Coughing hen in isolation

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Kinney's Urban Ranch, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. Kinney's Urban Ranch

    Kinney's Urban Ranch Out Of The Brooder

    19
    0
    24
    Oct 28, 2010
    Capitol Hill, Denver, CO
    When should I be concerned about a hen that is "coughing"? We just introduced two young girls to our flock after a quarantine period and are allowing them to free range together in the day and are keeping the close but separated in the coop at night. Today, when we put them in the coop for the night, one of the older hens was "coughing". We immediately pulled her out and put her in a cage in the gardening room. Should we keep her isolated? Or could it have just been a throat clearing cough?
     
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    In five years of having chickens, I have never once heard a chicken cough. It's not a good thing. You should keep her separated. This is a hard subject for me because, like most old time chicken keepers and breeders, I don't believe in treating respiratory illness. What may have happened is that the younger girls were carriers of something and your older hen caught it from the new ones, but it's really hard to say and no one can reliably diagnose anything over the net. Watch her, give supportive care like extra protein, organic unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar with "the mother" (sediment) in her water, just a little. It has healthful benefits and vitamins. Then, observe her over a several day period. If she doesn't get better, you'll have to decide to euthanize her or try a shot-in-the-dark treatment of antibiotics, though if she has a virus, that will do nothing for her. I have a no-treat policy for stuff like that, if it should ever come up, but I realize that is super hard for most folks (it is for me, too).

    Hopefully, it's just something that got stuck in her throat and she'll work it out.
     
  3. Kinney's Urban Ranch

    Kinney's Urban Ranch Out Of The Brooder

    19
    0
    24
    Oct 28, 2010
    Capitol Hill, Denver, CO
    Thanks so much.

    I was wondering if it could have just been something in her throat, but we have her separated and will keep a close eye on her. None of the two new girls are showing any signs of illness and my other older hen is doing okay, as well. I'll be sure to give Lucille lots of extra protein and plenty of fresh water.

    I was considering picking up some of the Diatomaceous Earth to put in her water or feed, but I am not familiar with "the mother." Can you tell me a little more?

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I was just over-reacting and she is fine. For now she is sleeping safely and comfortably. . .
     
  4. Kinney's Urban Ranch

    Kinney's Urban Ranch Out Of The Brooder

    19
    0
    24
    Oct 28, 2010
    Capitol Hill, Denver, CO
    Oh! You mean the strain of "the mother" in the vinegar, correct?!! I will be sure to do that first thing in the morning.
     
  5. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    6,771
    128
    281
    Apr 15, 2009
    Don't bother with DE in her feed and water. It will be useless. DE is only effective if it is dry.

    Good luck with her.
     
  6. Kinney's Urban Ranch

    Kinney's Urban Ranch Out Of The Brooder

    19
    0
    24
    Oct 28, 2010
    Capitol Hill, Denver, CO
    Should i be administering any vitamins at this point?
     
  7. Kinney's Urban Ranch

    Kinney's Urban Ranch Out Of The Brooder

    19
    0
    24
    Oct 28, 2010
    Capitol Hill, Denver, CO
    We kept her inside and separate from the other girls overnight. This morning she still appeared to be "sneezing", but her eyes are clear and she is not dripping from the eyes or beak. We made a temporary outdoor run for her and she is happily roosting on the fence for now. I am going to give her some yogurt and extra mealworms for protein, as well as add the mother of my cider vinegar to her water. Anything else that I should be doing differently?

    Any advice is helpful, as we are very concerned for her and wish her well asap!

    Thanks, The Kinney's
     
  8. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    "The mother" is mother of vinegar, which is the sediment in the bottom. I even use it as a tea for myself when I have some respiratory stuff going on. Ingles grocery chain carries it with their regular vinegar, Spectrum brand, and I buy the unfiltered type. A couple teaspoons in a quart or tablespoon to a gallon is all you need (not in a metal waterer, though).

    If she doesn't get better, you have a decision to make about her future, or lack thereof. I've had one hen who always acted like she had stuff in her throat, but it was related to fluid building in her body from egg peritonitis/internal laying and it eventually got into her lungs. She never had any symptoms of respiratory contagion, no discharge, nothing, and it finally killed her. If they get soaked to the bone and chilled, they can also get pneumonia, but that isn't contagious. That is the only time I would advise antibiotics, personally.
     
  9. Kinney's Urban Ranch

    Kinney's Urban Ranch Out Of The Brooder

    19
    0
    24
    Oct 28, 2010
    Capitol Hill, Denver, CO
    Thanks, Speckledhen!

    I have been observing her super closely and may be overreacting due to being "green" with chickens. It really does sound like a little wheeze or sneeze, and I am still keep ing her away from the other girls. . .which is proving challenging, as she must greatly miss her sisters. She has been decreasing the frequency of the sound and drank lots of the water with "the mother" today. I also gave her yogurt with some mealworms and she ate as usual. No changes in her activity level to note. And, the other girls look to be doing just fine. I am continuing to isolate her at night and as much as possible during the day.

    I guess we will wait and see. I appreciate the help.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by