Chicken with a cold??? - Pigeon-Talk
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dodo donna dodo donna is offline
Posted 14th February 2011, 01:33 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Country: United Kingdom
Posts: 22

Chicken with a cold???


Hi,
Sorry to post regarding a chicken problem but you guys have been so helpful with all wild bird advice I have needed so I thought you may be able to help.

I have recently be blessed with the task of rehabbing 4 factory farmed chickens that escaped the abbatoire and were rescused by a kind neighbour to the farm. They were not in a good way at all but all in all their recovery has been good over the 3 weeks I have had them and finally they have been brave enough to venture out of their coup into the daylight (which they had never even seen before now!!!) Feathers are growing back (they were pecked almost bald) and they are beginning to loose weight (they were really overweight and couldn't walk properly with swollen feet).

However this weekend one of them had a funny turn (looked like she was loosing consiousness ans was sqwarking in a weird way) and appeared to be gasping for breath. It did not look good at all and I thought she was going to die. As it was late sat afternoon and no vets open I bought her in to the warm over the weekend and was going to call the vet monday am. However yesterday she seemed much better and acting normally, but she still has episodes of gasping (every few hours or if she is moving about more) and there is sometimes a slight rattle in her chest. She also shakes her head when she is having a gasping espisode so I guess that may be caused by mucous.

So do you think this chicken has a cold or is it more serious?
She is eating and drinking now and her poo looks normal.

I have looked up chicken broncitus and I don't think is that from the description.

Also if it is a cold then could it be contagious to my pigeons? I am on maximum hygeine alert just in case!

Thanks!!!
X

Last edited by dodo donna; 14th February 2011 at 01:41 PM..
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Skyeking's Avatar
Skyeking Skyeking is offline
Posted 14th February 2011, 02:50 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Country: United States
Location: SE Coast Central Florida
Posts: 25,397
Bless you for helping these needy creatures. They probably think they died and went to heaven.

Could it be a respiratory issue, I know pigeons can have symptoms of rattling when it is respiratory issue/infection? That is contagious to other pigeons, not sure about chickens, however, so you should probably isolate regardless.

Here is a pet chicken forum that may be able to help. ...and we have some chicken people here that can help too!

http://chickencrossing.org/



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Pidgey Pidgey is offline
Posted 14th February 2011, 03:00 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Tulsa, OK
Posts: 12,522
Commercially grown chickens are often given antibiotics and steroids (at least they used to be) on a pretty regular basis to keep them growing enough for commercial food-animal purposes. Add to that they often were genetically selected (maybe modified) to convert ingested food into meat (doesn't apply to layers) as efficiently as possible and you can end up with an animal that literally wasn't designed to live a long life. Hard to say what you've got there, but I hope for the best. In case it's like I'm alluding to, there might arise some problems that could be a lot more difficult to deal with than standard problems. Living an early life where your immune system is dependent upon antibiotics can make for a REALLY stupid and lazy immune system. I know, we don't normally think of "immune systems" as having or lacking intelligence or wisdom but, trust me, that's exactly how they really are.

Truth is stranger than fiction!

But that's really not very helpful, is it? Okay, how about posting some pictures of these birds and let us have a look?

Pidgey

Last edited by Pidgey; 14th February 2011 at 03:02 PM..
 
doveone52 doveone52 is offline
Posted 15th February 2011, 05:24 AM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Chester, Va
Posts: 1,400
Good thoughts about the steroids and antibiotics, Pidgey. And steroids are immunosuppressive!
Hoping someone will have an answer for you, Donna, and bless you for taking them in!
MApigeonchick's Avatar
MApigeonchick MApigeonchick is offline
Posted 17th February 2011, 07:28 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: SE Mass
Posts: 73
Chances are it's respiratory, but it could also be gapeworm. Couldn't hurt to worm them in addition to the antibiotics.
dodo donna dodo donna is offline
Posted 18th February 2011, 07:46 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Country: United Kingdom
Posts: 22
Hi All,

Thanks for all your help!

Unfortunately I noticed that yesterday the poor chicken's chest area has started to swell so I immediately took it to a vet. The vet confirmed that the chicken had a terminal heart problem and that the heart was surrounded by fluid (which caused the swelling). He thought that this was due to the reasons that you outlined Pigey. Basically these chickens are not designed to live long and are bred to be very overweight and thus their hearts become clogged and give out! Very disturbing!

The bird vet sadly concluded that the chicken was too damaged to recover and was literally on the verge of a major heart attack and that it would be kinder to put the bird to sleep.

The other 3 seem to be thriving so fingers crossed they may be lucky enough to make it.

It has given me yet another disturbing insight into meat and poultry farming methods.
 

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