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Wry Neck

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

Wry neck (torticollis) is not an illness 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'. Wry neck causes the bird's head and neck to appear twisted and tilted.

Clinical Signs

Twisted head or neck
Abnormal head and neck position


  • History
  • Clinical signs


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.
Treatment depends on the cause
Provide supplemental Vitamin E and Vitamin B



  • 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)