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Lee M

Chicken with cough/heavy breathing

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Hoping someone can help. I have 5 hens and about 3 months ago, one of them started coughing a little. There were no other symptoms, still laying, still eating, no moisture on the face, so I waited a while to see if it would pass. It didn't, and got a little worse so I did a bit of online reading and gave the hens a 7 day course of the layers pellets premixed with flubenvet thinking it was most likely gapeworm (although she has never actually been seen 'gaping'). 

That seemed to help and the coughing got mostly better for a while. Recently however, it got worse again, this time accompanied by rasping breath and another hen also started coughing. I have given another course of the same pellets, but this time it has just improved a little without going away. Whilst she is not rasping as badly as she was, her breathing still seems laboured and still coughing a bit. Still no 'gaping', all the hens are looking fit and active, eating fine, laying fine and the other 3 are still perfectly healthy. 

My hens free range around a section of the garden under a large willow tree that is fenced off, I don't have the option to vary the ground they live on really without confining them to their run again and don't really have facility at the moment to isolate any birds easily. 

I'm asking here first in the hope that I can find an answer before I contact a vet. Thanks! 

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