Sneezing, breathing with mouth open is she sick?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by serenityNH, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. serenityNH

    serenityNH Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 7, 2011
    Raymond, NH
    Hello,
    My 21 week old Light Brahma Tulip is sick, I think? The past several days I have noticed a couple of the girls kind of sneezing, but it was high pitched (almost the sound they make when another chicken pecks their butt) and I wasn't sure if was an actual sneeze or not. I've been keeping a close eye on everyone and they all seem great, no discharge anywhere, eating,drinking, running around everything seems normal.
    When I just went out to the coop this morning Tulip was sneezing and I knew this was sneezing! She must have sneezed at least a dozen times in a row, then she was breathing with her mouth open. I picked her up and when I felt her throat it was a little raspy and when I touched her throat she acted like she was choking or drowning.
    I have her inside in a dog crate right now, it's a little cool outside today and I figured it might be a good idea to separate her and give her some quiet time.

    Any idea what is going on? Does it sound serious or contagious?

    I am in-experienced when it comes to sick chickens so I feel helpless. I've been searching for info but she doesn't have all the symptoms of any illness that I find.

    I know it's not from ammonia buildup in the coop, there literally isn't a speck of poop in the coop, I clean it every morning. It has the normal pine shaving/DE dust in the coop- I did just add a new bag of pine shavings on Sunday? It has been very rainy here in NH the last month or so and the weather is hot, cold, hot, cold.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    I am going to go out and watch my other girls to make sure they are all ok.
    Thanks!
    Angie
     
  2. Waltzing Matilda

    Waltzing Matilda Out Of The Brooder

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    May 3, 2011
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    I understand your frustration--I truly believe all the wet we've had in the mid-atlantic and north east has contributed to many respiratory issues over the last month. Mine have been healthy all along and all of a sudden 2 come down with breathing problems and sneezes. I treated with Baytril, but one Hen has lost a tremendous amount of weight. See my post from early this AM.
     
  3. rbaker0345

    rbaker0345 Big Mamma Brahma

    Don't separate her or bring her inside. Fresh air is good for her. If your bedding is dirty, replace it and make sure there is little or no dust. What kind of bedding are you using? Use a bedding that has very little dust. If your bedding is dusty, this could be why everyone has a dry sneeze and it may have set up a secondary URI in Tulip (upper respiratory infection). Getting rid of dust in the coop is the first thing I do. If you have them on a mash, switch to a pellet or a crumble (pellets are better).

    Next, I like to make up what I call my special URI concoction. I take some greens like kale or broccoli or collards, lots of garlic, olive oil, cumin and some chili powder along with some vanilla wafers (for taste) and I put it in the food processor until it is like a mushy consistency and I give that to my chickens. All of these items have specific, natural antibiotic properties that bacteria cannot develop a resistance to.

    For some extra reassurance, I would put them on some tetracycline. Your local feed store probably sells a tetracycline in powder form called terramyacin. You would add this to their water according to package directions. This works well but has like zero palatability. I like to use a tetracycline that I buy at Petsmart, its called ornamyacin and it is fruit flavored. If you have a lot of chickens, it may not be cost effective, but I have noticed that they actually drink a lot more of it than the terramyacin and therefore get a lot more of the antibiotic and are in less danger of dehydrating. You would have to make the treated water their only water source.
     
  4. serenityNH

    serenityNH Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 7, 2011
    Raymond, NH
    Quote:The bedding is very clean, we use pine shavings so the only dust is normal shavings dust, but it's not that bad at all- I clean dust/cob webs out every weekend.

    They are eating pellets.

    Thanks for the URI concoction I will try that.

    Thank you for the advice. I was scared it was contagious so I have her separated- I'll let her finish up her hard boiled egg and then put her back outside.


    Matilda- I am so sorry about your chicken. I hope she comes around [​IMG]
     
  5. serenityNH

    serenityNH Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 7, 2011
    Raymond, NH
    Just thinking..... for the past couple of weeks there has been a pigeon hanging around the yard. Is there a chance the pigeon could have passed something on to the girls?
    I was reading about Sulmet for respiratory infections.. any thoughts on this??
     
  6. sbtgal

    sbtgal Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 8, 2011
    Austin
    what size coop do you have and how much ventilation? We had high humidity for a few days and my normally clean smelling pine shavings really began to smell. I had one 7 week old barred rock get really ill. I added more ventilation to the coop and luckily the humidity dropped too. Now she's doing much better.
     
  7. rbaker0345

    rbaker0345 Big Mamma Brahma

    Its possible, but young chickens go through these things. You can't protect them from every pidgeon and cockroach that passes through, you'll make yourself crazy. Some chickens are just weaker than others and they die of various survivable illnesses before they have a chance to reproduce. That's how your flock stays strong. Do what you can to give her a boost, and if she dies, you will know that she was just genetically inferior to the rest of your flock. I don't mean to sound cold-hearted but that is the wisdom that comes from spending thousands of dollars on vet bills over the past 20 years.
     
  8. serenityNH

    serenityNH Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 7, 2011
    Raymond, NH
    Quote:Our coop is 10 x 12 with 13 chickens, it does has plenty of ventilation. It has not been humid here in quite awhile but damp and rainy a few days every week. Our chickens are rarely in the coop except to sleep.

    We had a seed block out next to the driveway (Oh, I know it was a one time thing before we heard all the horror stories of compacted crops) and it rained and it turned to mush. The girls were out there yesterday and were pecking at it- upon investigation today I noticed it was gross and possibly moldy from the rain. I wonder if this could be a contributing cause?

    rbaker- thank you for the advice. You don't sound cold-hearted, just realistic which I appreciate. My husband and I decided when we got chickens that although we love them and will take care of them to the best of our ability we would not be taking them to the vet should the occasion arise. We have a dog going through chemo right now and our money is tied up in him, our other dog had to have $24,000 in surgeries and that just about broke us. So the chickens will have to take a back seat when it comes to vet bills, not to sound mean- just realistic. We will try meds at home etc but we will put down a bird that is suffering. I just don't want it to be something that is going to spread through my little flock!

    Thanks everyone for the words of wisdom!
     
  9. serenityNH

    serenityNH Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 7, 2011
    Raymond, NH
    Well seems like the sneezing etc was nothing really, just me being overly paranoid? I haven't seen anyone sneeze after that day, Tulip seems just fine and everyone is happy and healthy. Not sure what happened but I am sure glad none of them seem sick! Could it be that Tulip inhaled something and just had a sneezing fit to get it out? Maybe it was the new bag of shavings I added to the coop?
    I did end up making them rbakers concoction minus the vanilla wafers ( I didn't have any) and they all LOVED it! Even the dog's enjoyed a little. [​IMG]
     

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