coughing, wheezing, breath rattling.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by elaineinspain, Aug 28, 2016.

  1. Yesterday I bought 2 australorp hens,both approx one year old and put them immediately into quarantine in a large dog crate (106cm x 70cm) I put vitamins in their water because of the stress of a new home. Shortly after putting them in their quarantine crate I noticed they are both wheezing and rattling and coughing,
    I have put colloidal silver in their water together with the vitamins, and have given them crushed garlic to eat free choice.
    When I first put them in the crate yesterday they were drinking an awful lot. Much more than I've seen my other hens drink. But today they seem to be drinking more normally. They are eating the fermented feed I gave them, and today I gave them cabbage and kale leaves blended together with garlic and olive oil, which they are eating as well as the fermented feed.

    They slept well last night and this morning woke up and were fine scratching around in the leaves and pine shavings they have as litter. They are obviously used to foraging.
    As the day started getting warmer (it's 90ยบ in the shade where their crate is) their coughs and wheezing and rattling started increasing.

    They are breathing with open mouths, but that might be because of the heat.
    I don't see any mucous on them anywhere.
    Also no sneezing.

    Is there anything else I can do to help them?
    How long should it be before I start seeing improvements, or need to give them something stronger (antibiotics?)

    Thanks for any help!

  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    First of all, keep them far away from your regular flock. Thoroughly clean hands and try to even change clothes between handling each group of birds.

    The unfortunate truth is that 95% of the time when you see coughing, gurgling, rattling, etc. in (multiple) new birds, it's going to be respiratory disease. This is because chickens do not get simple colds, and although it's possible for them to be affected by things such as dust and ammonia in coops, it would take an incredibly large amount to do so.

    The thing about respiratory disease is it's not curable, only treatable. Once a bird has it, it's there for life. I can't even tell you the amount of times I've heard stories that go something like this: "I bought some new birds, and they were sneezing/coughing/gurgling etc. It seemed to clear up after a few days, and so I went ahead and put them in with my own flock. Now everyone's sick!" It's unfortunately a story that has also happened to me personally.

    The ideal thing to do here is to have the birds blood tested by a vet. It's the only way to confirm for sure what they have. (Typically, the disease is question is a bacterium known as Mycoplasma - it's by far the most common contagious respiratory disease). If they come back positive, you will need to cull them, as there is no cure and you do not want them infecting your birds.
  3. OMG! that's awful!

    I was hoping it was because of the stress of being boxed up and moved to a new home and it would clear up given time.
    Looks like a trip to the vet is in order....
    Thank you.

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