1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

I need advice

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by animalgrl, Dec 17, 2015.

  1. animalgrl

    animalgrl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2015
    I've heard my girls sneezing a bit lately - maybe for the last week to 10 days. I'll hear a sneeze or two sometimes when I let them out of the coop in the morning. They are already on the roost when I get home from work, so except for the weekends, right now, there isn't much time for me to observe them so I can't really say how frequently they are sneezing. I did check all four and don't see any other symptom - no discharge from eyes or nostrils, they all seem to be active and eating/drinking well. Until this morning. My Cuckoo Marans hen (approximately 11-12 months old) came out of the coop but when we went out to give them some scratch before work, she was just lying on her side in the dirt. Her eyes were open, but she was just laying there (she was looking around). She was interested in the scratch and took a couple of pecks, but only ate one or two little bits of that. I almost lost this girl to coccidiosis in early June (and possibly some sort of secondary infection - she was really sick) so I'm kind of paranoid when she isn't acting normally. Does anyone have any suggestions? Should I treat with an antibiotic for the sneezing? Since there are no other symptoms, how would I know which antibiotic to treat with? I plan to feel her crop tonight when I get home. Also, she has not laid an egg for at least three months, although that in itself doesn't concern me. She has not turned out to be a very good layer. She didn't start to lay until late August (was egg bound with her first egg but managed to pass it eventually), then laid only for about 2 or 3 weeks before she stopped laying again (I think she may have been molting as there were feathers everywhere and I think she just finished her molt about 3 weeks ago - that's when I stopped seeing her feathers everywhere). Any suggestions are appreciated. I'm worried that with the upcoming holidays, if I can't resolve this quickly, it will be hard to find a vet if I need one.
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    I hope that more experienced members will respond soon, but a chicken lying down and not interested in food is a bad sign IMO. Personally i would think that the sneezing is the tip of the iceberg in this instance - quite often resp diseases can be something and nothing but the described symptoms seem a little concerning.

    Alas i live in kenya and thus cannot advise on suitable antibiotics but hope that another member can give you more constructive advice.

    All the best

  3. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    A couple things to consider. Chickens do sneeze, just like we do and most other animals, to clear dust or debris. A normal chicken sneeze is a soft psst sound. Things to look for are snotty nose or mucous in the beak, foamy, bubbly or runny eyes, swelling around the eyes, bad odor around the head, wheezing or rattling breathing and/or coughing. If none of those things exist and your just hearing the occasional soft sneeze then there's probably nothing going on. Just observe for now. Go out to the coop at night when they are roosting and just stand there and listen. If anybody has any odd breathing noises going on or excessive sneezing it will be a lot easier to hear.

    As far as the bird that was laying on her side when you went out, is there any chance she was dust or sun bathing? Many birds are reluctant to abandon a good dust bath or sun bathing spot and will lay there and look at you before finally rising and shaking out their feathers. Is she active, moving about, eating and drinking normally? I would check her body condition for weight loss or other abnormalities, check for mites etc. See if she has a full crop in the evening and if it's empty in the morning.
  4. animalgrl

    animalgrl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2015
    Thanks, Cafarmgirl. I was wondering when I saw her if she was maybe dust bathing, because the position she was laying in was a little on her side, with her top wing out a little, like when they settle in for a dust bath. She just usually is really into treats, so it surprised me that she didn't get up for scratch. I'll listen to their breathing tonight. I did have to pull her down from the roof of the coop Monday night when she got stuck up there, and I noted that she felt nice and heavy and felt like she had some meat on her breast bone, so I know her body condition was good as of a few days ago. I won't worry at this point. Hopefully she was just in a "dust-bath trance."

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by