Dead within 24 hours


9 Years
Feb 12, 2010
I am new to keeping chickens. I have ten, 7 month old, hens left. Three have had the same symptoms, but at very different ages. All three came from the same breeder and were about the same age, but different breeds. The first one was just a chick. I put it down within about two weeks of its arrival. The second was about three months old. The last was seven months. The symptoms were a chirping along with a sneezing sound. Seemed to be trying to clear their nostrils by wiping on ground or feet. All three were gasping with open beeks. The last one became partially paralyized and unstable. (I put the other two down before they reached this stage, but the second one was experiencing the paralysis.) It then just went down and died. I went to Just Ask, paid $30, and basically had my observations confirmed from a vet in Scotland. Diagnosis was viral and the Maran either made it or she did not. Has anyone else seen this? I'll bet this was not uncommon.


Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Hi rons99

so sorry to hear about your losses, that must be tough. I got an over-the-internet digonosis too at one time for $30. I think the vet I got was Dr. Fiona Steel, and she did a very good job.

Have you considered a necropsy for your bird? I think it would require refrigeration, and perhaps getting in touch with your county extension agent would help you locate where, and how to follow up. Hopefully you live where it isn't already after closing time for your agent.

There is a worm called gape worm that will cause a chicken to gasp and try desperately to gulp air. I have heard that it is like strangulation. It takes time for the worm to progress from larvae to adult, and that perhaps would explain (if yoiur chickens had had this parasite) the delay in timing. I'm sure your online vet would have eliminated this problem, but the long delay between the deaths makes me suspicious.

In addition to a necropsy, there is a vet I wish I had known about 'The Chicken Doctor' Dr. Peter J. Brown. He will do a call back for $25 and the fee would be waived if you ended up buying meds from their site. (I figure sometimes I would need a medication anyway, and if I can talk to an expert poultry vet, all the better, I'd be happy to purchase from them. It is First Stat Vet. Here is a link:

-- I consulted him about a suspected problem I had with one of my chickens. He also has an on-line radio show on Monday afternoons. You can call or perhaps eMail the on air show. I just listened last Monday it is on the show 'the chicken wisperer'. Not 100% how it all works as yet, but I think you register, and you can email in---and you can listen and call in. No charge. That may be something you would like to persue. -- the time is Mondays at -- I think 12:30PM EST

the reason that I thought of gape-worm is that one of my chickens was doing the attempt to grab for air thing----and when I suspected gape worm, then I realized I would have to use a systemic wormer because gape worm sucks the chicken's blood and anything it the gut wouldn't have killed the worms.

I've only had chickens since April, but my chickens have had a lot of interesting experiences to share with me. ;o]

As far as chicken wiping their beak, mine do that a lot on the grass when I feed them something that has any grease on it---like restaurant leftovers. I think the grass is their table napkin. It sounds like your chickens may have had multiple things...but if you can nail it down, you will feel better and perhaps prevent it affecting anyother of your flock. But I have heard it related to a certain disease where they try to wipe beak often on feathers...

Good luck, hope that you have no more losses.

By the Way---Welcome! I see that this is your first post. Sorry it is because of sad circumstances.
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