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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29766
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My young chicken is not acting right. She holds her head down

Customer Question

My young chicken is not acting right. She holds her head down between her feet and walks backward. She flips over on her back and kicks in the air. Then does it all over again. What is wrong with her?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Rose, I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. We don't have many avian vets on this site. Silkie is showing signs of encephalopathy (brain disorder). I would need to consider avian encephalomyelitis, Newcastle disease (not in the USA), vitamin deficiency (E, A, riboflavin/unlikely nowadays), toxicities, Marek's disease, mycotic (fungal) encephalitis, brain abscess, and bacterial infections such as from Enterococcus hirae. The search for the cause is expensive and impractical for the flock owner. The prognosis for these birds is grave and so they are culled. Having her necropsied is indicated if you have a sizeable flock at risk. Your vet can arrange to have the necropsy performed or your county animal disease diagnostic laboratory can do this for you should you be lucky enought to have such a laboratory in your county.Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Hi Rose,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Silkie. How is everything going?

Dr. Michael Salkin