help, 1 out of 50 chicks with raspy, breath don't want to cull


In the Brooder
11 Years
Nov 12, 2008
upper peninsula of michigan
Hi, we've got 50 2-week-old buff orpingtons and 49 are just fine but one (the littlest) always seems to be breathing heavy and you can hear a raspy clicking when it breathes and it's eyes are usually closed. When it opens it's eyes they are clear and clean like the others, and it seems to be eating and drinking.

We separated it until we discover it's problem and it found the new food and water right away so it's alert and active. But like I said, it has raspy breathing, it's eyes are usually closed, it seems to heave with every breath, much more than the others, and it stretches and makes a crying chirp unlike the others.

When I looked in our chicken books, the symptoms (minus raspy breath) are similar to being too hot, but the temp is right and none of the others are having same problems.

I'm not in favor of the concept of "culling" but I'm afraid it might have some kind of a lung infection or cold and I don't want it to transfer to the others.

Just to give full back ground, we also have 9 healthy adult laying hens on the property but they are well separated from the chicks. No other animals except a cat. We got the hens as adults so this is our first chic experience.

If anyone has any advice or direction I should look I would much apprecaite it.

Thanks, firefarmer
I wish I had some answers for you but I really don't know. What you could do is at the top of the page go to search and type in breathing problems or something similar and all the posts will come up for you to look thru. Just maybe till someone chimes in with some more help for you. Hope it all works out for your chicks!
Thanks for the encouragement.

we do have it seperated from the others, it's still gasping away. I've done some research and it seems like it might be Chronic Respiratory Disease or CRD. The symptoms seem correct except I haven't noticed any nasal discharge, doesn't mean it hasn't been there.

So far all the info I've seen about CDR has been in reference to adult birds, so I have to look around some more. The info I saw said you had to treat it with Terramycin or erythromycin which are antibiotics. The thing is that I already have the chicks eating medicated feed with Bacitracin which I think is an antibiotic. I'm wondering if Bacitracin will take care of it too? I don't want to double up on the antibiotics. I was already not a huge fan of the medicated feed but only did it because so many people I talked to advised it.

so... If anyone has any new advice I'd appreciate it!

if its seems to be okay you can keep it, but it might have an abnormality and you would have to treat that or if it is sick it could infect the other chicks.

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