Wry neck Silkie - help! Has been unwell for almost 7 weeks

Herb101

Hatching
Dec 2, 2021
6
0
7
Hi BYC team, I have a 2 month old Silkie who developed wry neck symptoms about 7 weeks ago. She appeared to get a bit better about 4.5 weeks ago for about 32 hours but then reverted back to completely twisted neck. What is the longest anyone has hand fed a chicken for? I don’t even know if it’s a hen or rooster yet (& I can’t keep a rooster). I have been hand feeding an avian vitamin booster with electrolytes, chicken crumble, and a little tuna. I am away for two weeks over Christmas and cannot take her. If she doesn’t get better soon I don’t know anyone else mad enough to care for her over that time so will have to let her go :( I find it sad as she is quite happy and is thriving but just can’t keep upright long enough to feed herself. I’m taking her to the vets this afternoon for another opinion but I don’t know how much the vet will know about chooks as the avian vet is on parental leave…
 

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azygous

Enabler
12 Years
Dec 11, 2009
26,024
40,106
1,232
Colorado Rockies
Are you using vitamin E 400iu with selenium? That's the strength you need, and it must not be diluted. The problem may be poor absorption. Selenium helps. Selenium also is a good agent for healing damaged nerves. Another potent agent for healing wry neck is tumeric. Buy the capsules and either give her one each day directly into her beak her mix it into her food.

Is she getting enough food and water? Sometimes it's necessary to tube feed a wry neck patient if they are not able to eat and drink on their own. If she's not getting enough to eat and drink, she can become too weak, and the wry neck is aggravated by this.
 

Herb101

Hatching
Dec 2, 2021
6
0
7
Thank you, I went to the vet this afternoon and they suggested it was hydrocephalus and that she is unlikely to recover. I am not 100% sure I agree now after googling hydrocephalus.
The past 6 - 7 weeks I have been hand feeding her crumble, tuna in oil mixed with vitamins and electrolytes about half a dozen times a day - she has grown a lot over those weeks but she is still only a third of the size of our other chicks same age and breed. Her neck is very twisted although she does straighten it for very short periods of time if I help her to unravel…most of the time she is tail up, and head twisted under in front of her feet
 

Herb101

Hatching
Dec 2, 2021
6
0
7
It looks like if I convert the iu to mg, 400iu should be about 267mg, so the 105mg on the vitamin mix I have is not enough. I will get some vit e capsules from pharmacy and see if she shows improvement - thanks team!
 
Last edited:

Banana01

Songster
Feb 18, 2021
788
1,284
221
San Martin, Peru
I have been hand feeding chickens for over a year. Right now i feel a bit overwhelmed, because I have three that are needing special care. Hang in there and keep trying, i hope she gets better by your travel date. If not, you did the best you could.
 

Herb101

Hatching
Dec 2, 2021
6
0
7
Thank you. I hope your three improve soon too. That’s almost a full time job having three to provide special care for. I’ll certainly do my best to help her improve over the next week & a bit.
 

Herb101

Hatching
Dec 2, 2021
6
0
7
Just posting an update…we culled our little chicken Josephine today as it turns out the vet really did know what they were looking at, I’d not noticed the swelling on her (usually hidden) eye until this morning. As soon as I saw it, I knew vet was right after all and I was just prolonging her suffering - so a kind neighbour helped me to dispatch quickly. So sad, but better knowing that she wasn’t going to recover and have good quality of life. Thanks for the advice and help and maybe this will help someone else wondering if their chicken has wry neck or hydrocephalus. Apparently silkie chickens are prone to it.
 

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