Cough and Blue Comb Only at Night

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MTGirl22, Mar 6, 2017.

  1. MTGirl22

    MTGirl22 New Egg

    Jun 18, 2014
    So I live in Kenya, and I was given an adult hen when I purchased some 3-month-old chicks from a woman. I suspect the hen is older, but she says it still lays eggs. She gave the hen to my 5-year-old son who immediately bonded with her. The hen looked healthy when she was given to us. However, on our walk home she began gurgling and growling as if she was broody and didn't want to be touched. Then she let out a big sneeze/cough. By the time we got home, her comb was quite blue and she had coughed several more times.

    We were not prepared for an adult chicken, so the chicks went into the coop and Princess Chicken (as my son named her) slept outside in the fenced run. She refused to roost, but found a safe place in a bush. It poured rain all night, and in the morning I found this ball of soaking feathers, gurgling and coughing. One she dried off and warmed up, she was a normal happy chicken all day long!

    The next night, as soon as the sun started going down, her comb slowly started turning blue again, and eventually she started gurgling and coughing again. We put her in a large cardboard box under cover from the rain. She was dry, so in the morning, she was pink and chicken-y.

    I've done some research and learned about a parasite that rests in the windpipe blocking a chicken's airway. Could this be what Princess Chicken has? Though it only comes out at night, which I think is odd. Do you think she's contagious? Can I treat her with a deworming medication?

    Any advice is much appreciated, as I don't completely trust the advice of my Kenyan friends who believe in a "chicken vampire" who comes in the night to suck their blood! Thanks in advance!
  2. silkie1472

    silkie1472 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2016
    What I think is that she has some type of disease before you got her. The stress of being wet may have just triggered the symptoms to show. Making sure that stress levels remain low should relieve the symptoms. As for the worms that block the airway, known as gapeworms, is not a possibility as they affect the bird all day and night. Worms are a possibility, but I think a common chicken disease/virus/infection is causing your chicken's problem.
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    It does sound like some kind of viral respiratory issue. This link may be of interest - I'd check with the breeder if she has vaccinated her flock, and for which diseases. I'd certainly keep her away from the other birds (although it's likely that they too are carriers of whatever the issue is - assuming its viral).

    Antibiotics and vitamin supplements are probably the best that you can do. Other members will disagree on the issue of antibiotics, but we know the limitations and exorbitant costs of vets here in Kenya. Personally, I'd be lighting a jiko and making some kachumbari but we all do things differently.

    Talk of "chicken vampires" leads me to think that you are on the coast - we don't get too much of that kinda talk here in Nbo [​IMG]

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