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HELP!!! 2nd day with first ever hens and one is gurlging/coughing~

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by HeatherFeather, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. HeatherFeather

    HeatherFeather Songster

    Feb 16, 2009
    Severn Bridge, ON
    I just got my first laying hens two days ago. They are 8 months old and I got them from a reputable small time organic poultry farmer.
    She said that some of her hens had developed a irritation recently due to wood shavings, and recommended that we use straw instead. I found this plausible as wood shaving irritate our cavies too.
    Anyhow, on the way home, we noticed one of the hens gurlging and coughing.
    When we got home I separated her immediately from the other 3.
    She's still in the same shed, but in a rabbit cage instead of the chicken enclosure.
    In general the air in the shed is a little dusty...I'm trying to work on that and keep the window open a crack during the day.

    Anyhow, today I've noticed she is slightly swollen above the beak area, and maybe some nasal discharge. Her droppings are a combination of normal looking with a white crust on top and watery. She is eating and drinking, being as active as she can be in a cage, and laying nice clean smooth brown eggs. Today's egg was lighter in shade than yesterday's.

    The poultry farmer is quite a ways away-several hours drive, so going back asap isn't feasible.

    Is this likely to be contagious or not? How can I tell?
    Should we cull her? Can we eat her if we do? What about the other birds...are they likely to get sick too now? Is it ok to eat the eggs from the gurlgy bird? What about the others?
    I'm going to call the farmer, and see what she says....but I really wanted other opinions as well.

  2. aidenbaby

    aidenbaby Songster

    Apr 10, 2009
    I would call and notify the farmer right away and see if any their birds have come down with something. Then, I would ask the farmer what they suggested doing about it. I say that because that is the kind of care that they are used to. Maybe, the bird caught a cold and will get better.

    I wouldn't cull unless there was absolutely nothing else that could be done and the bird will die for sure.
  3. HeatherFeather

    HeatherFeather Songster

    Feb 16, 2009
    Severn Bridge, ON
    I was just out in the shed, and it seems that the girl in question is barely gurgling at all now. Its 10 pm now and I hadn't been out since maybe noon.

    I gave her fresh water (with electrolytes) and checked the newspaper in her cage and her poops have all been good this aft.

    She still couged, and I could hear laboured breathing...but things are hopefully improving.

    What are opinions about whether or not we should eat her eggs?

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