Gape Worm or Respiratory infection

annierose

In the Brooder
Jun 22, 2020
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26
40
Hi again!

I've got 5 chickens, one is sussex coronation. She's probably about 7 months old, I've had her since she was about 8-10 weeks old.
Since i've had her she's probably sneezed at least once a day, usually in the morning. On the odd occasion I've heard/seen those big sneezes, the ones that look like it shocked her- maybe 5 times i've seen this.

She's a big hen, top of the pecking order with lots of attitude.

Anyway she's become broody the last 3 days. Today all the hens were lying in their dust bath area, I saw this hen gape 4 to 5 times in a row! I've seen her gape and one other hen maybe 3 times in the time i've had them. This time she did it was one after another, then she acted normal all afternoon.

I put some Vetrx on for the sneezes (first time i've used it): https://www.dineachook.com.au/vetrx-chicken-sneezing-veterinary-aid/

She had to sit on a perch tonight instead of her nesting box (broody), coincidentally I was filming upon looking at it I've seen her sneeze a couple more times! I've attached the video, the hen in question is on the right!

Preview attachment 43c6f0f6549d4d4dad5ac68340b4da84.MOV




43c6f0f6549d4d4dad5ac68340b4da84.MOV
6.6 MB
 

Isaac 0

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Jul 19, 2016
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Your video did not work.

Gaping could be caused by a wide variety of issues such as respiratory disease, fungal infection, poor housing, canker, wet fowl pox, any condition that causes a buildup of fluids in the abdominal area such as EYP, or ascites. It can also be caused by Gapeworms, but it's not something you see too often in chickens, and the symptoms your bird would be experiencing would likely be much more emphasized.

Since she is sneezing too, that may point towards a respiratory disease such as MG, IB, or Coryza. The viruses directly invade the bird's respiratory system, oftentimes due to the comprised respiratory system the birds will develop Airsacculitis which characterized by the inflammation of the air sacs. These problems tend to get worse, in the winter when birds are being housed in close quarters where ventilation is poorer than normal, and ammonia is higher.

Before anything else is suggested, it would be good if you could upload your video, to a video platform like Youtube or Vimeo, and copy/paste the link here. IF you could also check inside then hens mouth to rule out canker, or wet fowl pox that may be good too.
 

annierose

In the Brooder
Jun 22, 2020
52
26
40
Your video did not work.

Gaping could be caused by a wide variety of issues such as respiratory disease, fungal infection, poor housing, canker, wet fowl pox, any condition that causes a buildup of fluids in the abdominal area such as EYP, or ascites. It can also be caused by Gapeworms, but it's not something you see too often in chickens, and the symptoms your bird would be experiencing would likely be much more emphasized.

Since she is sneezing too, that may point towards a respiratory disease such as MG, IB, or Coryza. The viruses directly invade the bird's respiratory system, oftentimes due to the comprised respiratory system the birds will develop Airsacculitis which characterized by the inflammation of the air sacs. These problems tend to get worse, in the winter when birds are being housed in close quarters where ventilation is poorer than normal, and ammonia is higher.

Before anything else is suggested, it would be good if you could upload your video, to a video platform like Youtube or Vimeo, and copy/paste the link here. IF you could also check inside then hens mouth to rule out canker, or wet fowl pox that may be good too.

Here is the link for the video

Have yet to look inside the chicken's mouth
 

Isaac 0

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Jul 19, 2016
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Here is the link for the video

Have yet to look inside the chicken's mouth
I don't see any gaping in the video, but I do see her flicking her head (sneezing). How often does she do this, and is this the extent of what her symptoms are?
 

annierose

In the Brooder
Jun 22, 2020
52
26
40
I don't see any gaping in the video, but I do see her flicking her head (sneezing). How often does she do this, and is this the extent of what her symptoms are?
Yep the gape happened yesterday 4 times in a row and then didn't do it for the rest of the day.
The sneezing, probably 1-3 times a day
 

Isaac 0

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Jul 19, 2016
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Yep the gape happened yesterday 4 times in a row and then didn't do it for the rest of the day.
The sneezing, probably 1-3 times a day
Sometimes it's hard to tell if you're dealing with an environmental factor or a very mild strain of the respiratory disease. It would be nice to see a video of her gaping, but if it, and the sneezing is only happening a few times a day, I would personally try correcting any environmental problems in your coop that may cause irritation to their respiratory system first.

That might include, ensuring their bedding isn't dusty, making sure their feed isn't powdery, ensuring their coop has plenty of ventilation, reducing fecal matter buildup, etc. If she continues to sneeze, and gape a few times a day, I would consider either starting her on an antibiotic such as Tylosin, or doxycycline, or sending swabs into your state lab to see if your dealing with a respiratory problem, and see what exactly you're dealing with.

From the video, the hens appears to look healthy otherwise. Does she show that besides the sneezing, and is she eating, pooping, drinking as normal?
 

Isaac 0

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I just wanted to note that gaping could be her adjusting her crop, sometimes mine does this several times in a row.
Good point, and that's why a video would be nice because when they adjust their crop they tend to have a certain movement with their whole neck.
 

Sally PB

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Aug 7, 2020
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but I do see her flicking her head (sneezing)
Is flicking her head like in the video how a chicken sneezes, with no sound? I have a pullet who has done that since she was a chick. She did it a lot as a chick, much less so now.
 

Isaac 0

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Jul 19, 2016
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Is flicking her head like in the video how a chicken sneezes, with no sound? I have a pullet who has done that since she was a chick. She did it a lot as a chick, much less so now.
In the video, there was a sound in the first "sneeze" am I correct? Generally, yes, they flick their head, and that's usually followed by a sound right after. If it's involuntary flicking of the head with no sound, that could indicate a mite/ or lice problem or could be a tick because of dusty feed/bedding, etc.
 
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