Watching your chicken have a seizure can be a horrible experience, not knowing what to do when this happens can make the experience even worse.
This article explores how to know if your chicken is having a seizure and what to do.
Chicken having a seizure:
Seizures can happen in a variety of birds including parrots, cockatiels, budgies, love birds, finches, and chickens to name a few. Below is how to know if your bird is having a seizure and what to do:
Is my chicken having a seizure?
- Signs that your bird is having a seizure include:
- A loss of motor function in the chicken’s body
- Falling off of the perch
- Twitching of the legs
- Thrashing of the legs
- A stiffening of the body
- Loud vocalizations
- Flapping of the wings wildly
- A period of loss of consciousness
- Inability to perch
The above describes what you’ll see during the second phase of a chicken having a seizure. This is called the ictal phase, this stage can last for 5 to 25 seconds.
There is a stage before this called the aural stage. The bird will stray from its normal behavior and will start acting in an unusual way during the aural stage.
The last stage is called the postictal phase, a bird in this stage will be confused, lethargic, will act agitated, and will be exhausted.
What to do:
If you realize that your bird is having a seizure then you’d need to get the bird to the vet as quickly as you can. This is not something that we recommend treating at home.
You’d need to keep the bird as calm as possible on the ride to the vet. Do this by placing the bird in a quiet dark box with padding at the bottom. Punch holes at the top of the box to let air in.
Taking a video of the bird while it is seizing would also be a good idea, showing this video to the vet may help them figure out the reason behind the bird’s seizures and the severity of the problem.
Taking notes of how your bird acts while it’s seizing will also be of help to the vet.
Once you do manage to get the bird to the vet the vet will be able to physically examine the bird, run tests on the bird, and treat the bird.
The tests may include a physical exam, blood chemistry as well as a radiograph.
The vet will be able to treat your bird once the reason behind the seizure has been determined.
Treatment may involve giving the bird antitoxins if the bird was exposed to toxins, chelating drugs if the bird is exposed to heavy metals, or a change in diet if the reason behind the seizures is a vitamin deficiency.
Anticonvulsant medications may also be given by the vet to temporarily stop the bird from seizing until the root cause of the seizing is found and treated.
If you can’t get the bird to the vet immediately then you’d need to keep the bird in a calm, quiet, and dimly lit place until the vet visit.
Place the bird in a small recovery cage on its own until the vet visit. Leave this recovery cage somewhere far away from the coop and away from the other chickens.
Also, add a padded floor to the bottom of this cage in case the bird has another seizure and falls over again. The padding will soften the bird’s fall.
Recovery after the vet visit:
Keep the bird in the same small cage after the bird comes back from the vet and give it time to recover and heal.
Make sure that the bird eats nutritionally dense foods as it recovers and makes sure that this food is easily digestible.
Foods that are easy to digest include boiled and mashed eggs, plain yogurt, fermented feed, and minced vegetables.
Make sure that your bird gets access to clean and fresh water as it recovers but serve the water in a shallow dish to keep the bird from accidentally falling into the dish and drowning.
If you enjoyed this article then you may also be interested in other chicken related articles. Here are some articles that you may be interested in: Hard Lump In Chickens Throat, Chicken Cremation, Chicken Not Moving But Breathing, Wobbly Chicken, Sling For A Chicken With A Broken Leg