Pullet sounds like a harmonica

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by TalkALittle, Feb 28, 2015.

  1. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So in mid January I got 2 bantam pullets at a poultry show, since then they have been quarantined in my basement garage. Today I noticed that one of them has started to make a little "tweet" sound when she breaths. It's almost like she's a little squeaky toy or a harmonica--the sound is on both the inhale and exhale. Every once in a while she gives a little hiccup sound too. There is no discharge or foam from her mouth, eyes, nares. She is not fluffed up nor acting lethargic. She is eating/drinking/pooping normally and her little comb and wattles are normal colored. The "non-squeaky" pullet is breathing fine and just started laying last week. I've only ever gotten one egg at a time so I can't say for sure that the "squeaky" one isn't laying too. Squeaky's comb and wattle aren't as big as the other one's are so I think not, but she's probably pretty close to laying.

    I changed out their bedding today. They are bedded on chopped hay which is a little dusty. Whenever I change the bedding they do a fair amount of scratching it and throwing it about as well as eating the best bits, so I'm wondering if maybe she just has a little obstruction or irritation. I was going to give it overnight and see if it resolves on its own before I decide to take a peek in her throat tomorrow.

    If it does not resolve on its own, isn't an obstruction, and instead turns out to be a respiratory illness I will need to decide whether to treat or cull the birds. My decision is complicated by the fact that these birds belong to my 11 year old son. It will be difficult for him if his birds might need to be destroyed. I am lucky to be able to afford vet care if needed but not keen on potentially having carrier birds that I'll have to integrate with the rest of my ladies when the spring thaw comes. I don't sell fertile eggs, chicks, or birds though so a closed flock is possible. I did want to bring in some new chicks someday though.

    I know all my worry might be premature--the bird might be fine tomorrow. I don't even really have a question, I guess I'm just looking for viewpoints on keeping and treating the birds or culling them and any stories of experiences other might have.
     
  2. Sonya9

    Sonya9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a few OEG Bantams and they had a HORRENDOUS head cold last summer. Amazing how such tiny birds can make so much noise when their nose is stuffed up (some I could hear wheezing from 15 feet away, plus lots of noisy sneezing etc...).

    They got over it and are just fine, no reoccurences since (3 of them came down with it, one was a new bird). I thought they were going to die they sounded so bad, but they all recovered and have been the picture of health ever since.

    As far as opinions I would not cull -- chickens get colds just like people do, I would give the birds a week and then re-evaluate. I did treat with antibiotics when mine were really sick though.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2015
  3. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I ended up peeking in her throat and there was no obstruction that I could see. I massaged her neck and crop though and the next time I checked her there was no squeaking. She continues to be squeak-free, so I'm thinking it was just irritation from the bedding change or some obstruction further down that I couldn't see. Either way, I'm relieved. Respiratory infections scare me because I know they can get really bad really fast. I'll continue to monitor her but I think she's fine.
     
  4. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    You could try worming wih Safeguard liquid or paste to rule out capillary worms and gapeworms. Dose is 0.23 ml per pound (0.05ml per 100 grams) for five days.

    -Kathy
     
  5. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Neither of the birds are exhibiting any symptoms that would otherwise indicate an infestation of these types of worms. The only issue was this little squeak from one of the birds for less than 24 hours. These birds will not be integrated with the rest of my flock for at least another month. It is easy for me to maintain my current quarantine procedures. What would be the pros vs. cons of taking a "wait and see" approach with birds that are well monitored and perhaps following up with a fecal testing rather than preemptively worming?

    It is my understanding that the time from infection to first egg-shed for capillary worms that infest the crop and esophagus is 6-8 weeks. These birds have been housed by themselves since mid-January and have not been exposed to soil or the feces of other birds during that time. In order to have been infected, it would have had to have happened before I acquired them. Is it correct to assume that if they were infected before I got them, they would be shedding eggs in their feces by now? The time from infection to egg-shed for gapeworm is 12-14 days so if my birds were infected I would think that the worms would certainly be shedding eggs by now.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2015
  6. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    Ruling out worms is what I do with mine, so that's why I suggested it. [​IMG]

    -Kathy
     
  7. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, I wasn't saying that in certain cases that isn't an appropriate measure when the situation calls for it. I'm just wondering, given that my bird is no longer squeaking and otherwise not showing any other symptoms of anything (let alone the typical indications of capillary or gapeworms) is this a situation that calls for it?

    I don't think I feel right in randomly treating something that might not even be there. The exception being a condition that is so horrible or resistant to treatment that it is best to treat for it at the slightest sign that it might be there. Do capillary and gapeworms qualify as this? I've never had to deal with worms in my birds and I haven't even had birds long enough to consider adopting an annual worming regimen which I understand some people do as a matter of course.
     

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