Chickens with colds?


In the Brooder
7 Years
Jan 27, 2012
I went to let me ladies out this morning, and four of them are wheezing, coughing and shaking their heads. I live in Central Valley, CA, where we have had a warmer than usual, VERY dry winter- it's drought conditions already.

I don't see any mucus or swelling around the eyes, but one of the girls makes a distinct gurlgling noise when she breathes. :( We clean the coop every day, and they always have fresh water & food, but they are not drinking much the past couple days.

They are eating, but not drinking much water the past couple days They free range most of the day if the weather is good. Our egg production has gone from 9 (full production) to 5 in the past couple days

I looked up the symptoms online, and read the article here, but it could be anything from what I've read. One source said flocks sometimes have to be culled because of this. :/ Really confused. Any thoughts?


Premium member
8 Years
9 Years
Apr 3, 2011
southern Ohio
The most common respiratory diseases are infectious bronchitis, mycoplasma gallisepticum (CRD or MG), coryza, and ILT. More than likely you are seeing MG or coryza. Without having a nasal swab or blood test done, it's hard to know for sure. Those are all carrier diseases, and you will need to either cull or close your flock. Hatching eggs will transfer MG. Antibiotics like Tylan, erythromicin (Gallimycin), and tetracycline (Duramycin10) can be used to treat symptoms, but won't cure it. Fortunately most disease germs will be dead in several days after cleaning/disinfecting the premises with the exception of ILT which last 6 weeks. It usually causes bloody mucus from the noses and mouth. Here is a list of diseases including the ones above to read about:


10 Years
Jul 9, 2009
If they are pets, I would just treat them with Tylan injections and keep them (not eat the eggs for awhile). Tylan cures the common things and I would estimate 1/2 of the farms I've ever been to have these common illnesses and use Tylan (they even tell me they do). So unless you plan to sell birds to other people, I would keep the chickens and just treat with Tylan, and they will probably be good as new within a few days. If it's super cold, also try to keep the sick ones warmer for a few days (garage or whatever).
We've had chickens for years but lost them all to daytime-raccoon attacks this past year (sad).

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