1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Wierd question

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Nugget, Oct 18, 2007.

  1. Nugget

    Nugget Chillin' With My Peeps

    392
    1
    139
    Sep 2, 2007
    Okay, I'm embarassed to ask this, but here goes:

    How do you know if a chicken is healthy?

    I placed an order for 12 straight run day old chicks. Only half hatched. To make up some of the difference the farmer sold me 1 month old and 1 16 week old. The month old was fine but the adult had a dizzy spell the day after bringing her home. She fell right over after handling. This was only once, and it happened the day after I brought her home (stress?). She looked to be having vertigo (her head craned over her back, rolling left and right unable to get up). She was thin, full of lice, mites and intestinal parasites. I deloused her, dewormed her and got her on good feeding. She has never had another dizzy spell, the lice are gone, the worms are greatly reduced and she has put on some weight.

    I've been trying flea and tick shampoo for mites, so I washed her today. It went fine, but I could hear her rather loud breathing through the wash. I am unfamiliar with chickens so I don't know if this is normal breathing or not. There was yellowish discharge dried in the feathers around her right ear which I cleaned off. Her breathing sounds like someone blowing through a straw. She wasn't gasping, her mouth wasn't open, but her cheeks puffed in and out with each breath. I dried her with a towel and put her in the sun. She is acting normally.

    She was vaccinated for ILT (the only required vaccine) before I got her. To my knowledge the other disasterous things they are often vaccinated for are not endemic here and she was not vaccinated for anything else.

    I've had her 6 weeks. She seems bright, eats well, as I said, has put on weight. Most of the parasites are cleared and I am thinking about when I might mix her with my 6 week old chicks, but I don't want to risk her spreading disease to them if she is sick or carrying something.

    What does a normal chicken sound like when breathing (during something stressful like being bathed) and do you think the discharge from the ear is significant? How would any of you handle this? (ie: give her back and not take the chance? put 1 chick with her and watch for illness? she sounds healthy- go ahead and mix them...)
     
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    A healthy chicken makes basically no sound when breathing unless stressed, such as frightened or having just been chased or ill.
    I can't comment on ILT vaccine-required by who? I know what ILT is, but none of my birds have ever had respiratory illness nor been vaccinated for anything. Discharge is not normal, but what would cause an ear discharge, I don't know, maybe ear mites? Not sure.
    My own policy is that if I have any doubts whatsoever, I do not put a bird into my healthy flock. I hope someone else can shed light on your issues with her.
     
  3. Nugget

    Nugget Chillin' With My Peeps

    392
    1
    139
    Sep 2, 2007
    The farmer showed his chickens and was involved in 4-H. To do these he was required to have his flock vaccinated for ILT. It's not a law, it for people wanting to show their chickens. (Nova Scotia Canada)

    Maybe the dizzy spell and discharge could be linked (like an inner ear infection or something)...

    Thanks for your thoughts. When she's pecking around in her coop I don't hear any breath sounds.
     
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    You may be onto something with the ear infection idea. That would explain discharge and dizziness, at least in humans. How to treat that, I will have to defer to someone else. I wouldn't think it would require a powerful antibiotic; perhaps there are antibiotic eardrops? I really dont know.
     
  5. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    4,871
    22
    251
    Jan 11, 2007
    I've been trying flea and tick shampoo for mites, so I washed her today. It went fine, but I could hear her rather loud breathing through the wash. I am unfamiliar with chickens so I don't know if this is normal breathing or not. There was yellowish discharge dried in the feathers around her right ear which I cleaned off. Her breathing sounds like someone blowing through a straw. She wasn't gasping, her mouth wasn't open, but her cheeks puffed in and out with each breath. I dried her with a towel and put her in the sun. She is acting normally.

    I imagine there were several things going on with this bird (and the earlier imbalance was due to ear infection)... the breathing problem could be due to an earlier respiratory infection (which the stress of moving etc would have brought out)...
    I would suggest you get AviaCharge 2000 (you can order online from McMurry) as it is one of the few complete nutritional and vitamin supplements I know of ... in addition to this, I would immediately give her four drops of POLYVISOL (childrens A-B-D liquid vitamins) to address those particular deficiencies (especially the vit a which often occurs and has the same symptoms as respiratory disease) once a day for a week and then taper off. Hopefully this will give her the extra boost to get her immune system back on track.​
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2007

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by