Wry Neck

Wry neck is a tough one. I recently had a hatch where every chick was born with it! That is very unusual though. Wry neck is sometimes called crook neck. With wry neck, the chick will be unable to hold its head upright. Some will only be able to lie on their backs. Some will be upright but their head will be backwards. It’s quite disconcerting the first time you see it. Opinions differ on whether wry neck is caused by a vitamin deficiency, an injury or is hereditary.

Wry Neck

I’ve done a lot of research on wry neck and possible treatments. Some people swear bymassage. A friend of mine suggested massaging the back of the chick’s neck for about 30 seconds several times a day. She swears it works every time. I’ve had some success with it.

You can also try giving them a vitamin supplement. PolyViSol (without Iron!) can be given a few drops a day for a limited time. Or Vitamin E capsules. I have found it very difficult to get the chicks to open their beaks to get anything in it but keep trying! Eventually you can get something in.

One of my friends uses this regimen:

1) a tiny crushed piece of human B vitamin,
2) about half of a 400 IUD vitamin E gel cap, and
3) mixed it with a couple drops of selenium to help the absorbtion of vitamin E

Many of my afflicted chicks have gone on to have normal lives. I did have one silkie that suddenly relapsed after 4 months and never did recover. My recent hatch was equally unsuccessful. I lost every chick despite desperately trying to save each one. It was heartbreaking to watch them go through it. Thankfully wry neck does not happen often!

I’d love to hear what you have tried and what has worked. Send me an email to susanne@huckfarm.com.


  1. I like blue or brown eggs, just because they are dnfiereft. Also duck eggs. My fiancee takes them to work and everyone loves the extras that we share they all like the colored ones too.By the way, at the Farmer’s Market Saturday (Irvine, Ca) a dozen brown eggs were going for $5.00 and duck eggs were $1.00 each! Do you keep your chickens separated by breed so that they’ll breed true?

    • We do keep all of our breeds separated and each color is separated as well. This way we can ensure that we are keeping the breeds and colors true.

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