Saturday, November 10, 2012

Crookneck


I have to say that over the years I have had or helped people with a Silkie with crookneck.  That is when their head drops between their legs and they roll or walk backwards and can't seem to pick it up.

Since my first traumatic experience with it about 8 years ago when I freaked out and I had my husband put the poor thing out of it's misery... and I started just feeding them... I have not lost one.  And the survivors have not had it happen again.  Thankfully the 7 or 8 I've fed must not have had a bad case of it.  It took one friend a month of feeding hers, but she came through it!!  That is true love and dedication on the owners and chicken's part!!

I do not like prednisone for reasons relating to other people's and my dogs.  It is a personal thing, but some Vets want to put dogs on it for life and it kills their immune system.  I have always weaned mine off of it at the earliest sign of recovery from whatever and have talked others into the same after years... and red skin goes away.  Vitality and sweet temperament returns... So what I am saying is that I believe in more natural remedies.  This may not work for everyone.  I can't afford to go to the Vet all the time either.

I have a fat plastic dropper from the drug store that I cut the tip off of and I grind chicken food in a coffee grinder.  I make a slurry with warm water and vitamins, garlic or whatever else I think might help... but mainly just chicken feed ground up and water.

 Hi, I found out last year that Silkies and Silkie crosses can develop a  vitamin deficiency that can cause neurological problems. My young hen was tipping over backward!! I used liquid vitamin E from capsules given with a  little eye dropper and in less than a day, she was fine. I have also used  the PolyViSol children's vitamin drops and that worked. Give it a try! (copied from a group chat)

I hold their top knots with my thumb and forefinger and pry their little beak open, holding it open with my middle finger of the same hand and suck up the slurry I've made with the dropper and hand feed them gently getting it well down their throat... holding their head gently, but good enough so that the food goes down easy... until their crop is full... 3 times a day. You might have to hold them in the crook of your arm or have someone else hold them still.
If you keep them fed and hydrated they have a chance to heal. Life wants to happen.  I've heard you can also use baby bird formula...it's easier.... but I prefer chicken feed.

I leave them in a box on a towel so they can find a comfortable place to be still and pain free and not get stressed.  No food or water except for what you feed them if they are still thrashing.  When they get a little better I put them in a cage.  I had one that would lay on her back in a cage in my tack room and when she saw me coming to feed her, she'd get up... and within a week she could lift her head all the way up.  She was the cutest thing!  Her picture is on my Silkie page and my Contact page.  The little Blue face close up.  All better.  They will survive it if the injury is not too bad and they are kept fed and hydrated. 

It takes dedication, but you really have no other choice.  Just do it and don't worry about whether you have the time or whether you want to.. or whether the bird is in pain.  The alternative is to give up.  Never give up... and don't beat yourself up if you do... Just do the best you can next time.  They usually come around in a week.

And if they don't make it... take vitamins, eat pie and get enough sleep... watch a good movie... hug your dog. 

Bobbi of www.IndigoEgg.US