I hatched a batch of chicks today and one had wry neck, also called toricollis, stargazing, twisted neck, etc. There are a number of factors that can result in this condition, but mainly two in day olds. One is a genetic abnormality and the other is a vitamin/mineral deficiency. I have found that, if the condition is caused by a vitamin deficiency, it can sometimes be corrected almost immediately by giving oral vitamins, minerals and electrolytes. The recommended electrolyte replacement is Pediatlye or a product called AviaCharge. I have used Pedialyte for weak chicks with good results so I keep it on hand at all times. The easiest way to keep it and not waste an entire container is to buy the freezer pops. I store them in my pantry and pull one out when needed. The chicks seem to like the flavor and drink it easier.
For vitamin supplementation use a good baby vitamin without iron. PolyViSol is good but I could only find the store brand and it works just fine. The key is making sure it does not contain iron.
Vitamin E is given along with Selenium to help with the absorption.
You may want to research online before treating. I found a lot of differing opinions but here is the dosage I used:
- 2 TBS Pedialyte
- 2 drops Baby Vitamin
- 100 units Vitamin E (squirt out half a capsule)
- 50 mcg Selenium (1/4 tablet crushed)
I mixed the ingredients together and administered it a few drops at a time to the baby chick. You can apply it to the side of the beak with the eye dropper or put a drop on your finger and place it alongside the beak until it opens. I was holding the video camera in one hand so I ended up getting it all over the baby chick but it seemed to like the taste and did not fight it. I gave a few drops then waited about 3 hours and repeated. I will give another dose in the morning if the chick so any symptoms other wise I will consider it done. If you use the eyedropper never push the liquid in to the chicks mouth because you could cause aspiration of the liquid into the lungs. Just hold the dropper alongside the beak and let a drop or two out. The chick will swallow it.
Here is a video of the chick, before, during treatment and after. This baby made a miraculous recovery.