Help! Looking down my hen's throat (and help with wheezing?)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by my three chickens, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. my three chickens

    my three chickens In the Brooder

    Jan 13, 2008
    Proud to say I (somehow) singlehandedly managed to look down my hen's throat. With my headlamp shining in I saw something that seemed strange: the opening through which she was breathing was a hole only half the width of her throat; the rest was closed and yellowish/off-white. Is that normal?

    The backstory: I was looking to see if she has gapeworms (and saw nothing red). She has been hiccuping, wheezing, coughing for a few days, and it seems to be getting worse. She has 100% of her appetite and doesn't seem listless, just unable to breathe properly. When I felt her neck there was a hard spot where I think the crop should be, but I don't know. Nine-month-old BO who free-ranges and has been eating worms, etc.

    Help on any/all?
  2. Bammony

    Bammony Red-dress-less

    Aug 15, 2008
    Salina, Utah
    I'm not sure. I've never looked down a chickens throat. Just wanted to say I hope all is well with ur chicken and I hope someone comes along to help.
  3. my three chickens

    my three chickens In the Brooder

    Jan 13, 2008
    With some more research I was able to find that this is normal--there's an eating hole (which I saw) and a windpipe hole. Now I wonder if it's bad that I didn't immediately see the windpipe hole?

    Also confused about whether an impacted crop can impair her ability to breathe and cause wheezing, or if those would be two separate things?
  4. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    The windpipe hole is at back of tongue and you would have to hold and pull her tongue out a bit to be able to see it. That's the hole she breathes from.

    No an impacted crop would not cause wheezing and coughing. Sounds like she has a respiratory infection "chicken cold". Could be viral or bacterial. Antibiotics might help, might not. I'm doctoring a rooster right now that is in my kitchen, staying warm, and he has a gurgling congestion sound coming from throat and chest but he is refusing to eat or drink on his own and is having to be force fed.

    If she is still eating/drinking, keep her warm and give her extra vitamins like Poly-Vi-Sol (liquid baby vitamins) and feed her some scrambled egg for extra protein and nutrients.

    and, welcome to BYC.
  5. my three chickens

    my three chickens In the Brooder

    Jan 13, 2008
    Thanks, Ruth.
    I'm more worried now, as I just checked on them in the PM and she is gasping and wheezing. I had quarantined her in a cage earlier today but she just freaked out--it didn't seem like a therapeutic place for her. She's in with the rest and I put in a heat lamp. Hoping she makes it to the morning so I can take her to a vet. She seems to be struggling so hard--it's difficult to witness.
    Anyone know a good vet in the North Bay Area of California?
  6. I commend you on looking down your hens throat. Never force any liquid down a chickens throat. Never flush the nostrils unless you know exactly what you are doing. You can get liquid in the air sacs and death is simply a matter of moments after this.

    Chickens do not have an adams apple. They close ther windpipe with the help of their tongue. This is why you see your birds put their head back to drink. Inernally, a chicken is really a very simple creature. They have air sacs for lungs. They have a crop, a gizzard and finally an intestine to absorb food. They do not have bladders and this is why you see a white urate in their poop. They have a simple circulatory system and they can overheat readily.

    They see colors and they have an very complicated social system and language.

    I degress. I think your birds probably have a repiratory infection. I have seen chickies labor to breath and pull through just fine.

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