Sick or normal ?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jaybird56, Sep 3, 2014.

  1. jaybird56

    jaybird56 New Egg

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    Sep 3, 2014
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    i have a hen i was told its a sex link that i got a week ago it sounds like it has a rattle sometimes when breathing and maybe a little cough other then that seems fine, eats drinks lays good and active. is this something i should worry about ? its been hot and humid here in north alabama
     
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    Rattling and coughing are never "normal" for a healthy chicken--they mean that something is wrong. How long have you bee hearing the rattling/coughing (since you got her or more recently)? If she's had it the entire time, she probably has some sort of chronic respiratory disease. Her body's immune system may be keeping the infection mostly at bay, for now, but she is most likely spreading the virus/bacteria to any other birds you have, and may be getting weaker.

    If possible, I would isolate her in a place where you can readily observe her. Give her food and water and monitor how much she eats and drinks each day. I personally would try treating her with an antibiotic (in her water or through injection), too, but it is up to you. You could instead just observe her, see if she gets worse, and then decide on further treatment.

    Keep in mind that many respiratory diseases aren't truly curable; they may become dormant but reappear when the bird gets stressed out again. Because of that, if she gets worse, you should consider humanely culling her. Observe any other birds you have carefully, too, since respiratory diseases are very contagious.

    Besides a respiratory disease, another possibility is aspergillosis (a fungal infection of the respiratory system) or inflammation due to high ammonia concentrations. I would clean out your coop and put in relatively dust free bedding, just to make sure she isn't getting irritated by dust/ammonia. In the case of aspergillosis, there is no readily available, effective treatment. Fortunately, it is rather rare.

    Good luck with her!
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2014
  3. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    X2 on Bantamlover 21's advice.
     
  4. jaybird56

    jaybird56 New Egg

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    Sep 3, 2014
    north alabama
    thanks for replies , i bought all 4 last week they were only chickens they had decided they were too much for them to keep they had no rooster my wife said its just a hen acting like a roo, the coop is new hens only been in it a couple days but has straw instead wood chips. the hen in question eats and drinks good and no other problems. added a young roo today and the hen and roo did do some jumping at each other for a short while
     
  5. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    A hen acting like a rooster does not involve rattling when breathing or coughing. Those symptoms are not normal for any bird.
    BantamLover21's advice is spot on.

    Edited to add: Are you planning on getting more hens? Four hens is really too few to have a rooster in the flock, they are going to get far to much "attention" from him and will show a lot of wear and tear because of it. 10 to 12 hens per rooster is best.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2014
  6. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Please read through BantamLover21's post and consider what is being said.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2014
  7. jaybird56

    jaybird56 New Egg

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    Sep 3, 2014
    north alabama
    yes i will keep a close eye on her and check on getting meds, had not thought about getting more hens yet i would have to expand my coop to have 10 more
     

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