Chicken Cold?


In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 23, 2013
Hi Everyone,

I have 16 hens 15 Red Sex Link and one older Orpington. I got 8 of them last summer, it was 11 at the time :(, and I just added 8 more, 10 at the time. A couple weeks after putting them in with my old flock, some of the new chickens developed some symptoms of a disease. All it was was some sneezing every now and then and a runny nose (before this I didn't even know chickens could get them). They were all eating and drinking just fine, and since I just got them I didn't know how much they laid. My old chickens didn't to catch it and they continued laying normally. I know some of the new chickens were laying because I collected some of their small eggs. We have plenty of space, I made enough room to accommodate 30 chickens) so it wasn't overcrowding. I suspect they already had been exposed to the bug and caught it from the stress of being transported. It has been about 2 months now and they still have it. They no longer have runny noses and I have to be down there for a long time to hear a sneeze. I'm not sure how many still have it but I know most recovered. I checked on the symptoms of all the normal chicken diseases and they just didn't seem to have any these were really all the symptoms. One of my birds did however get something else. She developed green and white diharea and loss of balance. I gave her a couple days then killed her. This happened about a month ago and she didn't display any symptoms that the others did, and none of the other chickens got it. The other chickens defiantly don't have that. I'm only getting 7 eggs a day right now but I know some are from the new chickens because they are smaller and one of my old hens went broody and stopped laying. (the buff orpington also only lays about 4 or 5 a week). I got my old hens in late June and they were laying only 2-4 eggs a day until late January when molting season had ended, then I got one a day from each red sex link and every other day one from my orpington. Just wondering if there is such thing as a chicken "cold" because mine really don't seem to have any common disease and other than sneezing are completely healthy. Also none of my old chickens caught it so I doubt it is one of the infectious ones which is almost all of them I know about. Also could this be affecting their laying or are they just slow like my last birds? Thanks for your time.

it sounds like CRD (chronic respiratory disease). Some people theorize that once the flock has it, they never get rid of it, that they are always carriers and develop an immunity. Sounds like yours are. But for one thing, never, never, just bring new chickens home and add them to your existing flock, Any new birds should be quarantined for a month before you let them join the flock. Even if you know where they came from and are sure they are not sick, you just don't want to take chances. doing anything else is just inviting disaster. You are very lucky, if they are recovering. Also you don't necessarily need to cull them just because they get sick. There are lots of ways to treat them so they can recover and continue living a happy life and producing. But some people prefer to cull ilnstead, and that's fine. Just watch the others to make sure they aren't developing symptoms. If they do, you may have some serious sterilizing to do.
Thanks for the advice. All my chickens are looking healthy now so has it gone away? Will this affect their production? Also I'm going to add the 5 chicks I'm raising now once they are 8 weeks old. Will they catch it if this is what my chickens have?
If I need to, how do I sterilize? I probably need to do the run and the coop. For the run is it just time? hose it down? How about the coop? Mine is just a simple 6x6x3 coop I made out of wood. It's not painted.
if its was CRD that she suggested I believe they are going to be carriers of that illness. meaning the birds themselves can pass the illness to new birds you bring in if I'm understanding the term carrier correctly. but I believe the only way to know for sure what the illness is is through a blood test. I believe with CRD the illness will go away then reappear again and cycle like that. continuing to reappear at different times. but like I said it would take a laboratory identification of the bacteria to know for certain. hope this helps. I do know if the symptoms reappear Tylosin or Tylan50 is effective in reducing the symptoms. also Gallimycine. hope this is helpful. best wishes.
I wouldn't give them anything unless the symptoms reappear. Don't worry about them being carriers. My personal opinion is that there's a good chance that it WON't come back.period...and that's based on experience to date....there's a lot of things poultry can get..and whatever. I wouldn't cull or give antibiotics either one, if no one is sick right now. Chickens can develop an amazing amount of immunity to a variety of illnesses. If you do see signs re-appearing, then separate those that are sick, and treat with the antibiotics, reasis is right, both antibiotics mentioned are good for treating respiratory issues. You can sterilize by burying lime n the soil but in that case you have to bury it really deep throughout..I think like 9 inches..or it can cause harm to the birds. For that reason I've never tried it. You can get some oxine (the kind without the crystals), you just mix it with water and put in a spray bottle...and spray everything in sight that the chickens have access to. And scrub all their waterers and feeders and rinse with oxine water. Oxine is awesome, 10 times better than bleach, but if you can't get it, use bleach. Beyond that, you're probably ok. Don't know how old your chicks are but if you have seven or eight weeks out til you release them, they'll probably be alright, if the rest of the flock stays healthy.
Thanks for all the help. The only symptom they still have is the snezing and only a couple of my birds still have it. I think by the time I intrduce the chicks the snezing will be gone.

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