Coughing poultry hen. showing signs started appox four weeks ago, Respiratory is fine, NO discharge from eyes or nose, crop feels full and looks normal, Second hen, same batch, coughs just very occasionly, Worming. No, they had never been outside till I brought them at 19weeks old (Now around 25 - 27 weeks old). Feeding, layers mash and layers pellets available all day, a small amount, with mineral supplement in wet layers mash early morning, Mixed corn correct amount for number of hens late afternoon, two or three times a week after midday raw cabbage and very occasionly cook cabbage with cooked potatoe peelings, eats and drinks well, The white mildewy spots on the skin around the back of both eyes was LAYERS MASH POWDER. The coughing would be like us trying to clear a tickle in our throat. She may do it 2/3 times in successsion, then again a few minutes later or maybe 15/30 minutes later. I hope this helps you, sorry about the powder round the eyes
Type of Animal: poultry
Age: 25/27 weeks
Thank you for your question.Is this the same chicken that was mentioned in a previous question with her neck extended, and gurgling (just with your mention of the white powder it does sound like that one). If so, do let me know.But if its just a case of 2 birds in the UK affected at once (which happens sometimes) then I do still have a few questions about this bird.
yes it is the same hen which was extending her neck and gurgling (coughing sort of noise)
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX very suspiciously similar and mysteriously you had answered all of my questions but sometimes we do get a run of similar things all over the world (they do always say that these kind of things come in threes).Anyway, as I mentioned, I am quite concerned about this wee hen. The signs you are describing, the gurgling, neck stretching are both very typical of respiratory distress or struggle (possibly due to poor oxygen exchange if there is lung disease or blockage of the upper airway by discharge, foreign material, or gapeworm). As well, the tickling cough can be a manifestation of this same disease process, and is often seen with these types of signs.
Since you have said that she is eating and drinking well it would seem more liklely that we are dealing with lung disease based respiratory disease rather then a mechanical obstruction . While we can’t totally rule out mechanical obstruction from foreign material (since it would be odd for 2 birds to show signs simultaneously), it does sound less likely. And if they are now outside, the the possibility of ammonia irritation or dusty bedding would be less likely a causative agent.
If we are looking at coughs as an early sign in a lung based disease, then I am sure you can appreciate that this can be caused caused by a range of agents. This includes bacterial, viral (ie. infectious laryngotracheitis, infectious bronchitis, adenovirus, etc.) fungal (ie asperigillus), and mycoplasmic (M. gallisepticum) agents. It would be ideal to isolate the coughing chickens from the others, though the onset of a second cougher does hint that there has been significant flock exposure already.
Since we are dealing with such a possible range of respiratory agents, it isn't possible to suggest a blanket treatment for them. Isolation of the affected birds is advisable (and supportive care measures initiated if she is off her food and water), and if they have been outside for 5 weeks, then it is worth considering worming them, ideally with something that contains Piperazine (for gapeworm treatment), and if you suspect trichomonas then Metronidazole might be added in. This will help you rule out parasitic causes.
Still the quickest way to get to the bottom of the specific cause of the signs you are seeing would require evaluation of this most affected bird by her vet. The vet will be able to rule out upper airway obstruction, check a fecal sample to rule out parasites, and asucult the chest. Depending on their findings, it may be advisable for them to take a sample fromt he airway for bacterial culutre (where the lab grows the bacterial agent and figures out what drugs it will respond to). Or they can properly advise you which broad spectrum treatment will most likely clear the disease signs they are seeing. By getting this bird seen now, and a diagnosis confirmed, you will hopefully be able to circumvent any further signs developing in the other birds.
If you don’t already have a specialist avian vet, you can check where you can find one by using the bird filter on the RCVS register to find a bird vet near you. You can find that here (LINK). As well, you can find a few more avian vets listed via the Avian Web (http://www.avianweb.com/recommendedvets.htm#UK)
And there are a few more listed on the Parrot Society (LINK) website.
You can also check the member list for the European Committee Association of Avian Veterinarians (LINK). They haven't quite set up a search engine yet, but you can use the RCVS register (LINK) to find particular ones.
I hope this information is helpful. Please let me know if you have any further questions. If you have no further questions, I would be grateful if you would press the wee green accept.
As a veterinary surgeon, I have spent a lot of time with bird cases & am happy to help you.