Wry neck? Proper Care?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by horsekeeper, May 14, 2011.

  1. horsekeeper

    horsekeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 26, 2011
    Middleburgh, NY
    I came home from a week long work trip last night and my adult daughter (animal caretaker when I am gone) was all upset because she thought she killed one of my 3-week old silkie chicks. The chick runs backwards with its head between its legs and sometimes looks like it is having a seizure (shaking with its beak hard against its chest).

    Before I culled it I did some research on this site and think it might have wry neck. Does it sound like it might? The only thing I could get locally at that time of night was children's chewable vitamins, so I soaked one and crushed it up and added some chick mash. The chick nibbled up a little bit and we got it to drink a small amount of water. It had a huge runny poo (no blood or stink) and is in a box by itself on top of the brooder so it gets the benefit of the heat lamp and can hear its hatch mates. I checked the temperature and it is correct for 3 weeks and the chick seem comfortable.

    This morning I got liquid baby vitamins without iron and have given it a few drops twice so far. It seems strong and alert, just can't control its head for very long. It has been pecking chick mash voraciously and even drank normally for a few sips. It really got into a few bits of scrambled egg tonight and makes little purring happy sounds while it is sitting on my lap eating.

    I put the feed and water in a shallow wide mouth glass and support its head with my finger and the side of the glass and it pecks up food for 20-30 seconds before it seems to tire out and the head spasms to its chest. The glass and my finger help keep the head up and she (has that sweet look and is one of the smaller chicks) doesn't exert downward pressure, the neck seems to go limp and she loses control. After resting a little she goes back to eating with gusto.

    Am I doing everything I can? Does this sound like a baby that might recover?


    1) What type of bird , age and weight. 3 week old silkie
    2) What is the behavior, exactly. head tucked between legs and can't hold it up, runs backwards, can't eat or drink without support.
    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms? 2 or 3 days (don't know for sure because I was away for work and my daughter was caring for the chicks)
    4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms? no
    5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma. no
    6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation. 17 chicks panicked when she went to put the top on the brooder and this one ran full speed into the mob and tried to go under the rest. they trampled her a bit before she could be eased out of the pack.
    7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all. eating medicated chick starter, clean water, and some boiled egg today; has a good appetite.
    8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc. a little runny yesterday, firmer today
    9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far? non-iron liquid baby vitamins twice today and hold the chick while stbilizing its neck so it can eat and drink every couple of hours.
    10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet? treat myself
    11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
    12) Describe the housing/bedding in use metal stock watering tank with pine shavings, chick feeders, waterer, and a small log (firewood) to roost and play on.

    The other chicks are very vigorous and growing well.
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

  3. kelar

    kelar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 22, 2010
    yacolt
    The baby might recover in time if you assist it to eat and drink long enough. Sometimes they have permanent neurological damage, but others recover completely with time and care.
     
  4. horsekeeper

    horsekeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 26, 2011
    Middleburgh, NY
    Thanks. I have been holding her upright and gently supporting under the neck and she has been eating and drinking well. Tonight not so good. She is tucking her head more and whirling in circles and sounding distressed. Pretty sure she gave her head a good knock when trying to dive under the other chicks and hit the perching log head on. She is way ssmaller than the other chicks and is feathering more slowly, but that may be from being ill.

    I don't know how far to let it go before culling. She certainly is a feisty little thing and seems to be fighting to survive.
     
  5. horsekeeper

    horsekeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 26, 2011
    Middleburgh, NY
    Followed the advice I found on several threads and the chick is doing great. It seemed very lonely even though it was in a cat carrier and could see and hear the other chicks. After about 5 days I decided to let it stay with the other chicks because it was only happy when being held. It has been integrated for about a week and if it didn't have stained fluff on the neck from the vitamins dripping all over I wouldn't know which one it is!

    Peanut is still a little smaller, but so agressive and brave that it gets to the treats and food first and fights for whatever it wants. I supported the head for eating and drinking, gave liquid baby vitamins and offered scrambled egg. Probably all the cuddling in the rocking chair and humming helped, too.

    Thanks to everyone who posted stories of their own and advice.
     
  6. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote:Yay! [​IMG]
     

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