How quickly does Gapeworm kill a chicken?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by CityGirlChicken, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. CityGirlChicken

    CityGirlChicken New Egg

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    Aug 6, 2014
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    Hi everyone.

    I have read several posts about gape worms and impacted crops and respiratory diseases, and feel more confused now than when I started research!

    Two of my hens that are two years old started with a funny little cough about 10 days ago. Just a little occasional sneezy cough or quick head shake, and occasionally stretching the neck and beak gaping. The are still eating very happily, moving about, hopping on roost, pecking at leaves, and laying an egg every other day (which is normal for them). They are bright eyed, not sleepy, no bad smell or wheezy breathing or drippy eyes/nose/etc.

    I immediately quarantined the two hens. None of my other hens have any of these "symptoms."

    I had initially ruled out respiratory infection because they aren't acting sick. Reading up on Gape worms, I know they aren't common, but we do let the hens free range and there are a lot of crows and wild birds around. We dosed the two hens with safegard goat wormer, twice, two days apart. (this was a week after the cough started) They haven't gotten better. They haven't gotten worse.

    So I'm sort of wondering two things -- if it is gapes and the medication just isn't effective, and it's been 10 days since the coughing began -- would they have suffocated by now or be show real signs of strain? They are not struggling to breath, and I see the gaping behavior maybe once every few minutes. I have wondered if it has something to do with eating, because I see them the most when I am out feeding them and observing in the morning before work.

    If it IS gapes, fast would I see a result from the meds? I will try the q-tip test tonight, although looking down their throat with a flash light I saw nothing. I will also feel their crops a little better tonight / tomorrow morning. But they are eating just fine, they are not drinking excessively and they haven't stopped eating.

    Thanks!
     
  2. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    From what I understand Gapeworms are not common. Chickens will frequently stretch their necks and stretch their mouths open when they eat. Sometimes the dry food kind of hangs. If they are otherwise fine I would continue to monitor them.
     
  3. CityGirlChicken

    CityGirlChicken New Egg

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    Aug 6, 2014
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    Thank you. Since they really aren't acting that sickly, I am starting to feel that too -- and I have been wondering about the stretching of necks when eating. I'll likely keep them seperated for another 10 days just so the meds work out of them and I'm not confusing who laid what egg.

    But thanks!
     
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Stretching the necks when eating...they are adjusting their crop.
     
  5. CityGirlChicken

    CityGirlChicken New Egg

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    Aug 6, 2014
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    Thanks! What about the slight head shake?

    I plan on giving them a good observation tonight -- when not eating -- to really watch what's going on.

    But thanks again for the replies :)
     
  6. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Head shaking here in North Florida means gnats...for people and chickens!
     
  7. CityGirlChicken

    CityGirlChicken New Egg

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    Aug 6, 2014
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    I'm pondering mites. There had been mites in their coop, which I thought I had eradicated. These chickens have been moved from the coop - but I'm wondering if they could have ear mites!
     
  8. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've no idea if they can get ear mites. Ihad one serama get something stuck in her ear canal but that isn't common.
     

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