Can chickens have asthma attacks?


12 Years
Jan 15, 2008
Central Florida
I mean, I dont see why not? lol Here's what brought this question to being. I have a Cuckoo Marans rooster that when I put to bed that night he was fine, the next morn I walk out to find him gasping. (This was the second night of the hard freeze here in Fl). I listened to his lungs and seemed to be clear except you could hear the air flow through very well. He didnt cough at all, like he was choking. I looked as far down his trachea as possible and it was clear. When I have choking birds I always try the heimlic on them, altered for chickens, and sometimes its very successful. But it didnt work on him. I let him be and watched closely and he started turning blue and gasping seriously. I figured I was darned if I do and darned if I dont...I wanted to try the inhaler. I gave him a puff of my Xopenex HFA (Levalbuterol) inhaler (its like albuterol but the particles are more fine). Within 5 minutes he was walking around clucking, his color back to normal, still taking small breaths but not wheezing, and within 20 minutes he did not gasp at all and is still fine today. No remission. Not congested at all. I found it odd that the night before that I had had a mild attack and my cousin a serious one because of the cold air.
Do you think its possible he had something similar?
I do not know if chickens can get asthma but a bronchodialator such as albuterol will work on animals as well as people.
It will help open constricted airways and helps reduce inflammation. Which are two of the main issues with asthma.
Okay thats what I thought. (and Stoopid, I figured I would be too!
) Before I treated him with it I did a real quick Google search to makes sure it was safe, and the stats said that it was okay and that it did indeed improve oxygen intake. My concern was that if he had something lodged in there and I gave him a bronchodialator it go further down, but like I said, he was turning blue. I was willing to try anything... But he's doing great out there. Im keeping a really close eye on him.
Yes there is a connection with cold air and airway constriction. The cold constricts airways making breathing more difficult. It also causes irritation in some people. Cold also constricts blood flow to vital organs. And if you are in a area where the cold is unusual it can be more of a shock to the body.

Sounds like you may have just saved his life.
My Cinnamon Queen hybrid layer chicken has what I call chicken asthma, but it is more like chicken pneumonia. She has been coughing sounds like a goose honking. her I held her for a while to see what was wrong, she honked and a yellow kernel of mucus-stuff came out. Her breathing sounds labored and it sounds like her lungs are full of fluid. What should I do, and what might she have? Thanks.


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