Chick gasping for air and wheezing

Gallosaurus Pex

Chirping
Feb 1, 2020
13
27
54
Hi, when I got up this morning, I noticed that one of my five-week-old chicks was gaping and stretching her neck for air, tail drooped (although she does tend to have a fairly low tail normally so I'm not sure if that's relevant). She wheezes occasionally when she breathes in, and when I listened to her breathing, she sounds like she has some congestion in her lungs. No coughing or sneezing, just wheezing. I gave her some VetRX orally and rubbed her face with a bit, and I also dropper fed some water with probiotics. She doesn't show any interest in food or water when in the brooder, but she does still try to escape when I pick her up, as normal, and shows some interest in what the other chicks are doing. I was thinking of feeding some egg yolk to keep her energy up since she doesn't eat anything--does anyone have any other suggestions for care?
From what I've read, it sounds like gapeworm, though none of the other chicks are acting off. Also, I noticed that the chicks had scratched through the puppy pad I lined their brooder with and seem to have eaten some. Could that be related to her condition?
 
Last edited:
Jan 4, 2020
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Arlington Washington
I know zero about respiratory issues with chickens. But I experienced something similar in a cockerel I have. After searching for hours and hours, decided to run to TS and got oxytetracycline (antibiotic). Gave 1/2 cc subcutaneously and he is now recovering. This was in a panic as he was close to dying. With this said, that doesn’t mean it will fix your birds issue. But I would at least have some antibiotics on hand just Incase someone with more knowledge in respiratory diseases says to administer some. It’s cheap. Spent $30 for Duramycin, syringes and 22 gauge needles.

Absolute best way to handle it is to take it in to a veterinarian for poultry.
 

ethanjenkins

In the Brooder
May 29, 2020
23
32
36
I had the same issue with my Austrolorp Chick. I did so much research and found that this is a pretty common thing.
So what I did was isolate her for15-30 minutes everyday and give her her own food and water. But with the water I put 3 drops of GSE in it. She started to become better after about 1 week.
Although with this gasping issue it seemed like she had slimmed down and is small for their age now. I hope this helped!!!
 

Gallosaurus Pex

Chirping
Feb 1, 2020
13
27
54
Hey, thank you to everyone who offered advice! In the end, the pad lining the brooder turned out to be the problem. I had the chick separated from the others and was dropper feeding an egg yolk and honey mixture with a few drops of VetRX to keep her strength up, washed down with chick probiotics and ACD. During the third or fourth feeding, I noticed that she had a lump in her throat, just a little behind her beak, and after massaging that for a bit, in the middle of a feed she choked and coughed out a strip of plastic liner about half an inch long, after which the gaping ceased. She's still a tad lethargic and looks a bit thin after her experience, but she started acting lonely for the first time since the start of the ordeal, so I put her back in the main brooder and she seems to be recuperating.
 

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