Chickens with colds / hay fever?


12 Years
Feb 21, 2007
Something's making its way through my two flocks right now (chicks and adults). Here are the symptoms:

1. Lots of sneezing / gaping / gasping

2. Much congestion in the chest, rattling when they breathe

3. Unable to cluck or crow because of the congestion

4. In some of the smallest chicks, there's a little bit of lethargy, but I haven't lost any and none of the chickens act sick at all.

5. Whatever it is does seems to be contagious, and last about 4-5 days. I know that rules out hay fever, but my chickens are reminding me of myself in the springtime when the pollen starts blowing.

I've been dealing with it for a couple of weeks, and there never seems to be more than about 10% of either flock that's sick. It's definitely jumping, though.

I've been treating them with Terramycin in the water, and I did a worming treatment because initially I thought a swollen crop was a symptom and the poultry science specialist down at Auburn thought I might have worms. Later, I decided the crops were just full due to pigginess.

Anyone encounter anything similar? I'm mostly curious as to what it might be. Like I said, it doesn't seem to make anyone feel particularly sick, but they sound awful while they've got it.
in case it's bacterial..or if you opt to treat symptoms:
Tylan 50 injectable..
Tylan also comes in water soluble form
Erythromycin (Ery-mycin/Gallimaycin).

fingers crossed.
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Yeah, it does sound like IB based on the link above. I read about IB when I first started trying to figure this out, but the link I found said that young chicks should have discharge and runny eyes, and mine didn't, so I discarded it as a cause. Dr. Google failed me that time.

I only heard one sneeze out in the chick flock this morning, and one of my roosters is half-heartedly able to crow again, so everyone seems on the mend. The adult females didn't seem to be nearly as affected as the roos.

If want to add electrolytes to the water, I can just use Pedialyte like I do with shipped chicks, right? Is there any special per-gallon amount for this, or any difference between what I give the adults and the chicks?

Thanks, guys!
Hello... I don't grow backyard chickens but I do grow chickens... Currently I raise broilers for a large poultry company... I know I know... Before you come to any judgements; read my message... Chicks at any age are prone to the same things we are prone to colds allergies etc... A small cut on their leg can be a death sentence if not treated, a cold or worse can have a greater effect on your flock because of the closeness they share together... Don't be afraid to ventilate there living space if you aren't already. The housing should have a thermostat controled fan and vent system which can be used to control heat and cold as well as clean the air they breath... Most respiratory problems in my houses are cured by making sure the air isn't stagnant. At times we use the aid of certain anitbiotics at small levels... You can also ensure their water is extra clean by adding a few drops of bleach to kill any bacteria... I hope that I have been able to help in some way... My goal is to get away from the mass farming that I do now and convert my entire farm into a free range farm for eggs and broilers... I am truly tired of growing the chicks I grow in the way that I'm forced to grow them if I want to make money... I can hold 70,000 broilers or 100,000 cornish at present; would be nice to only have about 10,000 free range layers and 10,000 free range broilers... Any ideas???

El Pollo Verde

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