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Chickens sound like they have Colds

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Jamie Stone, Oct 17, 2016.

  1. Jamie Stone

    Jamie Stone In the Brooder

    Jun 9, 2014
    Hello Everyone, I have a flock of 23 chickens and 2 of them sound like they're making cold-like noises when they breathe. When the larger hen tries to make noise, it sounds high pitched, dry, and choppy. Almost like a wheeze. We've been having rain and cold temperatures for at least a week now, including a storm yesterday -- we only noticed it yesterday and don't know what to make of it... but could the weather conditions have caused this? If so, is there treatment?

    Thank you,

    Last edited: Oct 17, 2016

  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Free Ranging

    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    Best thing you could do is separate them from the rest of your flock. Respiratory issues are not easily treated unless a chicken vet determines what the issue/disease is. There are a number of such sicknesses and they may have similar symptoms. Separate to save the other chickens from possibly getting infected. If they already are infected then thing do not look very good for you.
    My personal experience;; Had 3 of my chickens get a respiratory disease. ALL 3 died within a few days. The remaining 5 did not get infected, so I lucked out. I was prepared to loose whole flock. [​IMG] . The way they went to other side was NOT PRETTY.
    Wishing you best. Keep us updated on the progress. Maybe someone else can chime in on treatment options they used and worked.
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Yep, segregation is a good idea. Respiratory sickness can spread from chicken to chicken (unless its caused by fungus or an allergy) and chances are by the time we notice the symptoms, they have been suffering from whatever it may be for some time.

    There are a number of schools of thought on what to do - I'm sure there may be others BTW
    1. Take your chicken to the vet and go from there (as mentioned above)
    2. Dose the whole flock with broad spectrum antibiotics or if you can get one that is for respiratory infections then all the better (they will not kill a virus, but can help stop secondary infections)
    3. Give the flock vitamins / electrolytes in their water to help give their immune system a boost and see how they go.

    Theres no reason not to begin on the vitamins ASAP.

    Some respiratory infections are only as harmful as humans getting a cold, others a lot more serious. Assuming your birds survive and get over the illness, bear in mind that they may be carriers of the illness for life and will pass it to new flock members. It would be unwise to sell or give any of your flock to other chicken keepers in the future.

    I'd suggest further reading on the subject as it can be complicated. This link should help - http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044

    All the best
  4. In addition to the above about quarantine, just in case it's viral or bacterial, what size coop do you have and how much 24/7 ventilation do you have in said coop?

    As the weather shifts and birds tend to spend more time in the coops and people sometimes start to 'de-vent' the coops or bundle the coops up to keep the heat in and bad weather out, air quality can plummet and cause all sorts of respiratory issues...
  5. lisa523

    lisa523 Chirping

    Jun 11, 2014
    This is true, but I noticed mine started wheezing and I had to separate her from the flock and put her on Tylan. I did post in another thread about the dosage. I seem to have at least one chicken get cold like symptoms when fall starts and our temps have been crazy. One morning it was 30 and the next it was 50. Today it is 70 and a couple days ago it was 50 out.

    Quarantine is good, but its hard to tell what is wrong and sometimes there is NO vet around, as in my case. I honestly would treat the whole flock if 2 already have it, it probably has already spread.

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