Chicken Wheezing and Gasping for Air-What can this mean?


In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 16, 2013
I am really new to having Chickens. My girls are about 6-7 months old. My Wyandotte started making this screaming sound yesterday and today she is much worse. She is having labored breathing and is wheezing or gasping for air. I haven't noticed much movement from her and she has been sitting by herself as all the other girls are exploring. What can this mean? I feel like she is in pain.
She probably has a respiratory disease, and seems to be in a lot of distress. There are many different diseases both caused by bacteria and viruses. In many of these diseases, if the chicken recovers, will be carriers for life. Sometimes they can be treated with antibiotics. If the chicken is suffering you might consider putting her down. Here is some info about the common respiratory diseases:
I've had similar problems--rattles with breathing. I've been using Oxine AH (chlorine dioxide), inactivated with good results. I put six drops per cup of water. I administer it with a nebulizer (from my days with severe asthma). You can order the nebulizer from Amazon, but you need an air pump to get the mist. An aquarium pump might work. Instead of a medical mask I just put the end of the tube with the mist into the bottom of a small styrofoam cup. The chick's face fits nicely into the big end of the cup and she seems very comfortable with it. The down side is you buy the Oxine AH by the gallon, but it's great for sanitizing the coop and yard. Read the directions carefully!

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