Cough in one hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by pandorasylph, Mar 27, 2016.

  1. pandorasylph

    pandorasylph New Egg

    Mar 27, 2016

    I have a small backyard flock (only three hens) that we have had for a month. Within a week of getting them we had a bout of wet weather here in Texas, and since then our red sex link, Mavis, has had a persistent wet cough. Neither of my other hens (Ethel and Laverne) have had any similar symptoms. I have not been able to figure out what is going on with her. Her appetite and energy are great. She isn't laying, but she hasn't since we got her. We were told they were about five months old when we got her and Ethel. Laverne we got a week later and she is closer to a year.

    Laverne, my EE, lays every day, and Ethel, a Polish, just payed her first egg today. Ethel and Mavis came from the same place.

    Any thoughts?

    Thank you for your help!
  2. OrganicFarmWife

    OrganicFarmWife Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 21, 2015
    No where Nebraska
    Stress makes a chicken not lay. The stress of the move or the addition on new birds is enough to make a hen stop laying for awhile. She probably has a respiratory infection. A antibiotic at the feed store will help.
  3. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 11, 2014
    Magnolia, Texas
    Sounds like a respiratory disease.

    Treatment will depend on what type of infection she has. Not all antibiotics treat all bacterial infections.

    Is it possible to take her to the vet for a diagnosis?

    And... [​IMG]

    Last edited: Mar 28, 2016
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    there are a number of possible causes of respiratory infections - it could be an allergy, fungal infection, bacterial or viral.

    IMO treating respiratory diseases without a confirmed diagnosis is not ideal, but personally vets are not an option. You may wish to consider the following:

    The bedding that you use may be causing an allergic reaction
    The rains that you have experienced may have encouraged fungal issues

    Maybe try changing the bedding first, as thats the easiest route. I'm honestly not sure about trying to treat fungal infections (maybe type that in the search box and see what pops up).

    In the meantime, adding vitamin supplements / electrolytes to their water will help boost their immune system and thus help them to overcome whatever the problem may be (if its bacterial or viral).

    Antibiotics will only help fight off bacterial problems, but can help in preventing secondary infections if the route cause is viral. If changing the bedding does not work, i would personally treat with vitamins / electrolytes and antibiotics (its important for me to mention that not all members advocate this route of treatment).

    Some respiratory infections are only as harmful as humans getting a cold, others a lot more serious. Assuming your flock survive and get over the illness, bear in mind that they may be carriers of the illness for life and will pass it to new flock members. It would be unwise to sell or give any of your flock to other chicken keepers in the future.

    I'd suggest further reading on the subject as it can be complicated.

    All the best

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