Young Plymouth Rock pullet with possible brain injury

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by janetnz60, Mar 19, 2016.

  1. janetnz60

    janetnz60 Out Of The Brooder

    12
    0
    22
    Jan 23, 2016
    New Zealand
    Hi - new to this so hope I can get some help.

    I have a young Plymouth Rock pullet that is about 14-16 weeks old. A couple of days ago she appeared to have a spot of blood to the rear of her eye and her eye was closed. Yesterday I noticed she was holding her head on one side and was eating from one side of her beak. She also appeared to stagger a bit when walking and prefer to lie down. She was hungry and eating well.
    Today she appears worse and her head is even more on the side - she even turns it to the back. She is uncordinated and I saw her lose her balance this afternoon - it's like she's drunk. She is still eating though. There doesn't appear to be an injury today - I held her and gave her a good looking over. Her eye keeps shutting, but it doesn't appear damaged. if she was human I would think either middle ear problem (loss of balance etc.) or brain issue. Do any of these symptoms sound familiar to anyone on here? I feel she is getting worse and don't really know what to do. I don't want to lose her - she is a dear wee soul, but I hate seeing her like this. Tonight she is not roosting, but her sister is sitting next to her keeping her company in their coop. Any help or advice will be greatly appreciated! Thanks [​IMG]
     
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    9,863
    3,113
    386
    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

    30,042
    4,308
    541
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    It does sound like wry neck (torticolis, crook neck) which is a neurological symptom of a brain problem caused by a head injury, certain diseases including Mareks disease, fowl cholera, and others, and in some cases from a vitamin E and selenium deficiency. Giving poultry vitamins including E, and a selenium supplement such as egg, tuna, nuts, or meat in a small amount, and limiting noise and stress may help. Getting enough food and water into the chickens is important, and some will wrap them in a towel and feed watery food several times a day. Here is some reading to help:
    http://www.browneggblueegg.com/Article/Crookneck/Crookneck.html
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/97121/lets-talk-wry-neck-crook-neck
     
  4. janetnz60

    janetnz60 Out Of The Brooder

    12
    0
    22
    Jan 23, 2016
    New Zealand
    Thanks for the responses!

    She is still with us this morning so I will see about some extra vitamins and some food high in selenium. She is up and about and eating her mash, but still from the side of her beak.

    Thanks again for the advice - very much appreciated [​IMG]
     
  5. janetnz60

    janetnz60 Out Of The Brooder

    12
    0
    22
    Jan 23, 2016
    New Zealand
    Hi again. Our Rock has now had a big ramekin of tuna, egg and a multi vitamin tonic (including Vitamin E). She seemed very hungry, although she has been eating her mash etc. I am off out shortly to buy some straight Vitamin E. I have also isolated her now, but within sight of her sister and the rest of the flock. I am in NZ and it is still warm here at the moment as we are in late summer.

    As requested I have added some photos of her taken this morning.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    I have noticed the side of her face where she does not close her eye is very red (first photo shows this quite clearly.

    Is the thought still wry neck?

    Thanks again - this is a fantastic site, especially for newbies! I am learning so much.
     
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

    30,042
    4,308
    541
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Red skin is comparable to flushing, and I've seen that in chickens with fever. I'm not sure why it would be only on one side of the face. She definitely has wry neck or torticolis.
     
  7. janetnz60

    janetnz60 Out Of The Brooder

    12
    0
    22
    Jan 23, 2016
    New Zealand
    Thank you so much [​IMG][​IMG]. Fingers crossed she makes a full recovery!
     
  8. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    9,863
    3,113
    386
    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    I agree with @Eggcessive it definitely is wry neck.
    In the first and second photo is her ear swollen? It's hard to tell it may just be me.
    That's a great idea to have her separate like that with her own food and water, but within site of everyone. I use something similar, it works well and you can monitor food/water intake.
     
  9. janetnz60

    janetnz60 Out Of The Brooder

    12
    0
    22
    Jan 23, 2016
    New Zealand
    I have had a good look at her ears and I don't think they are swollen. The ear canals are a yellow colour and seem clear - no discharge and the covering feathers aren't matted or sticky.

    I now have Vitamin E drops and selenium powder capsules, so she has had her first dose in a tuna, egg and mash mixture. She ate most of the mix I had prepared, so she has had 3 pretty good meals today.

    The good thing is she is no worse, so we will keep up the treatment and see how she goes over the next few days. From what I have read today the supplements are not an overnight cure, and it may be days before there is a visible improvement. Thank you for the advice, links and support - being relatively new to chicken keeping I had never heard of wry neck!!!

    Now we are giving her supplements etc. are her chances good, or is she not out of the woods yet? Is wry neck fatal in a 16 week old pullet if caught in time? Any thoughts will be appreciated.
     
  10. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    9,863
    3,113
    386
    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Since she is eating well and you are treating her fairly quickly, IMO her chances are really good.
    She is young and chickens are fairly resilient. So hopefully she will do just fine.
    Please do keep us updated.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2016

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by