Mystery Sickness


5 Years
Sep 17, 2014
Hello all,

I have had a group of 6 (8 month) and 5 ( 3-4 month) chickens. I noticed one of the new pullets had a squinty eyes and took her to the vet who said it probably was just a scratch. A couple weeks later, the other eye started looking olds so I sent her back to the original owner who has a good quarantine area. Several others have started to sneeze. We have had a good amount of rain, but some were sneezing prior to.

My favorite hen, who is around 8 months old, has been acting lethargic. Additionally, she sometimes opens her mouth and stretched her neck out - but not sure if this indicates gapeworm. Also, most of the others have been sleeping in their new coop, but she and my silkie roo have been sleeping (on the sand floor) in the old smaller coop. I got her to eat some dried meal worms but it took some effort. She is usually the first to run up to me and very friendly, but lately she just stands there.

None of the others seem to have the squinty, watery eyes and I haven't noticed any runny noses either, just sneezing. Another note is that only two of the hens have started laying (5 of them are 8 months old). I noticed bird lice a couple weeks ago due to wild birds coming around and have treated twice already with 7 day intervals. Have not noticed any mites. I put VetRX in their water two days ago and no change. Not sure if the sneezing and my odd-acting hen are related.

What signs can I look for to try to determine what is wrong with her?

Thank you for any advice.

Outpost JWB

5 Years
Mar 31, 2014
Just speculating, not a vet, but seems to me that they may have an upper respiratory.

The comment about gapeworm: gapeworm is very rare. You can do a check for gapeworm with a q-tip. Dawg53 is very informative on this matter
. But chickens do neck stretches all the time to help digest their food & move it down the pipe. It also could be upper respiratory because you said she is lethargic.

With the chicken that had the eye issue, it also could have been respiratory (Mycoplasma Gallisepticum). Make sure you always quarantine new chickens for 30 days.

Hope this helps, and

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