Coughing Chicken

Teri313

Chirping
Nov 29, 2015
11
12
66
Maine
My 9-month old Barred Rock has been coughing for the last five or so days. She also opens her mouth to get air. I bought some VetRx for chickens and have been rubbing it on her comb, beak, and wattle. Today is day 3 and I can't really tell if it's getting any better. I took this video yesterday. Can anybody tell what this is and if I'm off base on how I'm treating it? Thank you!

 
Last edited:

Eggcessive

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Premium member
8 Years
Apr 3, 2011
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I cannot see the video. It would be good to post it on YouTube with a link posted here. Get the chicken warm, and make sure that it is drinking well or offer water frequently. Respiratory diseases may last weeks in a chicken, and some are caused by viruses, bacteria, and fungus. Do you see any bubbles or foam in an eye, rattly breathing, or a swollen eyelid? Make sure that your coop is dry and there is good air circulation overhead, with no ammonia odor.
 

Teri313

Chirping
Nov 29, 2015
11
12
66
Maine
Thank you both for your replies. Symptom checker tool is very cool.

Okay, so I think I succeeded in uploading the video with Youtube. Please let me know if you can't see it. Coop is roomy, dry, and was pretty dusty, but I gave it a good cleaning a few days ago. It's actually a stall in our barn that we've lined with heavy plastic sheeting to keep it draft free, but it's not stuffy in there.
 

Eggcessive

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Premium member
8 Years
Apr 3, 2011
49,549
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southern Ohio
She definitely is gasping and suffering from a respiratory disease. Common ones are infectious bronchitis virus or mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG.) Do you see any bubbles in one eye? Have you seen any others sneezing? I would look into her beak and throat for any yellow gunk. I would also get some Tylan (tylosin) here and start just her on it in her water:
Dosage is 1 tsp per gallon of water—add water to the powder to mix, and give it for 5 days. If it is MG, she should start to improve. If she has a virus, it may last a month or so. Usually infectious bronchitis spreads like wildfire through the flock with many birds sneezing every few minutes. Keep her warm, since she may have trouble regulating body temperature.
 

Teri313

Chirping
Nov 29, 2015
11
12
66
Maine
Both eyes look good and the other five girls are fine, so far. The cough has dried up a bit. It did sound more like a wet cough/bronchitis-y. No sneezing. I have heat lamps going for them, and I also keep a radiator heater in there for when it gets very cold out. It actually stays pretty warm in there for them - about 40 deg F. However, tomorrow night it's suppose to get down to -14 deg F, so I'm thinking I might bring her in the house? Thank you for all the great guidance. I'm going to hop over and order the Tylan now. I'll let you know how I make out. :)
 

Teri313

Chirping
Nov 29, 2015
11
12
66
Maine
Update: I ordered the Tylan last Thursday when we were having this discussion and it still hasn't arrived. In the meantime, I've just continued to use the VetRx - putting it on my fingers and rubbing it on her comb, wattle, and beak - and it seems like the cough is almost gone. She seems a lot better, she has perked back up and is almost back to normal. Just stopped laying. I'll keep doing what I'm doing and if she is 100% before the Tylan gets here, then I'll at least have it on hand for the future. I'm just so happy with her progress and that none of the others were affected. I want to thank you guys so much for chiming in so quickly and helping me with this.
 

Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium member
8 Years
Apr 3, 2011
49,549
39,710
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southern Ohio
I am glad that she is doing better because she looked pretty sick. The holiday weekend probably affected the shipping for the tylosin. Since she is much better without the ab’s, it may well be a virus that she has. Hopefully she will continue to get better.
 
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