A pet chicken starting to show signs of being ill is quite worrisome. Diseases can quickly kill your bird so knowing when to intervene if your bird shows alarming signs is a must.
A chicken shaking its head and walking backward is alarming. This article looks into why your chicken is shaking its head and walking backward.
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Chicken shaking head and walking backwards:
A bird walking backward will be quite concerning to any chicken owner, thankfully we know why birds do this and there are ways to treat a bird who is doing this.
Here is why your bird is walking backwards and shaking its head:
One of the reasons why your bird may be shaking its head and walking backward is that the bird is suffering from a nutrient deficiency namely a vitamin E or a selenium deficiency.
This deficiency causes your bird to develop a condition called wry neck. It is also called crook neck, stargazing, and twisted neck.
The illness can cause your bird to walk backward and shake its head but it can also cause the bird to develop symptoms like difficulty standing and a twisting of the neck, permanently looking upwards
Vitamin E and selenium are similar to each other, they work to ensure the optimum functioning of the birds nervous system. Wry neck can be caused by a lack of any of these nutrients from your bird’s diet.
Other causes of wry neck include head injuries and genetic disorders, or your bird may develop this condition if they ingest toxins.
Wry neck usually affects younger chickens but it can affect older chickens as well.
What to do:
Start off by separating the bird who is suffering from wry neck, this will keep the other birds from trampling on the ill bird or pecking at it. This will also keep the ill bird from becoming stressed.
You’d then need to supplement more vitamin E or selenium into the bird’s diet. You can give the bird vitamin E supplements in pill form or you can add more vitamin E rich foods into the bird’s diet.
When serving vitamin tablets make sure that you have the bird take the pills two or three times a day. Foods that are rich in vitamin E include dandelion greens, broccoli, spinach, and asparagus to name a few.
You may also want to consider adding more vitamin E and selenium to your whole flocks diet, some birds may have this condition but may not be showing symptoms.
Another reason why your bird may be walking backward and shaking its head may be that the bird has a condition called Newcastle disease.
This is a contagious viral disease that attacks the nerves of the bird’s brain.
Other symptoms of this disease that you may see in your chickens include walking in circles, head twisting, tremors, trouble walking, clumsiness, stumbling, swelling of the eyes or neck, and partial or full paralysis of the limbs.
What to do:
Unfortunately, because this is a viral disease, there is no treatment for it as yet, however, if your bird develops a secondary bacterial infection then this can be treated using antibiotics
It is recommended that you vaccinate any new birds for this condition as well.
If you enjoyed this article then you may also be interested in other bird related articles. Here are some articles that you may be interested in: Chicken Sneezing When Eating, Why Your Chickens Head Doesn’t Move, How Do Wild Chickens Survive In The Winter?, Why Is My Duckling’s Neck Swollen?, Duck With A Twisted Foot, Do Chickens Shake When Scared?, Chicken Limping After Dog Attack, Chicken Trembling Legs, Rooster Shaking Legs