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Can chickens get colds?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by iwuvapplesauce, Nov 13, 2016.

  1. iwuvapplesauce

    iwuvapplesauce In the Brooder

    Sep 4, 2016
    My Polish chicken is breathing through her mouth and shaking her head like she's got an ear infection. She was making coughing noises and not speaking. Also jutting out her tongue and scratching her face/ear. [​IMG]
    Is she okay?
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2016

  2. Sony57

    Sony57 In the Brooder

    Nov 17, 2014
    Unfortunately chickens do not get colds, instead they get respiratory diseases. This will be apparent through most google searches. I spoke to my vet and he was careful to caution me that most chicken respiratory issues are "herpes" like in nature; which sadly means they are carriers for life. That being said there are also issues that are not herpes like,the problem is that most are.

    You can submit a sample to zoologix or have a local avian vet test her for possible issues. This is probably the best route to ensure she does not have an infectious disease that could infect others.

    That being said, I have read all over the internet, including backyard chickens, where Tylan 50 injectible/oral solutions may be effective. Your choice on how you want to proceed. Just remember that antibiotics treat bacterial infections not viral, and that improper antibiotic treatments may result in antibiotic resistant strains of diseases.

    Does your chicken have any other illness signs or symptoms, watery eyes/nose; raspy breathing, diarrhea? How long ago did this start?
    Have you considered gape worm or impacted crop? Does she have a foul smell?
  3. becky31312

    becky31312 Hatching

    Mar 14, 2016
    Hi. I don't have any words of wisdom because I am in the same boat you are with at least one of my hens. I went out this evening to check their food and water and heard one of my hens sound like she has a cold. I know they don't get colds.....so now I am worried. She is my largest hen. My daughter has been collecting the eggs this week and I noticed that several look wrinkled. So here are my questions -

    Without having to call a specialty vet- can I treat all of my hens since respiratory issues spread quickly?

    Should we refrain from eating the eggs that are coming from the flock that the sick chicken is with? I have 2 families of chickens.....my older ones (3 hens - one is sick) stay in the chicken house-- the other family of 5 stay in a separate pen. Although they do not roost together and tend to stay "outside" versus "inside".

    Can this respiratory issue affect my dogs that are also outside? Several of them seem to think that the chicken droppings are like chanel no. 5.

    I am going to send my husband to Tractor Supply tomorrow for what ever you suggest! I have penicillin injectable here at the house with me now.

    I should also mention- I live in GA (South) and we recently had a drop in temp. Not sure if that has to do with the spread of the disease.

    ANY help would be appreciated.

  4. iwuvapplesauce

    iwuvapplesauce In the Brooder

    Sep 4, 2016
    @Sony57 Thank you for your response! She does have watery eyes and (either her breath or her) smells like dead animal. Her crop is normal normal looking and her breathing is a tad raspy.
    I took a flashlight and looked in her mouth and she has a bit of a saliva/phlegm build up.

    There aren't any nearby avian vets. Can I find something online that can diagnose her?
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2016
  5. iwuvapplesauce

    iwuvapplesauce In the Brooder

    Sep 4, 2016
    @becky31312 I'm so sorry for your hen!
    I don't know much about chickens myself, but I wanna try to answer you questions.

    1. Yes, if you find some kind of medicine you can add it to their water.

    2. I don't think it can effect you but if the eggs look strange then I'd think you should just avoid eating them to stay safe.

    3. As long as your dogs aren't eating their crop, they should be safe. Just give them a good bath after they apply their, "perfume"

    DEFINITELY SEPPARATE THE SICK CHICKEN. If none of the other chickens are showing symptoms, you can catch it before it spreads. Put her somewhere warm and comfortable. Give her the medicine AS WELL AS the other chickens.
    I hope this helps!
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2016
  6. I agree with Sony57.....If one is showing symptoms....All Birds in the flock will have it.....Highly contagious.....It can not be cured but can be managed.....Try OXY TETRA -A ....It is a powdered antibiotic that you mix in water.....Also it depends on the strain of illness....

    Best of luck....


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