Hen has lost voice

by Yvonne
(Herts UK)

Question

Hen has lost voice: We have a 3 year old hybrid who appears perfectly healthy, i.e. eating & drinking normally and getting into mischief but she has lost her voice.

Instead of her usual loud voice she sounds like she is whispering. Any idea what the problem may be?

Answer
There is a mite that invades birds, called a "throat mite". This can be a cause for loss of voice as well as a number of other problems.

You could treat her with an ivermectin based deworming product. I use a liquid inject-able ivermectin, which can be used topically or orally or injected. It is a useful medication that kills external and internal parasites.

You should check with a veterinarian for proper dosing of your hen and follow directions. Many medications caution the use of the eggs or meat following treatment for a certain length of time.

This could be as simple as something lodged in her throat, so it would be wise, if possible, to try and get a look down her throat as gently as possible.

It's impossible here or for a veterinarian to give you an accurate reason for this without examining the hen. A vet would probably first look for any physical obstruction or irritation.

Then possibly swab the throat and grow a culture to pinpoint a specific bacteria or virus so the most effective anti-biotic could be prescribed. Swabbing the throat may also reveal a specific parasite.

Often, if one hen is affected, the rest are at risk. Some chickens may be more resistant to showing signs due to being younger or healthier.

Just as with people winter temps and lack of sunshine can lead to vitamin deficiencies that can make the immune system weak and more prone to diseases.

Make sure you are supplementing your chickens with vitamins to keep them as healthy as possible. Most feed stores carry powdered vitamins that can be added to water or dry feed.

I've made it a habit to give vitamins mixed with feed three days a month or if I see signs of any birds in the flock not doing as well as others.

Much can be learned about the health of your chickens by spending a few minutes each day watching them.

Any that seem less active or off by themselves should be noted and checked on through the following days. By the time you are seeing signs of sickness you need to act quickly.

It's a good idea to catch a bird that doesn't seem right and give it a good checking over. Check it's breast area for a protruding "keel" bone.

This is a sign of poor weight, which can't be seen in a well feathered bird. Feathers can hide much and parasites or intestinal infection could be lurking.

Check skin below feathers, check legs for parasites, check the rear end for caked feces and other signs of diarrhea, check eyes and nose for discharge.

Over all make sure your chickens have a ventilated, but not drafty, and dry home with relatively clean litter on the floor.

Make sure that clean water is always available & high enough not to get junk scratched into it. Be careful your chickens are not over crowded in the coop or yard.

Ammonia is excreted with feces and can build up. This can cause a burning in the eyes and throat of chickens as they are a lot closer to the ground than we are.

Hope your hen is doing better. Hope this helps.

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Lost Voice
by: Anonymous

A hen that loses her voice can certainly be a sign of illness. The first thing you need to do is separate her from the flock so the other birds are not in danger.

Check her breathing. Many times, a hen that is either hoarse or voiceless has respiratory issues. If her breathing sounds fluid like or labored, she should get to the veterinarian.

Antibiotics should be given. Watch for any discharge that may be both nasal or ocular. If she is breathing fine, then you should check her mouth and throat for sores.

Look carefully in her throat in the event that there is a gapeworm. If everything looks OK, try getting her a little cool water to drink as she could have dust in her throat.

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Hen Lost Voice
by: sharon

There is a mite that invades birds, called a "throat mite". This can be a cause for loss of voice as well as a number of other problems.

You could treat her with an ivermectin based deworming procuct. I use a liquid injectable ivermectin, which can be used topically or orally or injected.

It is a useful medication that kills external and internal parasites. You should check with a veterinarian for proper dosing of your hen and follow directions.

Many medications caution the use of the eggs or meat following treatment for a certain length of time.

This could be as simple as something lodged in her throat, so it would be wise, if possible, to try and get a look down her throat as gently as possible.

It's impossible here or for a veterinarian to give you an accurate reason for this without examining the hen.

A vet would probably first look for any physical obstrution or irritation, then possibly swab the throat and grow a culture to pinpoint a specific bacteria or virus so the most effective anti-biotic could be prescribed. Swabbing the throat may also reveal a specific parasite.

Often, if one hen is affected, the rest are at risk. Some chickens may be more resistant to showing signs due to being younger or healthier.

Just as with people winter temps and lack of sunshine can lead to vitamin deficiencies that can make the immune system weak and more prone to diseases.

Make sure you are supplementing your chickens with vitamins to keep them as healthy as possible. Most feed stores carry powdered vitamins that can be added to water or dry feed.

I've made it a habit to give vitamins mixed with feed three days a month or if I see signs of any birds in the flock not doing as well as others.

Much can be learned about the health of your chickens by spending a few minutes each day watching them.

Any that seem less active or off by themselves should be noted and checked on through the following days. By the time you are seeing signs of sickness you need to act quickly.

It's a good idea to catch a bird that doesn't seem right and give it a good checking over. Check it's breast area for a protruding "keel" bone.

This is a sign of poor weight, which can't be seen in a well feathered bird. Feathers can hide much and parasites or intestinal infection could be lurking.

Check skin below feathers, check legs for parasites, check the rear end for caked feces and other signs of diarrhea, check eyes and nose for discharge.

Over all make sure your chickens have a ventilated, but not drafty, and dry home with relatively clean litter on the floor. Make sure that clean water is always available & high enough not to get junk scratched into it.

Be careful your chickens are not over crowded in the coop or yard. Ammonia is excreted with feces and can build up.

This can cause a burning in the eyes and throat of chickens as they are a lot closer to the ground than we are.

Hope your hen is doing better. Hope this helps.

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