Hen Squeaks and inhales with mouth open

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Margot, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. Margot

    Margot In the Brooder

    Jun 23, 2009
    Paw Paw, MI
    I have a hen that has started squeaking. Sounds like a kitten meowing. When she breaths in she opens her mouth, but not to exhale.

    She has clear eyes, energetic, eats, poops just fine. She is a dominant hen, so she still pushes the underlings around. Other than the "squeeks" and mouth breathing I think she was fine.

    Read a post earlier to bring her in so she has been in a heated laundry room for a day now. No change.

    We are in Michigan, it has been cold, but not unusually, wet but the coop is nice and dry. I have good ventilation not alot of dust, etc. No other chicken are exhibiting this sound. I went in tonight and thought I heard a squeek, but it was dark and I figured I check tomorrow AM in the daylight.

    Anyone ever run across this? Is there something I should check or give her? Thanks for the help.

    Margot in Michigan

  2. Chicken_Pauper

    Chicken_Pauper Songster

    Mar 8, 2011
    Southern California
    Sounds like she is "wheezing"....

    I would suggest doing the Q-tip test for gapeworm.. not likely, but good to rule it out... Use the Search option here on BYC and search for "testing for gapeworm" (testing for gape worm).. "the Q-tip test", etc. You can also search "wheezing" or "wheezing and squeeking".. one person recently posted about her hen sounding like she was "moaning" then breathing, recently.

    Now, how old is she? And, the flock? And, when did this start? Have you changed anything in the coop at all? Bedding in the nests is not cedar, right? Could there be mold in or around the coop.. moldy air getting in?

    Did you worm the flock in the Summer? When, with what? Check everyone's poop -- fresh.. to look for worms.... and, look for mites or lice on their bodies, etc... Do you add Apple Cider Vinegar to their water? (You can also use the Search for "worming with Valbazen" or "Sevin Dust for Mites".... if needed -- look for posts by dawg53)

    Is the coop heated? Is she the same breed as her flock mates? (I know that some breeds are more sensitive to overheating than others, which is not likely in MI unless the coop is heated). Is this the first winter for her, or the flock, in this coop under these environmental conditions, or is everything the same as last year?

    Maybe -- if all else is good.. try some VetRX... the directions are on the insert in the box with the bottle, it's a natural... sort of like Metholatum or Vick's... sort of "menthol" but for poultry. For congestion and other things. You can get it at jefferslivestock.com if your local feed store does not have it.

    Take care... good luck.
  3. Margot

    Margot In the Brooder

    Jun 23, 2009
    Paw Paw, MI
    Did the Q tip test and no gape.

    She is little hen, a mix breed bantam...so is my entire flock of 27. She has not been wormed, nothing in thier water.

    I have her inside the house in a dog crate. Her eyes are clear, no coughing, weezing, congestion. Everything normal except for the squeeking and opening mouth when she breaths in. Not out, only in.

    I held her (she is very tame) and checked for mites, bugs, etc. Nothing. Pooping fine, eating fine, although ususally by evening her crop is full. Not tonite. Can a chicken have a sore throat? sounds wierd,but that is almost what it looks like.

    I will pick up some of that Vetrx at the local Tractor supply if not I'll order from Jeffers.

    Any other ideas anyone?


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