I have a sneezing chicken, too!

Kansas Gal

In the Brooder
10 Years
Dec 15, 2009
Hutchinson, Kansas
One of our Buff Orpingtons, age 22 months, has been sneezing for two days. Also, she has been panting a bit, even though our temperatures went from 100 degrees plus nearly every day for two months, to around 80 degrees the last two days. Today, when I took some treats out to the girls, the Buff stayed away from the others, and didn't come running like everyone else. This afternoon, she did eat a bit of scratch. I am concerned about this sneezing. Any ideas? Thanks, much!
I cant really help but wanted to give you a bump up. My roo has been sneezing, congested now for a few weeks. He's eating wonderfully, pooping wonderfully, prancing, etc. Im going with the idea that he may have one of those horrid wild bird respiratory things. Other than just insuring that him and the girls have extra vitamins in their water, I'm just letting it run its course. None of the other girls seem to be bothered and are laying normally.

Sneezing seems to be a very common thing. I have read the pros and cons of treating with tetracycline and the pros and cons of culling. As a free range chicken owner, I'm just going with the idea that respiratory illnesses happen and unless it is accompanied by some other symptom... to just let it run its course.

I am sure being a new chicken lover, this perhaps isnt the best option. But after wading through all the many, many threads on this matter, its the course I am choosing to take.
Hi! Just to update, this morning, I opened up the coop to find FOUR other chickens who were sneezing and lethargic, for a total of 4 Buff Orpingtons (out of the 5 BOs we have) and one Red Star. So far, the rest of the flock (we have 51 total) seem unaffected. I called my vet, and he came out. He feels they have an air sac issue (I cannot remember the name of it) but recommended quarantining them which I have done. He gave me a special medication to put in their water (for all the chickens) and I am just to watch them and check back with him in a couple days. He said to anticipate losing some of them. Honestly, I was almost expecting that first Buff to be gone by this morning, but tonight, they were all alive, and they have been eating and drinking a bit, so I am hoping that the medication will work its magic. We have been working on getting rid of worms found in the flock's fecal specimen, and the vet feels that the chicken's immune system was weakened by that, allowing the infection to come in! Geez! Anyway, I am just doing the best I can and hoping for a good result, but am prepared for the worst!
I had a respiratory problem last year. Read all the disease links, and scared myself silly. Finally, took one girl to the vet. She prescribed Duramycin and told me I would probably loose my whole flock. Went to my local hatchery to pick up antibiotic and they told me that chickens can get respritory problems but not to worry, they would be fine on the duramycin. The directions for dosing their water was on the package. Everyone ended up sneezing and coughing. However, no one died, all drank the water and within a day or two, were getting better. Followed the package directions to a T. Dosed for 5 days. Now it is a year later, and everything is still fine. Introduced 12 new pullets 3 months ago, and they are fine. So the moral of this story is.....don't panic. Get antibiotic, dose and follow the treatment with some yogurt. It's so scary when your chickens get sick. We all work so hard and it is demoralizing when illness hits and you've done everything right. The good news is, it can be treated....I know, I've been there. Best of luck to you and your girls.
The vet prescribed Lincomycin-spectinomycin. He said to use 1/4th of a 2.65 oz bottle per 5 gallons of water. He also recommended quarantining the sneezing chickens from the others. This morning, I went out and one of the Buffs was dead. Then, I noticed one of the Black Austrolorps was sneezing and lethargic, so she went into the quarantine pen. This afternoon, the remaining Buffs all appeared to be doing well, no sneezing, and their appetite and energy seemed good. The one Red Star in the quarantine pen is still very lethargic, but I did watch her eat some, so I am more optimistic than I was yesterday! I just want my girls to get better, free from worms, and happy and healthy again! Tossing the eggs every day has been hard to do, but the number of eggs are increasing, so I am VERY happy about that! We still have a long way to go, but....we are getting there!
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Kansas Gal, sorry about the one you lost, and I'm so glad to read about the improvement!

juliawitt, thanks a LOT for the info and encouragement, as I too tend to "scare myself silly" reading these things. I am so glad that your chickies are living proof that such things CAN be cured very successfully.
My vets know how I feel about all my animals, and trying his and her best to get them through all this. Sometimes, there are so many suggestions, you just have to take the alternative(s) that sound the best to you. Will be so glad when these situations are resolved! When the girls feel bad, I feel bad!

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