Help with possibly sick chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by sarahb5, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. sarahb5

    sarahb5 Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    Oct 19, 2014
    My chickens are 6 months old. They all have seemed healthy, happy and very social. For the past few weeks, one of the hens has had some symptoms. First she would breathe with her beak open. She wasn't wheezing necessarily, but I could definitely hear her breathing. The temps were quite warm here in Northern California, so I attributed it to the heat. She has now started to gape. She makes a squeak sound instead of her social clucking, and she screeches with her neck out which I have guessed through internet and you tube research is possibly gaping. (I'm very new to this.) She lays eggs. She eats and drinks. She hangs out with her friends. I held her today and I don't feel any masses or strange lumps. Her eyes seem clear, her comb is normal. I'm guessing I need to take her to a vet, but I'm hoping to get some reassurance in the meantime. Any ideas? Thanks in advance. We are very attached to her.
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

    30,546
    4,911
    541
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Welcome to BYC. Does she do the gaping constantly or just sometimes? Has it been wet where you live or mostly dry? Sometimes it's hard to tell symptoms of a respiratory illness from gapeworm. Aspergillosis from mold spores can cause open mouth breathing and respiratory difficulty. Infectious bronchitis is a respiratory disease that can cause chirping and sneezing with the neck extended. It is a virus that lasts about 5 weeks. ILT is another respiratory disease that can cause gasping and gaping. Gapeworm is a worm that invades the trachea, causing blockage and respiratory distress. Your hen probably doesn't have it if she is able to eat and drink, since it causes extreme respiratory distress. It is treated with fenbendazole (Safeguard Liquid Goat Wormer) 1 ml by mouth daily for 3 straight days, then repeat in 10 days for 3 straight days. Here is some info on aspergillosis, ILT, and infectious bronchitis, along with other common respiratory diseases: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044
     
  3. sarahb5

    sarahb5 Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    Oct 19, 2014
    Thank you so much for such a thorough reply. We have had a very dry season, though we did get a bit of rain this summer which dampened some straw in their run. I'm thinking the straw may have gotten moldy (we've since raked it out) and maybe the respiratory symptoms started from that. As for the gaping, it's not constant. She does it a few times a day, but mostly it's just the strained/loud breathing through the mouth. She's constantly eating, drinking and gabbing with her pals. I will read your link and pursue this more. I'm guessing it's the bronchitis that lasts for 5 weeks - we are on week 4 now.
    Again, thank you so much. Fingers crossed that she will get through this. My little ones are very anxious.
    Sarah
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by