Can chickens get colds?

Lou Stevens

In the Brooder
Sep 30, 2015
Hi fellow chicken lovers,
My head chook, Penelope, has appeared to catch what looks like a cold. She sneezes and has one snotty nostril... besides that she is fine. She hasn't lost any weight, still eating and drinking fine and still on top of her game in keeping the group in order. Penelope is even fine with me wiping her nose with a tissue. None of the others have any symptoms :)

So my question is, can chickens catch colds? If so, what I can I do to help my little lady get on the mend?

Thanks all.

Chickens do get what we might term "colds" - respiratory issues / bronchitis. They can have a number of causes, and if it turns out to be a virus, then they are likely to get over the current symptoms but are likely to carry the disease for life. I'd initially suggest vitamin supplements / electrolytes in drinking water and see how they go. If it continues for an extended period of time then maybe you may wish to consider other options. For now, it seems as if you chicken is otherwise fine, so i would personally wait a little while before considering other interventions.

I'd suggest you read threads on respiratory conditions - lots of info there.

All the best

Chickens catch viruses such as infectious bronchitis and infectious laryngotracheitis (I.L.T.,) and bacterial diseases such as mycoplasma (MG or MS) and coryza, but molds can cause fungal infections such as aspergillosis. Most respiratory diseases in chickens can make them carriers, and also can make carriers of the whole flock whether they show symptoms or not. Testing by a local vet or extension agency would get you a diagnosis. Viruses do not respond to antibiotics, but bacterial diseases may respond to Tylan, tetracycline drugs, or sulfa drugs. This link to read has these and other diseases with symptoms and treatments:

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