Two days ago when I went out to put my chickens up for the night one of my hens was breathing very loudly (kind of wheezing), she was fine that morning and afternoon when I went out to feed them and give them or left over oatmeal, the only other "symptom" was an occasional sneeze. She was still eating and drinking, in fat she seemed a bit panicked and seemed to be trying to eat and drink to stop herself from breathing weird. I immediately assumed the worst and figured it was URI I wasn't able to look in her throat since I didn't have anyone to help me do so. I put them to bed and when we let her out yesterday morning she was acting fine (no symptoms, eating, drinking, active). The only thing I noticed was she got into a pretty heated battle later in the day with another hen, my roo split them up but it got me wondering if maybe she either A. Had something caught in her throat that was causing the loud breathing B. Her airways were irritated from all the dust in the air that day C. She got into a fight with another hen, got beat up and somehow managed to hurt her throat a bit in the fight. I'm wondering if maybe I jumped the gun medicating/if one of these other scenarios is possible. If so I would really rather quite medicating them so that we can stop throwing eggs out sooner rather than later. Or if I should just be on the safe side and finish the treatment. She is showing no symptoms today that I've seen and is acting perfectly herself. What would you do in my situation? I don't even like using antibiotics since it kind of defies the point of backyard chickens but they're not just food producers to me so their health comes first.
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4/7/16 at 4:24pm