Our Chikens are not well at all

by Alice
(Hampshire, UK)

Hi, We started with 8 chicken but we have two left. We have no idea why they keep dying off. Our last two chickens seemed to be doing really well, but now one looks like it has a problem with her neck, she keeps throwing it back and bending it right over so she is looking upwards, she is finding it hard to get about or jump as her neck keeps doing this.

I am miles away from pay day so can't get her to the vets could it be this limber neck? Help, I can't bare to lose another one.


Alice, it sounds as if your chickens are suffering from Polyneuritis which is caused by a vitamin deficiency, particularly Thiamine. This is what is causing the "stargazing" symptoms in your chickens. That is, the throwing back of the necks so that they are looking upwards.

First of all you need to get your chickens re-hydrated, because if they are not eating or drinking, the dehydration will kill them quicker than the deficiency itself.

You can make a homemade re-hydration solution:

one and one/half teaspoon salt
one teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons corn syrup
two quarts of water

Mix together and try and get your chickens to drink this. Don't squirt down their necks as you can end up getting this into their lungs. Try dipping their beaks into the solution to encourage them to drink. Or take a syringe and dribble it into their beaks.

You will also need to get Vitamin B1 into your chickens. This is why it is so important to feed plain homemade yoghurt to your chickens on a weekly basis, which will give you the vitamins that are needed to keep your chickens healthy.

You can also give them a multivitamin in their water which you should be able to get from your local pet shop or farm supplier.

All the best!

Countryfarm Lifestyles

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