. The head hangs forward, or backward, or will sometimes twist side to side. Some will fall forwards or backwards while flapping their wings, lay on their side with legs stretched out, head retracted and trembling in the legs.

    Excessive amounts of cod liver or soybean oil can cause it, or feed that has been stored too long, or improperly. A good quality vitamin powder supplement in the water containing vitamins A,D,E is often used until symptoms disappear. Poultry Nutri Drench is a fast acting concentrated supplement I would suggest if this could be the problem. It absorbs fast and can be found in most feed stores like Tractor Supply. Be careful not to aspirate the bird when feeding it.

    Limberneck aka botulism is also a possibility, but likely the former since it is a 2.5 month old. With Limberneck, they can become infected by spoiled foods, decaying matter, or maggots containing the toxins created by germs known as Clostridium Botulinum. Chickens get weak, have difficulty swallowing, and the neck, wings, and legs get weak. Penicillin has been used successfully to treat this, or a tablespoon of Epsom salts dissolved in 1/2 cup of water and tube fed to the bird for 3 days at the most. Left untreated the chicken gradually goes through paralysis and dies.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  3. twoacresofhappy

    twoacresofhappy Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 18, 2013
    Georgia, USA
    Hmmm. Thanks, Michael. I can pick up some poultry nutri drench tomorrow. They're getting Countryside Organic feed, which is currently stored in my house - we carry the feed out every day to them because I don't want to keep an entire bag in the coop. We go through a bag about every 2 weeks. I have an old decaying pumpkin out in my compost pile, but I've never seen the chickens near it, though maybe I just hadn't noticed. I'll cover that up tomorrow just in case the others are making their way over to the pile, but I'd really be surprised if they were.

    I should probably start with the nutri-drench, but can epsom salts be added to the water, too?

    I appreciate your reply. The poor little fellow seems so grateful when we help him drink water.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013
  4. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
    I'd try the nutri-drench for now. Follow label directions for direct feed out of the bottle. It is 1 cc/ml per pound of bird. Do it morning and evening the first day, then 1x per day if you see symptoms improve. Provide food and vitamins-electrolytes in the water. Don't use the Epsom salts. I hope all goes well. Keep me posted on the progress.
     

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