Hen breathing with mouth open/yellow diarrhea

CharlieCrawford

In the Brooder
May 27, 2020
16
11
39
Hi. My young hen is having a rough day. I noticed watery/clear/with a little white diarrhea a couple of days ago, and only today have figured out who it is. I got two Buff Orpington chicks this spring and they just began laying two weeks ago. I’ve gotten 1-3 eggs per day so someone is laying twice? Today I did a little body check on them and noticed one was breathing with her mouth open. This leads me to believe it’s likely her diarrhea as well, which is now more yellow than clear. The other is out frolicking in a 6 inch dirt bath as I write this. My girl who is struggling is in the corner of the yard, laying down. I know she isn’t hot, I’m in Montana and we haven’t gotten up to freezing today.
Thoughts? My city has no poultry vets and our farm and ranch store has very few medications. None prescriptive of course.
Thanks so much for any advice.
 

CharlieCrawford

In the Brooder
May 27, 2020
16
11
39
Update!!! Her panting increased, she became unable to walk and within an hour of me posting this she died rather violently in my arms. Any ideas of what this could have been? All of my other chickens are healthy. She wasn’t more than 8 months old.
 
Feb 28, 2020
1,676
8,632
456
Australia, QLD
So sorry @CharlieCrawford that you didn't get the help when you needed it. What do you mean he died violently? Did she have a fit? So sorry for your loss - she is in a better place now.
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One Lucky Momma

Chicken Kisser
Premium Feather Member
Apr 25, 2020
521
1,614
236
Madison Co, NC
I’m so sorry.

I’m no chicken expert, let me throw that disclaimer out there. I’ve been lucky so far and had only a bit of fowl neurosis to work through. I don’t know this for certain, but it seems to me that had this been a congenital matter it would have shown up before now. There is a thing in chickens called sudden death syndrome. Your mention of her having died rather violently brings that to mind.

You seem to be very much into your birds. Having the limited medical resources you describe, you might want to consider getting a copy of The Chicken Health Handbook by Gail Damerow.

Again, I’m so sorry for your loss. I hope you’re able to take some solace in having been holding her when she died.
 

CharlieCrawford

In the Brooder
May 27, 2020
16
11
39
So sorry @CharlieCrawford that you didn't get the help when you needed it. What do you mean he died violently? Did she have a fit? So sorry for your loss - she is in a better place now. View attachment 2439355
I’m sure it was natural, I’ve never held an animal as it does. She flung her head around. Wings flailing about. It was honestly kind of hard to hold onto her but I knew she was dying because her comb went from red to barely pink in seconds. It was horrible.
 

CharlieCrawford

In the Brooder
May 27, 2020
16
11
39
I’m so sorry.

I’m no chicken expert, let me throw that disclaimer out there. I’ve been lucky so far and had only a bit of fowl neurosis to work through. I don’t know this for certain, but it seems to me that had this been a congenital matter it would have shown up before now. There is a thing in chickens called sudden death syndrome. Your mention of her having died rather violently brings that to mind.

You seem to be very much into your birds. Having the limited medical resources you describe, you might want to consider getting a copy of The Chicken Health Handbook by Gail Damerow.

Again, I’m so sorry for your loss. I hope you’re able to take some solace in having been holding her when she died.
Thank you so much. I did recently get that book and I’m going to start reading sections at a time just for knowledge. I’m going to read up on sudden death syndrome. Thank you for letting me know about that.
 

CharlieCrawford

In the Brooder
May 27, 2020
16
11
39
Thanks for the replies everyone. I did some reading on sudden death syndrome and boy, couldn’t find a better description of what happened. Now I have to figure out how to keep a tiny bantam who sleeps in a nest box and a single Buff Orpington warm in a coop that is too big for them to heat themselves. Again, thank you all.
 

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