Did I bite off more than I can chew?


7 Years
Sep 20, 2014
Denver, CO
Hello all. I just joined here after a week of chicken "ownership"... After loosing a hen after 1 week (of what may or may not be egg binding - you can see my "sudden death" thread to weigh in on that one) I am starting to have anxiety about whether we did the right thing in getting chickens at all. We adopted our girls from a farm. Yeah - no "reputable breader" ... mistake #1. Oh well - too late now. After the hen died this weekend with little forewarning (she was acting fine the night before) I am now questioning every little thing that the others do. Including our new development:

I noticed this evening that Carolina is sneezing. I heard her 2X in the hour I was with them and my daughter noticed the same thing. One of the sneezes was what MIGHT have been called raspy... but maybe not. It was so quick. When I just went to close up the coop there was no sign of anyone breathing funny. Their coop is very well ventilated and I use aspen chips for bedding. The hen that died showed no signs of respiratory distress and Carolina only started the sneezing today.

After searching this site for "sneezing" I read all sorts of horror stories... so now I need to be talked off the ledge and given some steps of what to do. Observe? for how many days? Assume the worst? and then do what? Any level-headed advice would really, really be appreciated.

Thanks in advance!


5 Years
Jul 14, 2014
Central British Columbia
It could just be a chicken cold ( could be dust). Watch close and wait. Don't get to freaked out I think most people lose a bird or two along the road to knowledge and even the long time keeper can't fix everything. Research respiratory issues and diseases so you what to look for and how to treat it.

None of my birds came from breeders they came from friends that were getting rid of chickens, friends that had two many chickens hatch out, all sorts of weird stories behind my flock....

There's going to be an adjustment for your birds if you haven't have been very long it's gonna take them a while to ease into their surroundings and that could affect immune system, egg laying in general behaviour.
You could add a vitamin supplement to their water for an hour some apple cider vinegar just give them a little extra help.
Research poop so you know what it should look like, :)
Poop is Great diagnostic tool when your birds are sick .And this site is great of course.
Sorry if you knew all that good luck :)


8 Years
Oct 20, 2013
Southeast, IA
I had one drop dead like that too. She was fine the day before, I went out the next morning and she was dead. Chickens can be finicky like that. Don't sweat it, chicken math will take hold as soon as you relax and it will all be fine. Its more likely that the sneezing hen is just adjusting to your yards environment than anything else. Even if they are form nearby the irritants on your farm/yard will be different than where they came from. Just keep an eye on her. GL


Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Apr 3, 2011
southern Ohio
Sneezing is fairly normal if it happens around a time they are eating, or just on occasion. Chickens do die from unexplained reasons, and eventually it happens to everyone if you have a number of chickens. It helps to look at your chickens often to feel of their breastbones (keel) for any weight loss, to feel their crops (they should be empty in morning and full in evening,) look around the coop and run at poops, check their skin for lice eggs or mites, and note if any stay in the coop when you let them out, or stand around looking puffed up. Eye foaming, bubbles or crust, nasal drainage, frequent coughing, sneezing, or chest rattles are not normal.


7 Years
Sep 20, 2014
Denver, CO
Thanks for calming me! Carolina quit sneezing the very next day. All else is as "normal" as I know it to be and they're all happy! Thanks again!

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