How do You Treat Wry Neck in Chickens? 5 Simple Steps

WRY NECK TREATMENT BANNER

What is Wry Neck in Chickens?

Wry neck is a condition that causes weakened muscles in the neck. A chicken afflicted with wry neck will present with a twisted or “crooked neck” and have difficulty holding its head up, standing, walking and eating.

Other common names that are frequently used for wry neck are: torticollis, twisted neck, crooked neck, crook neck and “stargazing.”

This is most commonly seen in newly hatched baby chicks and can be genetically inherited, caused by a head injury or due to a vitamin deficiency.

This article will address the most common cause of wry neck in chickens, vitamin deficiency, and how to treat it at home.

Wry Neck in Chicken Symptoms

WRY NECK SYMPTOMS
IN CHICKENS
DIFFICULTY LIFTING
HEAD OFF OF THE GROUND
DIFFICULTY STANDING
NECK LOOKS TWISTED
HEAD IS TILTED ALL THE WAY
BACK. (LOOKING UP)
DIFFICULTY WALKING DUE
TO HEAD DRAGGING ON GROUND
DIFFICULTY EATING
DIFFICULTY DRINKING
DIFFICULTY CARRYING OUT
ANY DAILY ACTIVITIES

How Long Does it Take to Treat Wry Neck in Chickens?

A chicken with wry neck due to a vitamin deficiency usually responds rather quickly with proper vitamin treatment. Most people notice an increase in muscle control within the first 24-48 hours and almost complete recovery within one week.

Home Remedy for Wry Neck in Chickens

HOW DO YOU TREAT WRY NECK IN CHICKENS?
CHICKENS WITH WRY NECK OFTEN HAVE A VITAMIN DEFICIENCY CAUSING WEAKNESS IN THE MUSCLES OF THE NECK, MAKING IT DIFFICULT TO LIFT THE HEAD, WALK AND EAT.

It can be quite alarming to see a new baby chick unable to stand, walk or eat because it can’t lift its head off the ground. A chick that is lacking in particular vitamins and minerals that is treated right away has a very good chance of living out a normal and healthy life!

Treatment for wry neck in a chicken with a vitamin and mineral deficiency involves:

  • Separating it from the rest of the flock.
  • Replenishing VITAMIN E, an important vitamin that it is deficient in.
  • Replenishing SELENIUM, an important trace mineral that it is deficient in. Selenium is needed in order for the body to be able to absorb vitamin E.
  • Hand feeding the baby chick or chicken throughout the day.
    • Baby chicks in their first week of life need fed every 2-3 hours, including in the night.
    • Adult chickens do not need to be fed as often, but the amount of feed per day should equal about 1/4 lb. of feed. They do not need to be fed in the night. A properly fed chicken should have a full crop before going to sleep at night.
  • Safely reintegrating the chicken or chick back into the flock. The flock will have to reestablish their “pecking order” when you bring the chick or chicken back into the existing flock.

What Vitamins is a Chicken Lacking With Wry Neck?

The most common deficiency leading to wry neck in chickens is of vitamin E and the trace mineral selenium. Other common vitamin deficiencies that can lead to wry neck in chickens is vitamin B1(thiamine) and D.

Step by Step Instructions for Treating Chicken Wry Neck

1. Separate a Chicken with Wry Neck from the Rest of the Flock

It is important to isolate a chicken with wry neck from the rest of the flock for two main reasons:

  1. Chickens know when another flock mate is weak and may bully and peck them to death. It is natural instinct to get rid of a weakened flock mate because they are putting the rest of the flock at risk of being attacked by predators. The flock is only as strong as its weakest link!
  2. A chicken that is being picked on or bullied is under a lot of stress. Any type of stress can make wry neck worse.

Place your chicken in a dog crate lined with bedding material. You will be tending to your chicken frequently(every 2-3 hours), so it is best to bring the cage to an area that you can keep an eye on them.

Make sure you locate the cage in a dark and quiet area that doesn’t get much foot traffic. This way your chicken will be less stressed while it is being nursed back to health.

Dollar Store Chicken Supplies, Chick-Waterer-with-gem-marbles
PLACE MARBLES IN YOUR CHICKEN WATERERS TO AVOID ACCIDENTAL DROWNING OF WRY NECK CHICKENS.

WARNING: A chicken with wry neck can drown in their waterers. If you keep water in your isolation cage, place rocks or marbles inside to avoid drowning.

2. Give Vitamin E and Selenium Daily

The two most important things to give a chicken with wry neck are VITAMIN E AND SELENIUM.

Selenium is a trace mineral that is needed in order for a chicken to be able to absorb vitamin E.

Vitamin E Dosage for Chickens With Wry Neck: 1 Vitamin E-400iu daily.

  1. Day 1: Pierce one 400iu capsule of vitamin E open and add it to uncooked egg white. If your chicken is doing well eating this, try adding some mashed chick starter for chicks or layers crumbles for adult hens.
  2. Feed this mixture every two hours until consumed. You will need to take special care when feeding a chicken with wry neck. Help them by supporting their neck while you are feeding them.
  3. Chicks will need to be fed every 2-3 hours throughout the night.
  4. Adult chickens do not need to be fed throughout the night. Just make sure that they go to bed with a full crop.
  5. Day 2: Repeat.
  6. Most chickens will respond quickly, within the first few days of treatment. You can stop treatment when your chicken is able to lift its head and eat on its own.
  • Vitamin E-400iu capsules can be purchased in the vitamin section at any pharmacy or you can even purchase them on Amazon. These are good to keep on hand in your chicken first aid kit!
  • Selenium can be given to your chickens in the form of uncooked egg whites.

