I have a 1-2 year old hen (no particular breed but of "normal" size) that has been wheezing for months. Not laying eggs but then again most of the clock is not L She has an appetite. She walks fine and hangs with the flock. I checked her throat for worms during the summer but saw nothing. I dusted her and checked for bugs. I have recently looked down her throat again but nothing unusual. She continues to just wheeze or breathe loudly . . . like she’s a smoker. Every once in a while she will “sneeze”. Is this a respiratory issue with no other systems?
Wheezing With no other signs of illness
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I'm no expert, but it does sound like some kind of respiratory condition. My flock has a chronic respiratory illness, so when one of them shows symptoms (just like you have described), I used to isolate and give antibiotics (to help fight off secondary infections) but recently, as long as the chickens are otherwise healthy and doing "chicken things" I do not treat them with anything (but monitor them 2-3 times per day) and they seem to get over it. Guess its a bit like having the flu. Only thing is - its chronic, meaning that they are all carriers, and are likely to relapse into showing symptoms every now and again.
Having said all that, it does seem a little concerning that your hen has exhibited the symptoms you mention for such a long time (in my flock the symptoms only seem to last for 4-5 days).
Maybe another member with more experience could make some suggestions?
All the best
Hen has been breathing this way for several months and someone at the Farms store said it may have to do with the amount of smoke we experienced this summer - we had fires all around us so it seemed like a possibility even though the farm store people may not know. So I have kept an eye on her. Making sure she eats and drinks and not thin. Her bedding is straw and pine chips sort of alternating. The hen house is pretty dusty so I probably need to "dust" prior to winter. I dust and/or spray their beds regularly but a portion of them have mites/lice or what ever bug so I am sure those bugs are taking their toll.
They free range and are out with other sweetie birds so I cannot irradiate the bugs altogether unless someone can tell me how. I am trying to de-worm with hot peppers :) I also use vinegar in their water and tried using garlic in their water but I am pretty sure they did not like it. I am trying a variety of things, not that I have seen worms but before our winter I want to make sure no bugs