• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • jordan barton
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Steve Thorn
  • Leigh Tate
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Greg Martin
  • Mike Haasl
master gardeners:
  • John F Dean
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Jay Angler
  • Nancy Reading

Rooster with breathing troubles caused by mysterious gut inflammation

 
gardener
Posts: 463
Location: Central Indiana, zone 6a, clay loam
301
forest garden fungi foraging trees urban chicken medical herbs ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
One of our roosters started making some strange sounds this morning, almost a low pitch wheeze, but not exactly. Then he started making a sharp hiccup type sound along with it and breathing with his mouth open. We removed him from the run and brought him indoors. From reading about his symptoms, it seems likely he has an impacted crop. At that point, he was unwilling to eat or drink and was acting quite listless, so I didn't want to try to give him oil, as seems to be a common recommendation, for fear he'd choke on it. I massaged his crop, which seemed to help him at least calm down. His comb started getting pale, so we called the vet. Before leaving, he ate a bit of grit. By the time we got to the vet and were cuddling him in preparation to hand him over to them, he was acting more normal. The vet said he just looked like he was hot and stressed and suggested keeping him inside in the air conditioning, giving him wet foods and observing him. Upon getting home, he was willing to eat some soaked feed with some slippery elm powder mixed in and ate some marshmallow leaves. He has pooped several times and is drinking water again. He keeps going through periods of seeming totally fine and then he'll go back to making the low wheezy sound and open mouth breathing. I don't think he's overheated anymore, as we've got the AC cranked. I'm hoping the mucilaginous plants and crop massage will be enough to help move things through.

Does this sound like an impacted crop? Are there any other steps I could be taking to help him? It seems like he's getting better, but the back and forth between normal and weird breathing is worrisome. I've read that some people feed them oil and/or water and then turn them upside down to get whatever is stuck to come out. That seems like it would just be stressful and possibly not help, especially since he seems to be acting mostly normal now.
 
pollinator
Posts: 270
Location: Zone 9A, 45S 168E, 329m Queenstown, NZ
118
dog fungi foraging chicken food preservation cooking fiber arts
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Did the vet check for gape worm? It is a worm that attaches itself to your chicken's throat and makes breathing difficult. Have only read about it but dosing with aviverm will kill it. All your other chickens will need to be treated.

Hope that your rooster is better soon.
 
Heather Sharpe
gardener
Posts: 463
Location: Central Indiana, zone 6a, clay loam
301
forest garden fungi foraging trees urban chicken medical herbs ungarbage
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
She just looked at him briefly, she didn't fully examine him or anything as she wanted to spare us the $300 emergency visit fee and him the stress since he no longer seemed to be in a life threatening situation. Which is incredibly awesome and generous of her (she was there already for another emergency patient). We will probably take him back during normal hours if things don't change.
I wondered about gape worm too. We tried to look down his throat to see if that was the issue, but he wasn't very cooperative of course. Thank you, Megan!
 
Megan Palmer
pollinator
Posts: 270
Location: Zone 9A, 45S 168E, 329m Queenstown, NZ
118
dog fungi foraging chicken food preservation cooking fiber arts
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Heather, how is your rooster doing? Did you find out what was ailing him?
 
Heather Sharpe
gardener
Posts: 463
Location: Central Indiana, zone 6a, clay loam
301
forest garden fungi foraging trees urban chicken medical herbs ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Megan! Thank you so much for asking about him. He's such a sweet, beautiful boy.
He seemed basically normal this morning, but we got him in to see the vet anyways. He's still there, actually. They've already examined him, done a fecal float and a throat swab. Both look normal, so it doesn't seem to be gapeworm or any other parasites at play. He said Bert seemed healthy, but a little thin. They're doing an x-ray to see if that gives any clues. So the cause of the issue is still up in the air, hopefully we figure it out. He said it was possible that he did have an impacted crop and it cleared, but hard to know.
 
