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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29815
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Our chicken seems to be trying to speak but no noise is happening.

Customer Question

Our chicken seems to be trying to speak but no noise is happening. Seems like she is weezing?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. A change in vocalization and wheezing usually identifies respiratory infection in chickens. It's important to know however, if you're dealing with a viral, bacterial, fungal or parasitic disease. To make a diagnosis, an avian-oriented vet (please see here: can perform several tests including bacterial cultures of the airway and blood tests.
It's best to approach the diagnostic process with a clear sense of the bird's financial value to your operation. Although some services such as your county animal disease diagnostic laboratory might be available free of charge through a county agency or land-grant extension office, the expense of some diagnostic tests and treatments can add up quickly. While it’s always worth your time and money to identify a bacterial or viral infection that could potentially impact more than one member of the flock, this might not be the case with a condition that only affects one hen.
If she can't see a knowledgeable vet, presumptive treatment with Duramycin-10* (tetracycline) is reasonable. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.