Ways to keep sick hen comfortable (respiratory illness) and question about treaitng the rest of the


8 Years
Mar 14, 2011
Kernersville, NC
My beloved "Winglet" is suffering from what I think is the myco-somethingorother. She's wheezy, gurgling, trouble breathing. Slight nasal discharge, watery eyes. Hunched up and not herself. No odor, and no abnormal poop or anything. I should have realized she was sick last night, Winglet is a rescued meat chicken who I keep on a super strict diet to keep her from getting hugely obese, and yesterday she only ate a couple bites of her handful of food. I thought maybe she was just distracted, but I should have known better. I had a cockerel die last week, same symptoms along with an extra symptom Winglet does not have- this solid, chunky, yellow eye glop. I didn't have Tylan then, and lost him.

I have Winglet on Tylan injections, electrolytes in her water, VetRX rubbed on her beak, comb, and wattles to help with the congestion, and she is comfortably resting on a blanket on top of a heating pad set on low. She is drinking very well, and is actually nibbling cat food. Of course this chicken is a stomach on legs, so I'm not looking at her eating as a sign of health... But the drinking is good.

What else can I do to help her feel better, and to keep her comfortable? I've already told my husband that she is absolutely not going back outside until she is well.

Also, none of my other birds are showing symptoms, but should I treat them anyway? If so, what with? Surely I shouldn't give shots to all those birds!

Here's my precious girl...

Get a digital kitchen scale and weigh her at daily. If she starts to lose weight you should think about tube feeding her.

Thank you, that is an excellent idea. She's a big girl, I may be able to weight her using my bathroom scale- it does pounds and ounces. The good thing is she's been a big, hearty, robust girl so she has extra fat reserves to draw on. But I will monitor her very carefully. Just being what she is, I've had to manage her care very carefully as far as diet and exercise go. I'm worried about everyone else though, Winglet was a free ranging hen, so she's been wandering around spreading her plague all over the farm.
Bump again..

She has a lot of watery green and white poo now. Don't know if that means anything. She's drinking a ton, which I would think explains the explosive watery-ness of the poo.
I cooked her up a turkey egg a bit ago, and cut it up in tiny pieces and she ate the whole thing. Then she finished off half a banana. She's a trooper. I feel like her eating and drinking is a sign that she will make it.
Bump again..

She has a lot of watery green and white poo now. Don't know if that means anything. She's drinking a ton, which I would think explains the explosive watery-ness of the poo.

Actually, that is fairly normal for a meat bird. They poop A LOT. They are really prolific in that department. They are also known for drinking a lot of water. If you want to treat your flock do so with Tylan. While I cull anything here that shows any signs of illness, I do know that Tylan is one of the more effective antibiotics out there for those who choose to treat their birds.
My lovely girl did not make it, we spent the night giving her subQ fluids and tube feeding, but she was too far gone. After I totally decontaminated myself, I went out and checked every bird in every pen. My one Silkie pen (4 birds) all have slightly sniffly breathing and a tiny bit of crust around their nostrils- so they're all getting a Tylan shot for the next 5 days. They aren't sick sick, like Winglet was, but obviously this worsens fast and hard so I'm not fooling around with it. God forbid this take out my show birds. I've spent so much money on developing my Silkies- I would be devastated to lose them all.
I have two hens just like yours and a rooster. All "meat" chickens. My sons kindergarten class hatched them last Easter and I have raised them. All three of them have horrible rattle when they breathe. I am so attached. What is this?

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