Chicken problem!! Need help please.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by 6mochickens, Oct 7, 2014.

  1. 6mochickens

    6mochickens New Egg

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    Oct 7, 2014
    I have 6 Rhode Island Red hens, all approximately 3 years old. Yesterday I noticed on of them was not acting right, and I need some information/help. One hen appears to have breathing problems? She sits in one stop, extends her neck out, opens her beak, and acts like she is gasping for air? This goes on non stop, for 2 days now. For lack of better terms, I call it guppy breathing. She doesn't make any sounds, so I was wondering if anyone has seen/experienced this before and if so, what should be done? Thanks.

    Jay
     
  2. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    2 days is way too long for that behavior and needs to be acted upon ASAP.
    It could be a number of things but we'll talk about what you can observe. Birds will breathe as if distressed for many reasons that aren't a respiratory disease. Sometimes it is intestinal discomfort. Check to see if the bird's crop is full of fluid or very hard. The best time to check is in the morning when the crop should be empty. Look down the bird's throat with a headlamp or flashlight to see if there are any cheesy raised yellow buttons/plaque in the mouth or throat, or an obstruction like a piece of string.

    Is the bird eating and drinking on it's own?

    Is the bird active like the other birds, or lethargic?

    Have you used Corid (amprolium) as a treatment for coccidiosis recently?

    Has the bird been drinking out of any stagnant water puddles on the property?

    When was the last time you wormed your birds?
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2014
  3. 6mochickens

    6mochickens New Egg

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    The bird has access to fresh water and feed 24/7, and has not been drinking from any puddles or stagnant water. She is not active like the other birds. Not lethargic, she will move from one area to another, but not free range like the others, and sit while showing the described symptoms. I haven't used Corid or wormed lately.
     
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Have you actually SEEN the hen eat and drink?
     
  5. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    Yup. That's important. You need to see the bird is actually drinking and eating. Check down the throat like I mentioned, and tell me what you see. Check the crop like I mentioned too. Meanwhile get some Corid 9.6% liquid or the 20% soluble powder, some poultry vitamin-probiotic water soluble powder, Safequard liquid (labeled for goats), and a few 1ml syringes to keep on hand.
     
  6. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    I'll try to help anyway I can, but have to get off to work a swing shift soon. I'll check this after I get home tonight 9:00 PST. Good luck with that Rhode Island hen.
     
  7. 6mochickens

    6mochickens New Egg

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    Thanks for all the info. I just checked on them before dark and she was dead ;(
     
  8. aliciasimon

    aliciasimon Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 24, 2013
    Sorry :(
     
  9. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Sorry for your loss. I recommend that you perform a necropsy on her. Vertically slice down the windpipe and look for gapeworms. They will be red in color and "Y" shaped. If you dont see any, she couldve had an impacted crop or gizzard and you can open them up and have a look.
     
  10. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    Limberneck (botulism) is one of a few conditions that cause birds to lie down, neck stretched out and difficulty swallowing. Paralysis begins in the final stages of wings, neck, or legs. The treatment was always 1 tsp of Epsom salt in .5 cup of water. Syringe feeding is the best way to get it down the bird's throat but one must be careful not to aspirate the bird. Botulism can be avoided by not letting birds have access to spoiled feed, meats, and dead animals.

    Layrngotracheitis is worse and is caused by a herpes virus. It can be avoided by vaccination. Some symptoms are extending the neck when inhaling, and slinging the neck to the side or down toward the breast when exhaling. There may be bloody mucous or a cawing sound like a crow. Vaccinating birds that do not show symptoms is the way to avoid the spread of it. The only way to know for sure as to whether that is a problem is to have a local lab do a necropsy testing for LT. Here's a list of labs:
    http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/animal_dis_spec/poultry/downloads/labs_app.pdf
    Ask the staff at your local one if they test for LT. Refrigerate the dead bird in a closed plastic bag until you can get the bird there. Don't freeze it.
     

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