Heavy Breathing


12 Years
Feb 2, 2008
Glen Rock, PA
Good morning all. I have a small bantam hen that has been breathing fairly heavy since last night. I gave her a good check up, she has nothing in her throat, her waddles are a bit pale. (I consider waddles and comb to be a chickens mucous membranes)
Her feces are a bit runny and snotty, but has the normal stuff in them. By normal, I mean she has been eating. ust not this morning. I am not certain to her age, as she was a rescue, but has been very heathly to this point. Nothing new in her enviroment, no new food, no free range, have not wormed yet this spring.
I am going to call my vet, but need an idea of what might be going on? At first, I thought maybe she was trying to lay her first egg of spring, but at this point, I am thinking no. Someting else is going on. I have an entire kit full of first aide and meds, I just need to find out what to give her. She is still bright eyed, I can just tell she doesnt feel well.
Can I take her temp with a rectal thermometer to find out if she is running a fever? What is the normal chicken body temp.
Thanks in Advance!
Do you have any Aviacharge 2000 or similar supplement? I would cut out the coracked corn...perhaps add some (cooked in water) oatmeal to her feed (just enough to make it clump together and some live culture yogurt (the one with the live bifidus cultures)... these are basic measures to support her nutritionally...also is it cold (even if only at night) where you are? Bringing her into a temp stable/warm environment will also aid her in recovery from whatever it is that is ailing her.
THANKS. I have 2 chicken's and other birds in the house, so I am not too keen on bringing her in just in case it is contagious. I am taking bioseurity overkill today. She is seperated from the other birds (Except her husband).
I will fix her something nice and warm to eat and set up a heat lamp.
If anything else comes to mind, please LMK. I will be giving the vet a call here shortly.
If the breathing heavily is due to something affecting the pulmonary system, cold will exascerbate this ... warmth and a temp stable environment can often make the difference to a birds recovery which is why I suggested this....
If she is panting then you need to add electrolytes to her waterer.
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OK--I have her in the house. She has pepped right up, but is still breathing heavy. Her conb and waddles are now a bright red. She enjoyed her oatmeal and yogurt and is now waslking around. I will put some Avicharge is some water and maybe use a syringe to get a little in her. I have checked her from back to front and can't find anything externally.
He crop is full and feels like it should. The only thing externally I can see is her comb and waddles. COuld she be in respitory failure? Like I said, I don't know her age, she could be ancient.
She is the sweetest little thing.
I also notice that she is trying to make happy noises, but nothing is coming out, could this be because she cannot catch her breath? I shined alight down her throat and saw nothing in the way of an obstruction.
k--typing with one hand as i have the othe round this hen. she has been sittin in my lap now for a BIt_-O` NOW SHE IS ON THE KEYPAD--ON CAPS. The color of her comb and face seems back to normal, altho her breathing is still labored, she is still sassy. She is preening, and curious about the house. vvvvvvvvvvvr555555555555oops, back on the keypad she goes. now she is drinking my water and pecking pens. I wonder what is going on with her?

She just laid an EGG!! I cannot belive it!! SHE JUST LAID AN EGG!!!
I am going to go stick it in the incubator!! HA!!!
Thanks so much for your help. I can't believe she just laid an egg....
Now she is pecking around ont he floor.
CHICKENS!! They are going ot be the death of me.
I did give her a warm bath, just to be sure. I am so glad I did.
Well now...that seems to have solved the mystery

It is truly astounding sometimes what putting a stressed bird in a temp stable environment can do...they will often want to eat and drink again and in this case...lay! Keep her in and watch her as she may have another backed up which may need to be laid.

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