Gasping Chicken - PLEASE HELP

Advertisement Purina Flock Layer


In the Brooder
9 Years
Jan 31, 2010
Hello - thank you for taking the time to help me,

I have a 4 year old BO that was super healthy a week ago. Yesterday I noticed that her tail was down and drooping. Today when I checked on her, her comb had fallen over, it had lost much of its color and she is now making small gasping noises and is opening her mouth unusually wide, it appears in order to breathe air. If you have any idea what is going on, please tell me what disease/bacteria/respiratory illness she has!! I would also really appreciate advice on what to treat her with.

Thank you so much for the help - I would love to post of photo of her later when she is healthy again.

Other notes: we recently bought baby chicks that we are keeping in the house until they get big enough. However, I have put them in the chicken's coop while the girls were ranging on our acre-sized property. Could there be something in terms of the BO's microbial imbalance? Also, I live in an area where it doesn't get very hot very often. Recently it has been in the low 80's during the middle of the day.

One of the chicks or more could have brought something into the coop, or she could have picked something up from migratory birds. If you can get injectable Tylan that might be a place to start. The feed stores usually sell it and can tell you how to administer. Keep the chicks out of there! Anytime you get new birds you should quarantine them for at least three, preferably four weeks. And keep your sick hen separate from the others too, in a quiet enclosure where preferably she can hear the others, anyway. Watch the others for signs of illness.. they usually hide the symptoms until they are quite ill.
Thank you - can you identify the potential illness? Or are the symptoms too vague?

Additional notes: I just offered her some sunflower seeds and cantaloupe, two of her favorite foods, and she ignored them both..
I don't know, really. If she is not eating though that is bad. If she is still alive you can try to force feed her. Get a syringe and a length of aquarium tube..make a mixture of something like pureed bananas and yogurt, or babyfood, or pureed oatmeal, or you can buy powdered bird formula at the pet store. Mix it. Measure how much tube roughly from her mouth to crop. You can open her beak and thread the tube down to her crop through the large hole behind her tongue. When it stops you will know you're there. Gently depress the plunger til you feel the crop start to fill, or , if you're not sure, just do an inch or two of formula for starters. We always do this as a two person job, but depending on the bird you might be able to do it with just one. She must eat to stay alive. You can also try to give her oatmeal or yogurt on her food, but it sounds like you will need to force feed her. If you can, at this point if I were you I'd take her to a vet.
It could be gape worms or aspergillosis. Or it could be that her organs are shutting down and she is gasping for oxygen. Culling might be a good idea to end her suffering. Doesn't sound like she is going to make it. If you do try to save her, keep her somewhere warm - at least 85 degrees, so that she is not expending energy maintaining body temperature.

Advertisement Purina Flock Layer

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom