Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wry neck in chicks

We recently had the issue of wry neck rear it's ugly little head in our Silkie coop, multiple times. It seems that Silkies tend to get wry neck more then other breeds and over the years I have had an isolated instance of it here and there. Wry neck is a condition where the neck is twisted. It's also called crook neck, twisted neck or stargazing. Some time their necks twist up so it looks like their looking at the sky, others are backwards and still others are almost upside down like this little guy....

hoe to heal wry neck in chicks


That's not good! There are several different beliefs on why chicks get wry neck. Some say it's strictly a vitamin deficiency, other say its certain breeds (Silkies and polish) and then there's the genetic link. I've found that it's actually a combination. Yes, my Silkies get it more then any other breed. However, I have cured it with supplements. I've also found (as with the chick in the picture) that if a chick outgrows wry neck, their offspring are more likely to get it. Confused yet? It's certainly not a cut and dried answer, but it's the only one I've got!

Now, lets get back to my chicks getting wry neck. The first one I just accepted as a sometimes silkie thing. The next one clicked the light bulb on in my head. Genetics! Sure enough once I moved her mama hen to the grow out pen and ran through the current incubation cycle, the wry neck chicks stopped. Problem solved. Finally. All of those chick had been from this little girl.




She was hatched last year from a reputable breeder (who shall remain unnamed)  to add to our breeding stock. At about 3 weeks old she developed wry neck. I got her through it with vitamin E and selenium three times daily and neck massages. I bought the capsules and pierced them open, squeezing a few drops on her beak each time. She quit getting worse as soon as I started treatment. It probably took about a week to tell she was getting better though. Another 2 weeks and you could barely tell at all. Success! However, there is still the genetic issue to contend with. Even though she's healed, some of her chicks have problems with wry neck. It's better to just remove a hen from the breeding group rather then take the chance of wry neck in her chicks. Sadly, they don't all make it even with treatment.


This pretty black hen now resides in the grow out pen with the teenager silkies. She's looking for a 'laying hen' home with full disclosure of her ailments. She's fluffed out a bit since that first picture was taken of her as a pullet. She's a pretty girl, a sweetheart and might even be able to be shown....but never used as a breeder! Lesson learned!
~L
(this post contains affiliate links. If you chose to purchase something from these links, I will get a small amount from Amazon to thank me for sending you their way and help support this blog. It will not affect your purchase price) 

Shared at: Simple Saturdays   Simply Natural Saturdays  The Art of Homemaking Mondays   Good Morning Mondays   Clever Chicks blog hop   The Homestead Blog hop   From The Farm blog hop  Old Fashioned Fridays   Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop    Front Porch Fridays   Mostly Homemade Mondays  

6 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for linking up! You were our featured blogger this week! Congrats~Melissa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! Heading over there now!

      ~L

      Delete
  2. Oh I had no idea that this condition existed. Nice of you to retire her from the breeding stock but did you manage to help her offspring overcome their wry necks?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One of her babies responded well to treatment but unfortunately the other one didn't. We haven't had any more chicks hatch with wry neck since though.

      ~L

      Delete
  3. I have never heard of this before and I am not sure whether we get this in Australia or not but I really appreciate you sharing it with us at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for adding this to From The Farm...it's easy to see why this is one of this week's favorites!

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...