Broody hen gasping for air, few days to go until hatch!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Bocktobery 10, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. Bocktobery 10

    Bocktobery 10 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is this gapeworm?

    I have been regularly checking on my 3 year old Buff Orpington who has gone broody about three weeks ago and is due to hatch some eggs within the next few days.

    Before she went broody, she was fighting a respiratory ailment that had gone through my entire flock. I treated the flock with duramyicin (spelling) in their water, and since my Buff Orp was a bit more ill than the others, I also gave her some Baytril orally, prescribed by the vet. She recovered, but immediately went broody about less than a week after she showed signs of recovery. By the way, the rest of the flock recovered as well. I did loose one bird who was the one who was initially showing signs of illness.

    During this whole brooding period, I did not notice anything wrong with her. I thought she was being rather feisty going in for a brood when she had been so ill just before. She does look a little pale, and recently, since staying on the clutch more, she has had smelly big poops- a bit yellow in areas, sticky and some is sticking to her back feathers, but I felt that this was normal for a broody hen. (She had gone broody once before a few years ago).

    Well, tonight, just two hours after I had previously checked on her (I've got hatch-anticipation syndrome) I noticed she was gasping for air- like what you'd see on those videos of chickens with gapeworm. She continually did this, for about five minutes or so. This made me nervous as she continued to do it. I went inside and read up more on it.. I decided to treat her with Ivermectin pour on (6 drops- she is standard size hen). I had not treated them with it since May, so I felt maybe it was time to treat again and hopefully, if it is gapeworm it will do the trick.

    I also gave her another tablet of Baytril, just in case her systems are going down from some sort of worm infestation, just as a backup and to help support her system.

    She seems fine otherwise. She did get up once today for a stretch. Also should note that when I came back to her about 40 minutes after noticing the gasping (I came inside to look up information on gapeworm) she was not gasping anymore.

    Can gapeworm come on that suddenly? Do you think that is what this is? Could her gasping just be from the fatigue of being broody?

    One thing that disturbs me is that I have for the past 6 months or so been calling her "piggy" because when she 'talks" she makes grunty piggy noises. I read that gapeworm can cause chickens to sound like they are grunting. Could this be related?

    Do you think I harmed her at all with how I treated her? I don't want to loose her, but if I loose her I will also loose the chicks which are due any moment. In fact, when I put her back on the nest after administering the Ivermectin and giving her the Baytril, we heard a peep coming from one of the eggs.

    Can gapeworm kill a chicken very quickly? Can it come on very suddenly? Again, she was not gasping when I came back out about 40 minutes later.

    Thanks in advance for any help or replies.
     
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    How hot is it where you live right now? She could just be panting because she's hot from being stuck in a nest box. Or could she possibly have gotten something stuck in her throat? If its a sign of a respiratory disease, the Baytril will help, so I wouldn't worry about that possibility.
     
  3. Bocktobery 10

    Bocktobery 10 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks BantamLover for your reply,

    I don't think it was too hot yesterday at all. In fact, we've been having near record cool temps here for August. Today is chilly!

    She wasn't panting, that's for sure. It was constant gasping/yawn like movement, throwing out and up her beak while having it stretched open wide. I have not seen her do this again since that one time. I"m figuring that it maybe was something caught in her throat. Maybe her throat was dry from all the not eating and drinking. ?? She does look a little pale, but I would imagine a hen that has been sitting for 21 days would be from not eating and drinking as much. I'm just glad she is not doing it anymore. She still sounds like a little piggy though.

    I'm not sure if I should give her another Baytril or not. I moved her off the nest last night to do so- I'm worried that by doing so, I disturbed "lock down"... that is, IF broody hens need to be on 'lock down'... I know this is important for hatching eggs in incubators.

    The good news is that she seems ok today. AND that one egg has pipped now! The bad news is I've got a very bad case of anxiety waiting for these chicks to arrive. I can't get my mind off of it and it seems no matter what I try to do, I'm not getting anything done because of it.
     
  4. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    For now, I would just let her remain in her nest and do her job. If she starts showing any more serious symptoms, then I would treat her. But unless you think she is going downhill, I'd just let her be. Good luck with the chicks! [​IMG] I've never let a broody hen hatch eggs on her own, but I've always thought that it would be a fascinating experience.
     
  5. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Broody hens do not look after themselves,they can have pale combs/wattles,weight loss,dirty,etc. Once chicks hatch,she will clean herself up and start to look after herself again. Poop you are seeing is normal for a broody. Gasping motion she is making can be normal also,i have seen my chickens do this when adjusting their crop. Make sure she is drinking/eating.
     
  6. Bocktobery 10

    Bocktobery 10 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just wanted to add an update... All of you were right. She's ok and after I posted, her symptoms went away. I think maybe she was just hot and it was quite dusty in the area she was at. I think I was just panicking. [​IMG] Thanks everyone.
     

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