Chicken lethargic and trouble breating

Raptor-tooth

Chirping
Aug 1, 2018
19
67
74
This is to the point where im nearly sure this hen will not last the night. However, if I can get any information that can help prevent the rest of my flock from suffering I would be grateful. Aside from that she is still alert looking on occasion through everything so it makes me reluctant to put her down yet.

On Thursday we recovered a hen that we had seen laying around in the heat and took her inside. After watching her and treating for any heat exhaustion she was still weak and unable to walk by Saturday.

Her comb grew purple on the edges and had been flopped over for a while.

We noticed some wheezing when picked up and she had not pooped or eaten since Thursday when we picked her up. We picked her up and inspected her and found a small marble sized mass in her crop (we thought it was likely a rock) then inspected her throat and found bubbly mucus in her mouth, but in the middle of this she began spasming violently and became very unresponsive for a few moments hanging her head, we assumed she was dead at first, before coming back to life with more spasms and fighting to breathe.

That's where we currently are, desperately researching and trying to keep her breathing as she spasms.

In suspect of gapeworms, we swabbed her throat as I read that it would come back with red if there were gapeworms, but it came back with just mucus.

I really have no idea what is wrong with her, and a few weeks ago we had a mysterious death of a hen we chalked up to heat stroke but now im considering finding someone to do an autopsy of this dying hen to find out what my flock might have.
 
Last edited:

TashaFrancois

Songster
Jun 3, 2018
648
1,198
242
Kansas City, MO
Autopsy is important. Cleaning out the coop and run and keeping them in the run until you are sure there isn’t anything poisonous might save the flock. Add electrolytes to water, maybe even ice for the heat. If the poor girl lives, straight to a vet. I often give warm baths with VetRx when I have a sick bird. I dry them
Well and keep them warm as well. But you may choose to just keep her comfortable and love on her at this point. Definitely do anything you can to keep the others quarantined and in a clean cool place until the cause is found. I would also not eat the eggs until then. Prayers and positive thoughts for you.
 

Kiki

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Jul 31, 2015
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How old is this sick bird?
How long have you had her?
What exactly do you feed your flock?
Have you brought any new birds home in the last few months?


Please do not give a sick bird a bath...that is a good way to send it over the edge and kill it.
 

Raptor-tooth

Chirping
Aug 1, 2018
19
67
74
This is a different bird, an ancona hen. The silkie passed away shortly after making that other post. This one is stable for now and we will see if she survives through to morning.

We got her as a chick back in February and she and the rest of the flock are right now on layer feed. (She was laying pretty regularly for about a month until this week)

Her and a few others who are healthy were the latest additions to our flock.
 

Raptor-tooth

Chirping
Aug 1, 2018
19
67
74
The hen passed away this morning. We did a necropsy to confirm or deny our suspicion of worms and found none visible, but a large blockage in the intestines. I'm still unsure how it relates to her symptoms, could have been coincidental or more than one thing wrong with her, and have some research to do but if anyone has any clue, it would be welcome.

At this point I just want to know if I need to treat the rest of the flock for anything.
 

Kiki

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Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
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Jul 31, 2015
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Houston, TX
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The hen passed away this morning. We did a necropsy to confirm or deny our suspicion of worms and found none visible, but a large blockage in the intestines. I'm still unsure how it relates to her symptoms, could have been coincidental or more than one thing wrong with her, and have some research to do but if anyone has any clue, it would be welcome.

At this point I just want to know if I need to treat the rest of the flock for anything.
I'm so sorry.

Did you happen to take any pictures of the necropsy?

Did you notice any fat when you cut her open?
 

slordaz

hatchaholic
5 Years
Apr 15, 2015
3,456
6,394
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Idaho
so sorry for your loss, as they were trying to cuddle up for heat something was taking a lot of energy and not leaving hen enough to regulate her body temp. has the flock been de-wormed lately?
Gape worm you will notice them doing funny things also they stretch the head and neck and shake head trying to be able to breath, but worms in the guts you wouldn't notice unless they were severely overloaded, but check with local vets to see if they will do a fecal float test if another one gets sick most will even if they won't see a chicken.
Do they have access to dirt, if not as second one with blockage I would add some grit for the chickens, they will eat the craziest things, make sure there isn't twine, plastic etc laying around too
 

Wyorp Rock

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Sep 20, 2015
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On Thursday we recovered a hen that we had seen laying around in the heat and took her inside. After watching her and treating for any heat exhaustion she was still weak and unable to walk by Saturday.

Her comb grew purple on the edges and had been flopped over for a while.

We noticed some wheezing when picked up and she had not pooped or eaten since Thursday when we picked her up. We picked her up and inspected her and found a small marble sized mass in her crop (we thought it was likely a rock) then inspected her throat and found bubbly mucus in her mouth, but in the middle of this she began spasming violently and became very unresponsive for a few moments hanging her head, we assumed she was dead at first, before coming back to life with more spasms and fighting to breathe.

In suspect of gapeworms, we swabbed her throat as I read that it would come back with red if there were gapeworms, but it came back with just mucus.

The hen passed away this morning. We did a necropsy to confirm or deny our suspicion of worms and found none visible, but a large blockage in the intestines. I'm still unsure how it relates to her symptoms, could have been coincidental or more than one thing wrong with her, and have some research to do but if anyone has any clue, it would be welcome.

At this point I just want to know if I need to treat the rest of the flock for anything.
I'm sorry for your loss.
Did you happen to take any photos?

A large blockage in the intestines - was it fibrous like grass and food or pus/lash looking material?


Here's one that had a blockage in the intestines.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/sour-crop-in-bantam.1258459/
 

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