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Wry Neck

Other Names: Crook Neck, Torticollis, Stargazing, Twisted Neck, Limber Neck

Wry neck is not an illness itself but rather a clinical sign used to describe an abnormal head and neck position. Other commonly used slang terms include 'twisted neck', 'stargazing', limber neck', 'crook neck', and 'crooked neck'. The correct scientific term is actually torticollis. Wry neck causes the bird's head and neck to appear twisted and tilted. Depending on the cause, affected birds may initially be unable to hold their head up on their own.

Clinical Signs

Twisted head or neck
Abnormal head and neck position

Diagnosis

  • History
  • Clinical signs

Treatment

NameSummary
Supportive careIsolate the bird from the flock and place in a safe, comfortable, warm location (your own chicken "intensive care unit") with easy access to water and food. Limit stress. Call your veterinarian.
Supplemental vitaminsProvide supplemental Vitamin E and Vitamin B

Support

Prevention

  • Feed a well-balanced diet appropriate for chicken age group and type
  • Only purchase eggs from reputable breeders
  • Biosecurity

Scientific References

Age Range

Can occur at any age; however it is most frequently seen in newly hatched chicks.

Risk Factors

  • Incorrect incubation parameters
  • Poor nutritional diet
  • Adult breeder chickens that do not receive additional nutrients needed for chicks (often occurs when fed food intended for laying hens or when just feeding scratch feed)