Wry can now eat and drink on her own. Her left neck muscles are still weak but she has enough control and balance to feed herself! I suspect Thiamine/B1-Manganese deficiency or malpositioning was the cause of her severe wry neck. It took 2 weeks of hand feeding and watering every 4 hours to get her here…
I don’t think I will do it again for such a bad case. The worry and lack of sleep has been driving me a little nuts. It does show me that this can be reversible. Perhaps for a rare or endangered species, it might be worth nursing the chick to health. Wry neck can develop in older chickens. In those cases, and in lesser cases with the chicks it is well worth the knowledge that they can recover.
The treatment I believed worked is:
-Chicken vitamins in the water
-Poly Vi Sol children’s vitamins in the food, 3 drops/day.
-Hand made food rich in missing vitamins. NO MEDICATED FEED! It can be antagonistic to Thiamine B1 vitamin.
-Some isolation. I isolated her during feeding, and left her with only 2 nest mates. I probably would isolate a grown chicken completely.
I lost a couple days because I could not figure out how to feed her.
- Use a dropper for water.
- Make sure eyes are clear and clean. Dehydration was a constant problem with Wry and I think it made her eyes sticky. She also gets food in her eyes because of her lack of control, and she often drags her head through feces since it is on the ground. I gave her baths in warm water, and rinsed her eyes with human eye rinse. Wry currently has a mild eye infection. Keeping her cage cleaner would have also helped to avoid it.
- Get the chicks attention by tapping at the food and talking. The noise may get it to open its eyes. My chicks make a fweep fweep noise when eating, that also got her attention. Wry also learned the word “water” when I fed her with the dropper. Try to use the same tone and inflection when teaching them words. There are chicken calls that they are born with and the capacity for a small vocabulary.
- I found a full crop lasted 3-4 hours.
-Use shallow bowls or flat lids for food. This compensates for the lack of pecking precision.
-With chicks keep a mason jar waterier with marbles for when they can drink themselves.
Blender Recipes Used
scrambled eggs- romaine lettuce – hummus
scrambled eggs- romaine lettuce – cashew – left over brown rice – hummus
Please see other posts for information and links on vitamin deficiencies in poultry that can cause wry neck. There can be many different causes of wry neck, and treatment will very based on the cause. We were lucky that she was had something she could recover to functionality from.