May 29, 2019
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My favorite hen, an EE, came back from the brink of death a few months ago. She had been battling EYP but ultimately pulled through. Since then she's been thriving and it's been my pride and joy seeing her out with the others looking strong and happy again, for months now. But always looming is the day she might look off.

Well this morning after I let them out and was doing coop chores I heard and ongoing high trill only to realize it was a dramatic wheeze coming from my EE, who was standing normal-looking with the others. It sounded like a death knell. My heat sank. I picked her up to listen and immediately the wheezing got quieter. I put her down on a roost bar as I finished up the chores, preparing myself to bring her in and and start deducing/treating. When I came back to fetch her I noticed she was no longer wheezing at all (breathing quietly/normally).

I waited a while, hand fed her, listened, observed, and not a wheeze since. She has no drainage or swelling or anything to visually indicate a respiratory issue. She was gabbing away at me the whole time. Eventually I went in and here I am. Is it possible this was an issue of having something lodged in her trachea or otherwise temporarily obstructing breathing? If she had a respiratory illness, would symptoms come and go in dramatic180 degree fashion? Should I still take her in to monitor even if she appears normal now? I hesitate to separate her if not necessary because she's so happy and well with her flock.

These chickens are always playing mind games with me lol :idunno
 

azygous

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Dec 11, 2009
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Yes. Something very likely got stuck in her trachea and has now resolved.

It's always a good idea to pry open a beak and look inside the mouth and throat of a chicken making wheezing or whistling noises. Most of the time it dislodges on its own in a few hours of coughing and sneezing, but if it gets sucked farther down the trachea, it can choke and kill the chicken.
 
May 29, 2019
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Good to know! I will do that should this happen again (or if she has any further issues). Since this morning's brief albeit scary incident, she's been 100% fine, no wheezing, acting normal, etc. But, man, did it sound like a death knell for a little bit! Whew. I had my game face on and was ready to tackle respiratory disease in my flock, which is one of the (very few) things I've yet to deal with in my 1 1/2 action-packed years of chicken keeping... **knocks on wood**

In the past this has happened here and there--usually when the feed gets dusty and they inhale it. They'll sneeze a bit with their beak open and get it out. The rattling, haunting wheeze was a new touch! I didn't know it could get so dire, but I'm glad for the insight.

THANK YOU!

Yes. Something very likely got stuck in her trachea and has now resolved.

It's always a good idea to pry open a beak and look inside the mouth and throat of a chicken making wheezing or whistling noises. Most of the time it dislodges on its own in a few hours of coughing and sneezing, but if it gets sucked farther down the trachea, it can choke and kill the chicken.
 

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