3 wk old chick sneezing, runny eye


In the Brooder
Aug 1, 2017
Mattituck, NY
I have a 3 week old chick that was sneezing last night - after some BackYard Chickens research I hoped it was feather/bedding dust bothering her. This morning she is sneezing constantly and her left eye is runny. I have no idea where to even start!

Some details:
-breed - French Black Copper Marans
-She started out a runt. less than an ounce at birth but is now up to 5 oz. She is still half the size of the other chicks. Healthy in every aspect but size.
-She has been on medicated feed and fresh water only.
-there is no blood in poop. It looks normal.
-no lethargy. In fact she hasn't stopped screaming since I isolated her!

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It could be a respiratory infection, but you'd likely see it in your other chicks, too. I'm thinking she has an eye irritation and it may be triggering the sneezing reflex. Perhaps a mate gave her a peck in the eye.

Try flushing the watering eye with saline eye drops. Wait a couple hours and see if that takes care of the issue. If the eye is still watering, use a tiny dab of Neosporin or an ophthalmic eye ointment directly in the eye.

As soon as you see the issue is resolved, return her to the others. She's not a happy camper without them.
Mycoplasma (MG) can show symptoms at this age in chicks who have been exposed to this respiratory disease either through a hatching egg or from a carrier. Since she is going crazy missing her flock, I would return her as long as they don’t hurt her. She may be cold since sick chicks need more heat.

I would get some Tylan 50 injectable at your feed store in the cattle medicines, and some syringes. Do not give it by injection, but remove the needle and give her 1/4 ml orally a drop at a time twice a day for 5 days. Work with her to get her drinking water, and make a little mash of wet chick feed and a little bit of chopped egg.

Infectious bronchitis is another disease that is contagious and cause sneezing. The other chicks have already been exposed to her from the same source, so that is why I think she should stay with other chicks.
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