Hen's seem to have a respiratory infection and we just lost one!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Emily Collins, Jun 16, 2019.

  1. Emily Collins

    Emily Collins In the Brooder

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    We had 5 hens and 1 rooster. One of our long island reds died yesterday after we noticed she was having trouble breathing and moved her to a separate pen.
    Now one of my white hens is acting very lethargic but still eating and laying.
    They are just over 2 years old and this is the first illness we have had. We feed them pellets and water and sometimes fruits and veggies.
    We never immunized them either.
    We picked up some over the counter salve and some apple cider vinegar to try and treat.
    What should we do?
    We ate some of the eggs before we knew they were sick, is that ok?
    Is it ok to eat eggs from sick hens?

    Thank you!
     
  2. Brahma Chicken5000

    Brahma Chicken5000 Araucana Addict

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  3. Emily Collins

    Emily Collins In the Brooder

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    The white hen isn't making any nosie when she breaths, I don't see any eye puffiness, or discharge from nose or eyes
     
  4. Emily Collins

    Emily Collins In the Brooder

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    The hen that died had labored breathing and was wheezing!
     
  5. Brahma Chicken5000

    Brahma Chicken5000 Araucana Addict

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    Check the birds for mites or lice. That can make birds lethargic if they have a large infestation.
     
    Emily Collins likes this.
  6. Emily Collins

    Emily Collins In the Brooder

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    Ok, would that also cause the wheezing and death?
     
  7. Brahma Chicken5000

    Brahma Chicken5000 Araucana Addict

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    No, but a large mite infestation could exasperate an underlying issue.
     
    Emily Collins likes this.
  8. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

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    First of all, it's okay to eat eggs from a sick chicken. It wouldn't be a good idea to eat them without cooking them, though.

    Just because a chicken has labored breathing doesn't mean it has a respiratory infection. Cancer can cause this symptom if tumors crowd out bodily functions. I had an eleven-month old cockerel that had very labored breathing and on necropsy, it showed he had cancer on most of his organs, the liver alone weighing two pounds. (Note the age. Cancer does hit young chickens, too.)

    The wisest action would be to have your dead hen necropsied. That way you will know if she died from something that can affect your remaining chickens. There are too many things a hen can die from to even begin to give you a possible diagnosis with the scant information you've provided.

    One inexpensive step you can take, though, is to gather a random poop sample from your flock and have it tested for parasites. Some, such as coccidia, can make chickens very sick and cause death. Ask your vet to do a fecal float test.
     
  9. Emily Collins

    Emily Collins In the Brooder

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    Thank you for your info. I feel better knowing that the eggs won't make us sick. We never ear raw eggs.
    I will talk to my husband and see if we can take a sample of the stool to our vet.
    Thank you again. I am now realizing how misinformed I have been and will be learning a lot more about chickens now!
     
    micstrachan and azygous like this.
  10. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    Sorry for your loss. I agree with @azygous. A necropsy by the state vet, or done yourself at home to look at organs, taking pictures, is the best way to find out why one dies. You can post pictures here for suggestions. Gasping or noisy breathing can be a sign of other things, like a blockage in the airway, ascites or water belly, a large worm load, heart problems, and respiratory infections.

    If any of your remaining chickens have crackly breathing, watery or foamy eyes, eye drainage, nasal drainage, cough or sneeze, or gasping, check back here for help.
     

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