-OR-

  • You can purchase VitaminE-400iu capsules with Selenium already in it.
Feeding Hens black oiled sunflower seeds, B.O.S.S., is an excellent way of providing vitamin E. How do you treat wry neck in chickens?
FEEDING YOUR CHICKENS BLACK OILED SUNFLOWER SEEDS IS AN EXCELLENT WAY OF PROVIDING ADDITIONAL VITAMIN E.

How Do You Feed a Chick With Wry Neck?

A chicken with wry neck has weak neck muscles, making it difficult to hold its head up and swallow. When feeding a chicken with wry neck, gently support its neck with one hand and offer its feed as mash, mixed with vitamin E(from gel cap) and raw egg white(selenium) with a spoon in your other hand.

Other Sources of Vitamin E for Chickens

VEGETABLES
PROVIDING
VITAMIN E
FOR CHICKENS
HERBS
PROVIDING
VITAMIN E
FOR CHICKENS
SEEDS
PROVIDING
VITAMIN E
FOR CHICKENS
ASPARAGUS OREGANO SUNFLOWER
SEEDS
PUMPKIN GINGER SAFFLOWER
SEEDS
BEETS CLOVES PUMPKIN
SEEDS
COLLARD
GREENS
CURRY CRUSHED
PINE NUTS
SPINACH PAPRIKA CRUSHED
HAZEL NUTS
BROCCOLI CAYENNE
PEPPER
CRUSHED
ALMONDS
TURNIPS SAGE CRUSHED
PEANUTS
OTHER SOURCES OF VITAMIN E FOR CHICKENS

3. Poly-Vi-Sol for Wry Neck in Chickens

Sometimes there is also a deficiency in Vitamin B1. If you find that your chicken isn’t improving within the first 2 days of treatment, try adding Poly-Vi-Sol to the uncooked egg white and Vitamin E-400iu.

Some people like to wait and only add this if they don’t see improvement. I like to add 1-2 drops of Poly-Vi-Sol from day 1. It doesn’t hurt adding extra vitamins for up to a week for your chickens.

Do NOT buy the one with IRON.

Poly-Vi-Sol is an infant and toddler multivitamin that can be purchased in the infant vitamin section of any pharmacy or you can buy it on Amazon.

This is great to keep on hand in your chicken survival kit!

VITAMIN in
POLY-VI-SOL
AMOUNT / 1 ml
A 250 mcg
C 50 mg
D 10 mcg
E 5 mg
B1
THIAMIN
0.3 mg
B2
RIBOFLAVIN
0.4 mg
B3
NIACIN
4 mg
B6 0.3 mg
B12 2 ug

4. Bring them Outdoors for Vitamin D Daily

Vitamin D is another vitamin deficiency that a chick with wry neck may have. The best thing to do is to provide your wry neck chick or chicken some one on one outdoor time with you in the sunshine.

Your chicken should be constantly supervised. Hawks from up above know when they see an easy target and can easily swoop down and carry a little chick away.

When bringing chicks that are not fully feathered outdoors, make sure that you are providing the proper amount of heat for them. If you have to, set up a little outdoor brooder with a light for additional heat.

You will be amazed at how he/she perks up!

5. Reintegrating a Quarantined Chicken Back Into the Flock

The following are some tips on how to reintegrate your wry neck chicken back with the rest of the flock:

  • Make sure that the chick or chicken is strong enough to hold its head up and perform daily activities independently before moving them in with the others. They should be able to eat, drink, stand and walk on their own.
  • Keep a watchful eye when you are reintegrating a once quarantined chicken back into the flock. Set aside some time that you can spend watching the dynamics of the flock.
  • There will be some bullying and pecking that goes on. They will need to reestablish their “pecking order,” but there should NOT be any bloodshed.
  • If you find that you have a bully in the group that is not allowing you to bring your chicken back into the flock peacefully, you may need to isolate the aggressive chicken by putting it in “chicken jail” for a few days. This will hopefully knock it down a few notches in the pecking order.

Can chickens die from wry neck?

Yes, chickens that are suffering from wry neck due to a vitamin deficiency can die if they are not treated right away. Death usually occurs because they are unable to feed themselves. This is due to muscle weakness in the neck and the inability to hold their head up. With quick treatment a chicken can live a normal life.

Conclusion: How do You Treat Wry Neck in Chickens?

  • Vitamin E and selenium should be added to the diet (if wry neck is caused by vitamin deficiency) right away.
  • Wry neck chickens need isolated from the rest of the flock during treatment.
  • They need help with feedings at 2-3 hour intervals throughout the day.
  • Feed the following throughout the day:
    • Add 1, Vitamin E-400 iu capsule contents to 1 raw egg white(selenium).
    • Add chicken feed to this and mash it so it is easier to eat.
    • Support its head with your hand during feeding.
    • Offer this feed with your opposite hand in a spoon to your chicken.
  • Bring your chicken outdoors for natural sunlight, vitamin D, daily.
  • Improvement should be seen within the first 24-48 hours.
  • 1-2 drops (daily) of Poly-Vi-Sol, liquid vitamins for toddlers, can be added to the food for additional vitamins (A, C, D, E, B1, B2, B3, B6 & B12). Do NOT buy the one with IRON.
  • Reintegrate back into the existing flock after 1 week or when chicken is able to stand, walk, feed and carry on daily activities on its own.