by Kendra
(Ringgold, GA)

I have a chicken who is acting normally. She just sounds raspy when she breathes. I could not find anything online that was close to how she sounds. Please help.


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by: Sharon

This is a sign of some kind of congestion & possible respiratory infection. It could be deep in the lungs or more in the sinus area. Not sure what you are describing.

Does she have any discharge from her nares? If so, is there a color to it?

Before giving any antibiotics, I would suggest giving a vitamin electrolyte supplement. You may want to isolate her away from other birds on the chance this is something contagious. She should have access to some sunshine since that helps boost the immune system. She should have plenty of fresh greens, some fruits, and good feed.

You should check her whole body for signs of external parasites, like mites, lice or poultry fleas. Check to see if she is too thin, has signs of diarrhea. Check her crop from the outside. It should feel kind of mushy if she has been eating and drinking. Make sure the crop contents don't feel like a solid lump.

The fact that she is acting normally means she isn't very sick, but that could change fast if she is not supported as above. Isolating her is as much for her as others, as chickens can be rough with sick flock members - bullying them, keeping them away from food & general harassment.

If your nights are cool, make sure she has plenty of warmth away from drafts. Make sure she is eating and drinking enough. Watch for signs of improvement or worsening. If she seems to be getting worse in a day or so of TLC you may need to find a good broad spectrum antibiotic. (Injectable antibiotics are easier on chickens as they don't interfere with digestion as much.)

Since veterinary care for chickens is often unavailable or more than we can afford, treating any symptoms you find, in the most natural way is a good way to go.

An infestation of internal parasites can weaken the immune system of a chicken. I like to deworm with food grade Ditomaceous Earth, rather than the usual over the counter chemical treatments. You want to support what health she has now, help her body fight what ever this is off & not give her drugs or chemicals that can stress her unnecessarily.

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