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Hen keeps coughing or sneezing.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Stef82, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. Stef82

    Stef82 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 19, 2012
    Bucks County, Pa
    I don't hear any raddling in her lungs. It just almost sounds like she's got the hic-ups. But I know she's either sneezing or coughing. I'm not sure what is going on with her. I checked her nose and no fluids coming out. Sounds like clear coughs or sneezes. She is still eating, drinking, and laying eggs. Think it might be pollen or dust in the air? She started this when we last cleaned her cage three days ago.
    What should I do?
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2012
  2. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Just sneezing, no raspy breathing, runny nose or bubbly eyes? I am thinking it may have something to do with dust if it is just sneezing. Fungal infections sound chest related, and CRD (Chronic Respiratory Disease) shows symptoms in eyes, nose and coughing.
     
  3. Stef82

    Stef82 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 19, 2012
    Bucks County, Pa
    She's got clear eyes and she looks normal. Just the sneezing or hicup sounds from her. She's acting her normal self (chasing bugs, keeping her pecking order, and talking back to me).
     
  4. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    What kind of bedding do you use?
     
  5. Stef82

    Stef82 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 19, 2012
    Bucks County, Pa
    Outside of coop we wash with water, and inside the coop we use cedar and straw. I'm starting to think she might have a small cold. We've had really cool rainy weather over the weekend, and that is when she started.
     
  6. Stef82

    Stef82 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 19, 2012
    Bucks County, Pa
    I will have to video her doing this so you can see what she's doing.
     
  7. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Aha. Cedar. That is your issue.

    Cedar is toxic to chickens. Remove all bedding and replace with pine, straw or sand. I recommend pine.
     
  8. sargent spurs

    sargent spurs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a coop made out of cedar that shouldn't cause a problem should it.
     
  9. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Cedar wood for coop is different than shavings.

     
  10. janinepeters

    janinepeters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    "Studies of laboratory animals have shown fairly dramatic changes in liver enzymes on animals housed on cedar bedding."

    I once did an extensive lit search on the effects of cedar on animals housed on cedar shavings. There are 3 issues: 1. the inhalation of volatile compounds emitted from the wood, and 2. the inhalation of actual wood particles. 3. Ingestion of wood particles.

    The study showing changes in liver enzymes involved putting a plastic container over the animal (mice were used) to be sure it inhaled as much of the volatile compounds as possible. This would be a much higher level of exposure that a chicken would get when housed under normal conditions, in a coop with decent ventilation. Further, if the chicken has access to a run or yard without cedar shavings, they are not spending all their time on the cedar shavings.

    Inhalation of large amounts of actual wood particles from any tree species is a known occupation hazard for sawmill workers, who work in clouds of sawdust. It can cause asthma and cancer. Western red cedar is the worst, because it has more plicatic acid, a known lung irritant, than other woods. But a chicken isn't exposed to quite so much dust as a mill worker, and no one has actually done a controlled study on whether housing chickens on cedar shavings can give them asthma or cancer. We do know that lots of people do house them on it, and report no ill effects.

    Ingestion of cedar: This study was done by force feeding large quantities of concentrated cedar oils to pregnant mice, and showed an increased risk of various deformities and maybe cancers in their offspring. It's extremely unlikely that a chicken housed on cedar shavings would ever ingest enough cedar to cause these problems.

    Bottom line: An animal needs to ingest or inhale lots of cedar to get sick. Unless your chickens are housed on cedar shavings 24 hrs a day, with poor ventilation, I doubt that's the cause of the problems. They do get a lot of contagious upper respiratory illness, just like people do, and I'd put my money on that. Hopefully, this too shall pass.
     

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