my chicken is breathing with her mouth open... please help !

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by michelle b 1972, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. michelle b 1972

    michelle b 1972 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 28, 2010
    manchester U.K.
    hi can anyone help me please .... i have 10 hens .... 9 are 28 weeks old and 1 is 20 weeks old ! the trouble is i have a specklady( she is 28 weeks old ) and she keeps standing there with her eyes closed , her comb is paler than the other girls and every time she breathes she open her beak and takes a deep breath.... at first she stopped eating and drinking and i handled her and fed her water and pellets that had been soaked in water and after that she eats and drinks perfectly well ... she is currently on the 3 day worming programme that goes in the drinking water .. they have all been checked for mites/ parasites etc and they are all clear .. the coop and run gets the sawdust shavings changed every other day all the others are in tip top condition ! as they can get to earth worms i was told she could have eaten an infected worm so i am treating them all at present ! i dont think she is laying and im really stuck on advice... she seems happy in herself and is going to the toilet ok and even chases the others away from the food but its the eyes closed and the fact that she seems tired all the time and her breathing that is bothering me ! she sometimes puts her head under her wing like she is going to roost for the night ! she has been like this now for the past 3 weeks ... i was told i had got her over the worst because i made her eat and drink ! the others dont pick on her ! is there anything i am missing and is there anything else i can give her to help get her over this tiredness and breathing problem ?
    their food is layers pellets,mixed cracked corn and oyster shell .... they dont get anything else as i have heard mixed comments about feeding other things !
    please help me and my little lady
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Sorry you are going through this, and welcome. What kind of wormer are you using? Did you have the feces checked, or are you near someone who will do this?

    There is a lot of info on this site on how people worm their chickens, what they use, etc.

    This will give you a bump, anyway.
  3. michelle b 1972

    michelle b 1972 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 28, 2010
    manchester U.K.
    hi im giving them.. verm-x its a liquid wormer ! her poo is normal and just like the other girls poo and they are all ok...... 1 thing i did remember after i posted my first post was she started like this about 6 days after we bought her from my friends farm ( all the others are from there aswell) so we initally thought it was stress as its 1 hours drive from there to home bit after all this time she should be ok now ! i live in the uk and we would have to travel about 50 miles for a vet that would look at her and the journey would stress her more ! my friend said to put her out of her misery but i cant do that... she has got rather a large place in my heart now and as she doesnt seem in pain and she is eating and drinking that seems quite harsh ! every living thing has a right to live !
    this wormer is a herbal wormer
    thanks for replying x
  4. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

    May 6, 2010
    My Coop
    michelle, do you know if your bird has Gapeworm? Your description of her breathing sounds like it is gapeworm. I would wonder about the verm-x for treating such an advanced infection of worms, if that's what it is. Herbal remedies may work to keep such infections away or limit them, however, they often aren't very effective at treating an advanced infection. Most folks here use fenbendazole, Valbazen or Ivomectin for existing infections of gapeworm. I completely understand your desire to keep your flock as natural as possible, but one of these medications could offer nearly immediate help if gapeworms are the problem. Hopefully someone with much more experience with worms will help out (I only know what I've read on worms). Maybe dawg53 or CMV could tell you if this is correct, they know worms and have been recently posting.
  5. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2010
    Swab her throat, if it is indeed gape worm you will see it on the swab as small red Y shaped worms.

    Sounds like it might be respritory though, respritory problems are much more common.
  6. rosco

    rosco Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 24, 2009
    Texas Panhandle
    Yes, any respiratory symptoms? i didn't notice. wheezing, gurgling, nasal drainage?

    why is gapeworm so often suggested?

    anyhow, here is what an english person did for gapeworm:

    "English farmer says he has rarely lost an affected individual since he re_

    sorted to tobacco smoke. He places the pullets in a box, which he covers

    with a cloth, then puts a little tobacco in a pipe, lights it, puts some more

    tobacco on the top, introduces the pipe into the box and blows gently

    through the stem, until the birds fall over almost inanimate. He then re-

    stores them to the open air, where they soon recover their health·

  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    isn't that called second hand smoke? Have you tried giving her some baby vitamins in some plain yogurt? wouldn't hurt to look for the gape worms either. Also ACV in their water? Hopefully someone with more experience will be able to help more. What made you think worms? Did you see some in the poo? Make sure the vitamins haven't got iron in it.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2010
  8. michelle b 1972

    michelle b 1972 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 28, 2010
    manchester U.K.
    hi everyone thankyou so much for your help...... it is infact the dreaded GAPEWORM ! i have bought some flubenvet 2.5% medicated premixture from an online animal pharmacy ... i am just waiting for it to be delivered .. hopefully it should arrive today as it has took 3 days... good news is she is still drinking,eating,pooing and chasing the others from the food.... she does feel a little thin and i can feel her breast plate but i know i can restore her back to 100% health... i have got her this far without gapeworm treatment so im really hoping me and my little lady are on the homestraight ! i will keep you all posted on her progress and i will post pics of her shortly..... just one other thing please ......... does anyone know how to dose with this treatment as it mixed into the pellets... i would of ideally liked to have got her a liquid based one that i could have hand fed her.... and just a a precaution i am going to treat all of them..... will there be an egg withdrawal period? i really dont like the idea of having to throw away the eggs but i have a feeling they could be contaminated..... once again......... thankyou all so much ! you are all worth your weight in gold ... i dont know what we would have done without you all x
  9. AndreaS

    AndreaS Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2010
    Hurdle Mills, NC
    Hi Michelle!

    Glad you've got the problem figured out!

    Just curious, how did you know for sure it was gapeworm? I've never had it and am interested in learning more. I've read some posts on this forum about it that said that if you shine a flashlight down their throats you can actually see the worm? Did you swab her and see the little Ys that Clay Valley Farmer described?

    I have a hen that ive suspected might have a respiratory illness because she sometimes breathes with her mouth open, and this thread just reminded me that I should check for gapeworm.

    I think the withdrawl period for most wormers is two weeks. I know, two weeks without eggs. Yikes!

    Good luck!

  10. michelle b 1972

    michelle b 1972 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 28, 2010
    manchester U.K.
    hi andrea,
    i havent officially had her checked but all the symtoms for a respirtory problems are not the same as all the symptoms she is having ! a friend of mine who has kept chickens for years says its more likely they will get gapeworm from infected earthworms ! they where on just concrete with lots of leaves and sawdust shavings but then my husband felt cruel and we lifted a couple of slabs and bought some turf on a roll for them to forage on within about 3-4 days she started being ill ... we dont know if these turf rolls have been spryed with anything.. but then again if they had they would all be ill ! we have since removed all the turf and put the slabs back ! i did notice when i was hand feeding her at the start of her being ill that her tongue was very pale no way in a million years will she let me swab her mouth.... but i am still trying to do it.... she opens her mouth when she sees the spoon with food on it but as soon as she sees the swab she is like a dog with lock jaw.... lol ....... i will win.... (hopefully) i just dont want to hurt her trying to get her mouth open..... any suggestions ?
    thanks x
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2010

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