Chicken breathing heavily and unable to stand up....any ideas as to what might cause this?

Suewhite98

Hatching
May 24, 2015
4
0
7
One of our hens that seemed perfectly fine this morning is now acting very sick. We were out for 3 hours, and when we came back, she was lying on the ground, breathing heavily. Small amount of mucus on her nose. She will take a bit of food from us, but not with her usual vigor. Her eyes are clear and normal looking, and her comb is her regular red color. She is passing droppings. We have four other chickens (they all free-range) and they are acting very normal. Any ideas as to what could have caused this, or what kind of illness our hen has? She is generally the most feisty of all of our chickens. We see no injury or bleeding on her body, and she will pull her legs in, but does not seem to be able to stand on them.
 

273816

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 10, 2014
120
7
88
Australia
I suggest taking her to the vet as soon as you possibly can. I've no experience so far with any serious illness in my flock so I'm afraid I can't help you but if she continues to act like that, she could be very ill and might infect your entire flock with whatever she has, so it's best to safe and get her checked out by a professional.

If you can't take your hen to the vet just yet, I suggest keeping her as warm as possible in the meantime and monitoring her behaviour. If she improves, that's great, but if not, you might want to consider getting her wrapped up and looked at. I am by no means an expert and I've had little to no experience with ill chickens but it might be best to consider egg peritonitis or another egg-related disease.

The symptons of this condition are:
Heavy or labored breathing
Labored walking
Swollen tummy
Comb is droopy


Not to say that she might be affected by this but if she has any of these symptons, it's possible she could be.

I'm sorry to hear about your hen, also. It's always sad to see an injured or ill member in your flock and be unsure of what to do. This is still a recent forum so until a more experienced member comes about, that's the only help I can offer.

Rachel.
 
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Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
22,749
36,820
1,096
southern Michigan
Sick chickens try to hide sighs of illness as long as they can; by the time you realize that she's ill, she's REALLY ill. Either take her to the vet, or euthanize her yourself. Having a post mortem exam will identify the problem. I hope she can recover, but she does sound very sick. Mary
 

Suewhite98

Hatching
May 24, 2015
4
0
7
Update. She is still alive this morning. Alert and breathing heavily, still can't stand .Drinking water, but not eating. I know for sure now that she is not egg bound, because she laid a partially formed egg this morning. Wish I could take her to the vet, but they are all closed for Memorial Day. She still can't stand. I hate to see her suffering, and really don't want to have this spread to any of the other chickens. Anyone out there ever seen something like this before?
 

slordaz

hatchaholic
5 Years
Apr 15, 2015
3,456
6,388
602
Idaho
Welcome to BYC
there are some good resources too in the learning center maintaining a healthy flock too, on just about anything to do with their help. it's most likely something respiritory.
the local Farm store may be open or there are some herbs that can help too.

viral https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/poultry-diseases-1
common https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/clinical-signs-for-common-respiratory-diseases-of-poultry

this one is from the natural thread so might be able to help until you can figure it out

http://naturalchickenkeeping.blogspot.com/2013/05/herbs-and-their-uses-for-your-chickens.html

there is also a forum that you will get quicker answers from people that have a lot of experience with illness or emergencies with the birds
https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/10/emergencies-diseases-injuries-and-cures
 
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Suewhite98

Hatching
May 24, 2015
4
0
7
I took Ginger to the vet this morning as soon as they opened, and unfortunately the vet does not even know what the problem is. This morning Ginger was not eating or drinking at all, and still breathing heavily, couldn't stand up or walk. I decided the best option was to have her put down, as I cannot stay home w/ her during the day, and I hated to leave her alone all day not knowing what was wrong and how to help her. So sad - she had the best personality. Wish I knew what happened to cause her to be like that. Thankfully our other four chickens still seem to be healthy and well. Thanks to those who offered replies.
 

seminolewind

Flock Mistress
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Sep 6, 2007
18,684
4,104
762
Corydon, Indiana
Update. She is still alive this morning. Alert and breathing heavily, still can't stand .Drinking water, but not eating. I know for sure now that she is not egg bound, because she laid a partially formed egg this morning. Wish I could take her to the vet, but they are all closed for Memorial Day. She still can't stand. I hate to see her suffering, and really don't want to have this spread to any of the other chickens. Anyone out there ever seen something like this before?
Very sorry. You did everything you could. Sometimes there's nothing we can do.
hugs.gif
 

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