Rooster making noise with every breathe, seems labored

jprincipato

Hatching
Dec 11, 2018
3
1
9
Hi all!

I have a rooster that I notice is making noise with every single breathe (both in and out) today. I have not noticed this prior to today. At first, I thought perhaps these were the teenage vocalizations of a rooster about to crow, but now i'm worried there is something medical going on.

I just gave him a few drops of vetrx orally, as well as sanitized the flocks heated waterer and refilled with clean water, a bit of vinegar & vetrx, as well as electrolytes.

Other than that, I'm not so sure what do do or what might be going on. I've attached a video.

I'm particularly concerned because I'm about to be away for two weeks, and have pet sitters coming to care for them. I want to be sure of signs of escalation should this be something more serious!!

A bit of background on my flock:
I have a flock of 7 young, generally healthy orpingtons, all purchased from the same breeder and I've had them since 10 weeks old. They are now about 5 months old. None have begun to lay. Up until now, they seem generally healthy with no other issues of note.

They have a coop rated for 18, with plenty of room. I am doing deep litter method, and try to turn the bedding once a week and add a new layer on top for cleanliness.

They have a heated waterer and autofeeder. They have access to a very large outdoor run (approx 25x20) where they have free range of a food compost pile (seen in video).

 

ChickenCanoe

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Premium Feather Member
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Nov 23, 2010
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I could be wrong and without knowing more than what is posted or your location, my first guess would be a need for more ventilation. They don't need to be kept warm, they are outdoor animals who's tiny respiratory systems need a huge supply of fresh air.
Most respiratory issues arise this time of year in the northern hemisphere as people worry about cold.
 

Wyorp Rock

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Sep 20, 2015
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Welcome To BYC

Have you looked inside the beak to make sure there are no obstructions, canker, lesions or plaques?
Crop emptying in the morning before he eats/drinks?
Any mucous from the nostrils?

It sounds like he may have stridor which can be caused by a blockage to the airway by food, mucous, inflammation, etc.
Respiratory illness is another possibility, if it does not get better within a day or worsens, then you can try an antibiotic. Tylan50 can be found at most feed stores like Tractor Supply. Dosage is .25ml given orally 3 times a day for 5 days.

You mention this has happened before? Did you notice it happening after eating/drinking or a visit to the compost pile? Any possibility he could have gotten into something moldy? I see in your video there is condensation on behind the plastic in the housing(?) It looks like there is plenty of ventilation up top, but is there mildew/mold behind that or along the bottom edges?
 

jprincipato

Hatching
Dec 11, 2018
3
1
9
Thanks all for the quick replies!!

Wyorp Rock - this is the first time i've seen this happen, and he's the only one in the flock with an issue. The coop as two windows i keep partially open at all times, so I don't think ventilation is the issue. Where you see him sitting is outside, so that's fully ventilated.

As for mold/condestation.. the plastic is only covering the plywood of our compost pile (the wood was pressure treated and we wanted to make sure it stayed rated as organic).. the birds don't really spend too much time near that plastic. As for moldy food, it's possible they dug something up that went moldy in the compost.

The whole set up is new (this is my first flock, and we just build the compost area about a month ago) so it's unlikely any major mold is building up on the enclosure.

Thanks again for the assistance!
 

Wyorp Rock

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Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 20, 2015
37,247
52,588
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Southern N.C. Mountains
Thanks all for the quick replies!!

Wyorp Rock - this is the first time i've seen this happen, and he's the only one in the flock with an issue. The coop as two windows i keep partially open at all times, so I don't think ventilation is the issue. Where you see him sitting is outside, so that's fully ventilated.

As for mold/condestation.. the plastic is only covering the plywood of our compost pile (the wood was pressure treated and we wanted to make sure it stayed rated as organic).. the birds don't really spend too much time near that plastic. As for moldy food, it's possible they dug something up that went moldy in the compost.

The whole set up is new (this is my first flock, and we just build the compost area about a month ago) so it's unlikely any major mold is building up on the enclosure.

Thanks again for the assistance!
Photos of the coop?

I would still look inside his beak for anything amiss and check his crop to make sure it's emptying by morning.

I have not noticed this prior to today.
Sorry, I read that section wrong:oops:
 

jprincipato

Hatching
Dec 11, 2018
3
1
9
Hi Everyone!

Just a morning update - I think he's okay. I was watching him and the flock for about 30 minutes, no wheezing to report. He also wasn't gasping for air, just moving around as normal.

I checked his crop (and while I'm not totally certain what a fully empty crop feels like) I think it was 'empty'

I will continue to monitor just to ensure it doesn't recur and report back.

thanks all!
 

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Wyorp Rock

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Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 20, 2015
37,247
52,588
1,332
Southern N.C. Mountains
Glad to hear he is doing o.k.!

Hopefully he just has some feed stuck in his airway and he got that cleared.
For checking crops - feel it at night when he goes to roost, then first thing in the morning before he eats/drinks. The crop should have food at night and be empty in the morning. If he still has food in there in the morning, then start evaluating him.
https://the-chicken-chick.com/chicken-anatomy-crop-impacted-crop-sour/
crop3-1024x900.jpg
 

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