Heather Sharpe
gardener
Posts: 463
Location: Central Indiana, zone 6a, clay loam
301
forest garden fungi foraging trees urban chicken medical herbs ungarbage
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So the x-ray revealed that his respiratory system is fine. His digestive system, however, is inflamed and was pushing against his respiratory system and making breathing difficult. Still don't know exactly what the cause of the inflammation there is since parasites and bad bacteria aren't at play. It does make me wonder if he did have an impacted crop or blockage somewhere that has now moved through but left inflammation in its wake. Hopefully the inflammation is on its way down since he doesn't seem to be having breathing trouble now. For now, the vet suggested fluids and just keeping an eye on him.  I'm going to give him plenty of chickweed, plantain and marshmallow leaves. Maybe some marshmallow tea. Hopefully those will help. Any other suggestions for calming that inflammation and/or possible causes I might not have considered are most welcome.

I do really wonder what could've caused this. We did give them a bucket of aged wood chips full of bugs the other day. The other rooster is very competitive for food. I wonder if Bert ate too fast in an effort to sneak past him or was just really excited about bugs and accidentally ate some wood chips too? Haven't seen that in the poo, but this just occurred to me, so I might have missed it.
 
Megan Palmer
pollinator
Posts: 270
Location: Zone 9A, 45S 168E, 329m Queenstown, NZ
118
dog fungi foraging chicken food preservation cooking fiber arts
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If you grow garlic or have friends that do, ask them to leave the scapes on a few plants. I keep the bulbils to feed to our chickens. The bulbils store for months and feed them to our chickens from time to time, they think that they are treats and I believe that it’s good for their gut health - certainly won’t hurt them.
 
Heather Sharpe
gardener
Posts: 463
Location: Central Indiana, zone 6a, clay loam
301
forest garden fungi foraging trees urban chicken medical herbs ungarbage
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Great idea, Megan! I tried to offer mine chopped garlic when they were babies. They snubbed it and looked at me like I was crazy. The bulbils would probably be more palatable for them.

It seems the mystery of what caused the mysterious inflammation has been solved. Grain mites! We found the ground in their run literally crawling with them one evening. We'd never seen them in the feed bags, but always lots of dust in their food. I imagine that once the food was out in the run, the moisture got up to where their population exploded again. Apparently, the grain mites can cause inflammation of the intestines. It also makes a lot of other things that confused us make sense. Like the weird smell in their run, why so much of their food seemed like dust, and most importantly, why they were eating what seemed like tons of food (fifty pounds in two weeks between the eight of them!) yet not growing like we would have expected. I'd imagine eating excessive amounts of nutrient poor food would inflame the gut too. It was pretty notable that the biggest of the hens would always have her crop so full it was practically the size of a lemon when they were eating the feed that turned out to have the mites. As soon as we switched them to a mix we made, her crop started being a normal size. She was probably stuffing herself trying to get enough nutrition! Also notable, I could rarely find the crops of the other hens and thought it was cause of their heavy feathering. All easily found and full after the food switch. This makes me really upset with the people we were buying feed from. I don't know what to do about that still, but I'm glad we figured it out and the chickens seem to be doing better now. No more breathing problems and Bert seems to be mostly back to normal. All their combs are much redder and they seem more energetic. I just hope this didn't harm their health in the long-term or stunt them since they were eating this stuff since they hatched.
 
Heather Sharpe
gardener
Posts: 463
Location: Central Indiana, zone 6a, clay loam
301
forest garden fungi foraging trees urban chicken medical herbs ungarbage
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So the mystery continues, apparently. He had been fine, but today we are back to the same scary open mouth breathing/wheezing. It doesn't seem quite as bad, but he is clearly frightened and in distress. We have him back inside and are monitoring him. He's picking at food, but not much. Trying to get him to eat some plantain. I'm on the verge of asking the vet for something to get the inflammation down, since it seems to still be present and causing the same issue again. I don't want him to keep going through this.

I'm puzzled by the intermittent nature of this. We've seen a few stray grain mites in the run, but nothing like it was. And none near the boys. We have been feeding them mostly soaked food to try to make it easier to digest. Could there be some other cause of the inflammation? I really don't think subjecting him to a barium study (an option the vet offered, but certainly didn't seem keen on) seems like undue stress. Any other thoughts on the situation or other ways to support him in healing would be most welcome and appreciated.
gift
 
Diego Footer on Permaculture Based Homesteads - from the Eat Your Dirt Summit
will be released to subscribers in: soon!
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic