Ameraucana hen breathes heavily...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by PsychoChicken, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. PsychoChicken

    PsychoChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 12, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    I got my Ameraucana hen when she was 1 year old back in October and ever since I have had her I noticed she breathes weird. Often she has her mouth open. I got her with two Barred rocks of the same age and have since added two more chickens to the flock. None of the other hens breathe like that but they are different breeds... is it an Ameraucana thing? Anyone know what the deal is or if I should be concerned? It's sort of a heavy breathing that gets worse when shes scared or excited. She doesn't seem sick in any other way. She eats, drinks and has normal poo... Maybe she is just a mouth-breather but she hasn't laid one egg since we got her. She also has this loud bark like cluck and I never hear her egg song.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2012
  2. DaughterOfEve

    DaughterOfEve Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 3, 2009
    Montague, MI
    Are you sure about the age? Otherwise get hold of her and get your ear right up to her chest and listen. You are listening for gurgling or wheezing. It could be a respiratory infection, or she could be an old lady who breaths hard.

    Thats all I got. Maybe someone else has some help for you.
  3. NixNoodleNumbat

    NixNoodleNumbat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2011
    Hens sometimes breathe with their beaks open when it's hot. Is it hot there?
    What does her beak look like? If it's worn down a bit, she could just be old.
  4. PtldChick

    PtldChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2011
    Portland, OR
    Might be a fungal infection affecting her breathing if there are no other symptoms and no one else has it. Those aren't always contagious, for example she could have inhaled spores and they're growing in her lungs. Speckled Hen has a good thread in Emergencies on how to recognize and treat. You might want to check that and see if it sounds similar.
  5. PsychoChicken

    PsychoChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 12, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    I listened to her chest and did not hear any gurgling. Just her heavy breathing. It didn't sound like anything was going on inside her lungs. Just a super fast heartbeat- she doesn't like to be handled. The climate here is pretty mild it has been in the 70's and 80's at the highest so far since I have had them so I don't think it's the heat.

    If this breathing is an indication of some kind of infection she would have had it since at least October- wouldn't she be dead by now?

    Today I got a good look at her beak. It did not look worn and it is still pigmented.

    It's a mystery. Here's picture of her for fun.


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