Moaning Hen

jeds chickens

In the Brooder
6 Years
Dec 28, 2013
rural IA
Yesterday one of the hens got a toad and ate it hole and this morning she is moaning. She is active,pooping,eating and drinking fine.
She moans about every breath she takes. She also laid her egg. Is she just sick or should I take action to do something?
The moaning sounds like something is obstructing her airway. Does she moan when breathing in or out, or both? The toad may have bones she can't digest easily which could be putting pressure on her airway. Chances are it's still in her crop, being digested.
It does seem like she is having trouble breathing in and out. I put electrolytes in the water in case of respiratory problem. I will see if she keeps the moaning up if she is just having trouble digesting. Thanks for the insight.
Hope it fixes, but if it doesn't there's a chance she may end up needing a mercy cull, if she has an obstruction in the airways she can't shift. That is, unless you're willing and able to spend out on a vet for surgery that runs a high risk of failing. Sorry to be a bit doomsdayish there, hopefully it doesn't come to that.

I had two hens who both inhaled seed husks, one of whom made terrible, loud noises for a day or so before managing to free herself of the husk; everyone was asking me to cull her, it sounded terrible, but her color stayed good so I didn't. She lived a long life after that.

The second hen wasn't making such noises, only quiet moaning with her breathing, and nobody asked me to cull her, but I had to after a week or so, because gradually the husk caused so much inflammation she lost more and more oxygen until her face was blue and she could hardly walk, just spent her time gasping desperately but getting less and less oxygen. Since then I only feed them wetted feeds if there is loose husks etc in the grain. It used to be fairly common that some would inhale a husk and squeak over it for a few minutes before they dislodged it.

My hens often ate large mice, rats, snakes, frogs, etc, anything they could catch and kill, and I was concerned about some of those because of the skeletons, but none ever came to harm from it, so maybe it will just take a while to process.

Best wishes.

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