Respiratory Distress in Chickens

What You Need To Know About The Common Malady And How You Can Prevent It

Respiratory Distress in Chickens
Add to Favorites By Wendy E.N. Thomas, New Hampshire Abnormal breathing in a chicken could mean the bird is hot, scared or it might mean that the bird has a respiratory disease. The average respiratory rate of a chicken is normally from 15 to 30 breaths per minute. This, however, will vary greatly with the breed and size of chicken. Dr. Gary Butcher, Avian Diseases Extension Specialist in Large Animal Clinical Sciences at the University of Florida, explains, “Many people commonly see chickens panting and confuse this with respiration. However, it is mostly due to the chicken trying to eliminate body heat by evaporating water in the upper respiratory tract. Chickens produce much more heat per pound of body weight than humans and they need to eliminate it from the body. They do not sweat, so panting is important.” While viruses and bacteria do cause respiratory illness in chickens, it’s important not to jump the gun in treatment before other contributing factors are ruled out. These can

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