Broiler in respiratory distress

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Baychicken, May 7, 2011.

  1. Baychicken

    Baychicken New Egg

    May 6, 2011
    Hi there, I posted this in the other forum but thought it might be more appropriate here.

    I am keeping six broilers in my yard, who are about a month old. Yesterday one of them started having very strained breathing (pump handle). I quarantined her and gave her water with electrolytes and a little apple cider vinegar, but did not think she would make it through the night. Today she is is still alive but breathing with difficultly and after I picked her up there were small bright green bugs on my hand, kind of looked like aphids. Could these be mites? Some stats:

    breed-cornish cross
    age-5 weeks
    housing- box coop with straw bedding and free range in 10x8 yard space
    feed- modesto milling organic layer pellets (it's what I could find out here)

    They have free access to food and water, although I've started them on a 12 on 12 off in the past day (not the sick chicken though).

    The sick bird's poop looks fine, not runny or watery, no blood. Eyes are clear, no other signs of infection or disease.

    Any suggestions about the bird? If she recovers is it even safe to reintegrate her considering she could still be a carrier for whatever this is?

  2. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

    Apr 22, 2008
    My guess is that she doesn't have anything contagious but rather is suffering from heart failure. Because of the rapid growth of broilers, sometimes their heart is unable to keep up with demand and it increases their blood pressure. High blood pressure will keep getting worse and eventually the heart fails completely. The gasping for breath is because the bird's body isn't getting enough oxygen since the heart is failing so they gasp and wheeze trying to get more oxygen.
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Quote:Yeah, that bird might be best used as a "cornish game hen" over a roaster. Heart failure can happen.

    One thing to note, excess calcium in the layer feed could be making their systems over work in trying to get rid of it.
  4. Baychicken

    Baychicken New Egg

    May 6, 2011
    Should I cull the bird? Is it ok to eat?

    yeah I thought of that, in the future I will try to find better feed, there's just not a lot of options where I live.
  5. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    What is the color of the comb? Bright red or pink is healthy.

    Purplish red (hint of blue) is a cull bird. Getting ready for heart failure. Cull and eat if this is the case. It is part of the process.

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