backwards chicken : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I've got an 11 week old black Australorp pullet, that goes in "reverse" better than forward. I noticed she was listless about Monday, so I isolated her. She is eating and taking some water. She has her head curled under and seems to think she needs to preen on her underneath side. I don't see anything and she's not picking out her feathers. She doesn't really move around much, then she just really goes backwards, with her head tucked under. Anyone have any ideas on what happening here?

-- Cathey (, December 28, 2000


Cath! In the old days [when I was a pup] we had chickens that way -- the main thing we looked for was what they called "limber neck". I doubt if this is a problem with your chick but it was rather common back then. Summertime/warm weather was when it was most prevelant. Caused by eatin maggots. Honest! Those nasty little critters would burrow inside the old chick's guzzle and they couldn't hold up there head. They would die in a matter of a day or two. Just thought I'd throw this tidy bit of information in for some other oldtimers "memory jogger". hoot. Matt. 24:44

-- hoot (, December 28, 2000.

Well thanks Hoot, I read your response right after lunch! I don't know where this pullet could have gotten into maggots, the hen house was cleaned (fumigated) and vacant for several weeks before the new girls moved in. Oh well, it's only a chicken, huh? Just hope the others don't get it. Good scripture, too.

-- Cathey (, December 28, 2000.

There are a number of brain/nervous disorders that birds are prone to that cause the head and neck to be carried in odd positions, often upside down. IF this is the case, the bird may adapt and adjust to this situation and lead an otherwise rather normal -- if strange looking -- life. I've seen a number of companion birds (parrots, cockatiels) like that.

-- Julie Froelich (, December 31, 2000.

Drat. I also meant to mention a Toulouse goose that I once had who developed limber-neck...except that the vet told me it had nothing to do with eating maggots, it had to do with botulism, from eating tainted food, either on corn, or green food that was bad. We tried various antibiotics and tube-feeding, etc., but ultimately it did not work. I wish you better luck.

-- Julie Froelich (, December 31, 2000.

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