Advise needed! Chick breathing fast and making sneezing sounds.


In the Brooder
10 Years
May 17, 2009
Hey all,

Well my 2 week old Amerucana chick looks like it is breathing much faster than the others, and this has been going on a couple days now. She seems active and healthy, eating and drinking well, poop looks fine, seems to be feathering out well. But she breathes fast, she is not panting with mouth open but you can see her little throat work. A few of us are getting over colds, did she get ours? I have tried to be very careful with hand washing , not putting them near faces etc...So far no of the others seem sick.

This morning I picked her up and allowed her to sleep in my hand and she made coughing or sneezing sounds.

Could she have a cold? Or something worse? I setup a small box with a light in the house, the chicks are out in the garage. Should I put her in there...? I hate to segregate her but do not want the others sick too.

What about antibiotics? Should I go get some... what to do!

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No, she did not catch your cold. And yes, you should isolate her.

Sounds like you need to read up on respiratory diseases that chickens get. Many are viral so antibiotics are of no use, and should also not be used without a clear diagnosis, so you know which one to use. If she has one of these conditions, you could end up with a flock of carriers for life. One member here, southernbelle I think is the screen name, recently culled her whole flock because of MG, a resp. disease.

I don't want to be an alarmist or upset you, and sorry if I am sounding harsh, but this is something you need to know about.

Here is a link to get you started:
After my mother wash my baby chicks we too notice that they had a hard time breathing so we called a vet
the vet recommended that we give 2 pc of pencillen for a pint of water and make sure that the tempature is is not moving around
Thanks for the help Dawn.... I needed those links and had not found them previously when I searched.

Well the chick came from Ideal Hatchery so I am guessing Mycoplasma, may not be the culprit. I sure hope not though...I am a long time pulmonary nurse and so know how hard it is to treat... TB is a bad bad thing.

I think she may JUST have bronchitis, but she seems to be very robust and healthy to look at very large and pretty, no discharge I can see or feel at her nares and her eyes are very clear. She does not sound hoarse either.

Of course now she is very agitated being all alone, but I notice she is staying under the light... so maybe the increased heat will help.

I guess I will go grab some antibiotics and feed them all it since she could have given this to all of them. Their feed is not medicated. I am against mass medicating things, but I think it best to be safe now.

Thanks again for listening!

Just a quick update...

Started everyone on terramycin, and pulled the one breathing fast into the house and under a lamp to keep her at a constant temp.

In 8 hours she was remarkably better, respiratory rate back down to normal and no gulping signs under her jaw. She still makes rattling/sneezing noises on occassion, but is far improved...

I lowered the brooder light in the bigger brooder, thinking maybe they need more heat. The others all seem and sound fine!

So since these guys were all together and came from Ideal I think this one just got sick perhaps in the feed store, where they were extremely crowded in a brooder.

So far so good... and none of those scary signs of MG...thank god!


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