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Quartet becomes Trio :(

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Rivers, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. Rivers

    Rivers Out Of The Brooder

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    Ive had my young hens only since early december. 4 different hyrbids. One of them, a "bluebelle" was always the most timid, and almost worryingly placid. Always very easy to pick up with even one hand, it would not really squirm/jump. It would never run as fast as the rest when I brang them food. But still it was always capable, it jumped up into the riased coop and hopped onto the perch. It always managed to get a fair share of food etc.

    But today she died! It was in a quiet sheltered area near our house. No signs of predator or injury. Only recent ailments id noticed was a slight bit of "wheezing" this morning, and that the hen had much more runny droppings that the rest. The "wheezing" I describe, was the hen stretching its head / neck forwards and opening its mouth wide. A bit like a yawn, which it did several times in sucession. I watched it for a while but it seemed fine so I left. Then a couple hours later I hear it is dead!

    Does anyone have any idea what this could be?

    The people I bought the young hens from said they had two vaccinations. One was Mareks, I cannot remember the other. They also said they had been dewormed. I have not noticed any lice problems.
     
  2. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

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    It could have been something like gapeworms or it may have been her heart.
    Sometimes, there is just no way to know.
    I'm really sorry you lost her.
     
  3. rockinpaints

    rockinpaints Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When they stretch their necks and gasp like a yawn it is usually because they are having difficulty breathing. Upper respiratory possibly?
     
  4. Rivers

    Rivers Out Of The Brooder

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    Ive just heard about gapeworms, and this sounds a lot like what the cause might be. Apparently one of the symptoms is a dirty bottom, this hen had a dirty bottom when I got it and has had runny droppings as far as I can remember.

    The gasping/wheezing only occurred once on the last day (yesterday) however, so I had no prior reason to think of worms. Especially considering I was told that all the hens were wormed!

    One of my other hens often makes gurgling/spluttery almost cough like sounds. Perhaps they both have gapeworm?
     
  5. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Gape worms are easy to check for. Swirl a q-tip down their throats kind of like what you would get at a doctor's office during a throat culture. Check the q-tip. If you see reddish y-shaped threads on it, then they have gape worms and should be treated.

    Sorry for your loss. Good luck with the rest of them.
     
  6. Rivers

    Rivers Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Thanks for the tip,

    I tried to do this today with my brown hyline hen, (the one which has shown spluttering/coughing symptoms). It was very hard to do as she is strong and hates to be held. But I got the Q-tip (we call them cotton buds) in her mouth and tried to get it in her throat, but I just couldnt guage how far I needed to go. I thought I was going deep, but the tip didnt seem to be coming into contact with anything. When I pulled it out, it was totally clean. But I feel this is mostly likely because I need ot go deeper.

    Is there any risk of me hurting the hen by going too deep?
     
  7. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    As long as you aren't leaving anything behind (like part of the cotton fluff) when you do it, she should be fine. She'll be unhappy, but fine.
     
  8. Hillary and friend's eggs

    Hillary and friend's eggs Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG] So sorry! I know what it's like to loose one. [​IMG]
     
  9. Peppypap

    Peppypap Out Of The Brooder

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    May have been her heart or gapeworms. I've lost a hen from each. It's so sad when they go... [​IMG]
     
  10. Rivers

    Rivers Out Of The Brooder

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    I still had the dead bird and was considering an autopsy, but instead today I tested with the Q-tip method. Interestingly, on the first day I tried to look down her throat, but mouth was frozen shut, just couldnt open it. But by now the muscles had relaxed I guess.

    I noticed there were two passages in the throat, and I was unsure of which was the windpipe. I slid the tip down the large passage towards the rear first, very deep but it came out clean. I then carefully fed the q-tip into the smaller hole just below the tongue, this was more of a tight squeeze but I again got it in deep. When I pulled it out this time however, I noticed the tip was covered in blood, just the cotton tip that is. So it had come into contact with a bleeding area, I didnt feel any obstructions so I dont think I created any wounds to let out blood.

    Now, this is poultry basics I guess, but I dont have a clue which of these two passages is the windpipe and which is the food passage (oesophagus?). The blood I found was just blood, no worms. I looked VERY carefully.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2011

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