Should I be worried about sneezing?

docdubz

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Nov 24, 2016
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One of my birds started sneezing about a week or two ago. I didn't pay it much mind because they kick up a lot of dust when they scratch. But now the ground is soaked so they aren't kicking up dust and I'm hearing sneezing a bit more often and I think it might be more than one bird right now. No discharge or anything else abnormal.
 

Isaac 0

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Video of the hen sneezing would be good. To post a video, upload it to youtube or Vimeo and copy/paste the link here.

Is it just from one hen or several birds? Do you have any pictures of their coop, run area? Is it constant sneezing, or just occasionally? Is the hen/s exhibiting any other symptoms such as lethargy, rattled breathing, gaping, eye/nasal discharge, lesions inside the mouth, etc?
 

esme13

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Apr 22, 2014
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Are they acting normal? My flock sneezes a bit regularly, like when they are eating their grain or playing in the shavings.
 

docdubz

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Nov 24, 2016
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Central Texas
Video of the hen sneezing would be good. To post a video, upload it to youtube or Vimeo and copy/paste the link here.

Is it just from one hen or several birds? Do you have any pictures of their coop, run area? Is it constant sneezing, or just occasionally? Is the hen/s exhibiting any other symptoms such as lethargy, rattled breathing, gaping, eye/nasal discharge, lesions inside the mouth, etc?
Its completely random and not too often I doubt id be able to get a video of it. It's usually just one sneeze sometimes there will be a couple single sneezes spaced a minute or so apart. The only symptom I can think of is a couple of them have started growling almost like small dogs but I think that's just them being brats since it's usually when I'm coming with food. No discharge no lethargy. They have been behaving different (more time in the coop) but the weather's also gone from 70-80 and sunny to 30-40 and rainy in the past two days.

The sneeze also barely sounds like a sneeze it's a very dainty sneeze as far as sneezes go. I wouldn't be concerned at all but I'm hearing it more often than I was a week ago.
 

esme13

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Apr 22, 2014
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I would say sneezing is normal and sometimes they can get a cold, where you might notice some nasal discharge. But I have one older hen who sneezes often and has been fine for years. Sometimes things bother them too like allergies
 

Isaac 0

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Its completely random and not too often I doubt id be able to get a video of it. It's usually just one sneeze sometimes there will be a couple single sneezes spaced a minute or so apart. The only symptom I can think of is a couple of them have started growling almost like small dogs but I think that's just them being brats since it's usually when I'm coming with food. No discharge no lethargy. They have been behaving different (more time in the coop) but the weather's also gone from 70-80 and sunny to 30-40 and rainy in the past two days.

The sneeze also barely sounds like a sneeze it's a very dainty sneeze as far as sneezes go. I wouldn't be concerned at all but I'm hearing it more often than I was a week ago.
Sometimes it can be hard to differentiate a mild strain of a respiratory disease, from a housing problem, like dusty feed, bedding, high ammonia, lack of ventilation, etc. If they were mine, I'd really consider what might be wrong with my setup, and try to correct any problems that may cause respiratory irritation. If they continue on sneezing, even after ensuring there are no housing problems, you may consider starting them on an antibiotic such as Tylosin or doxycycline to "help" alleviate the symptoms if it is a respiratory disease, or send swabs into your state lab to see if you're dealing with respiratory disease, and which one.
 

docdubz

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Nov 24, 2016
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Sometimes it can be hard to differentiate a mild strain of a respiratory disease, from a housing problem, like dusty feed, bedding, high ammonia, lack of ventilation, etc. If they were mine, I'd really consider what might be wrong with my setup, and try to correct any problems that may cause respiratory irritation. If they continue on sneezing, even after ensuring there are no housing problems, you may consider starting them on an antibiotic such as Tylosin or doxycycline to "help" alleviate the symptoms if it is a respiratory disease, or send swabs into your state lab to see if you're dealing with respiratory disease, and which one.

There are no housing problems, coop floor is dry as can be and I have a very high ventilation setup. 90% of the time that I hear them sneezing they are out in their run which is about 600 sqft with a flock of 15 chickens. When the ground is dry it can be dusty when they are scratching but it has been raining for a week straight, dust is a myth right now until the ground dries. Their sneezing seems entirely random and I have never heard them sneezing inside the coop, only between the hours of when I let them out in the morning and when they go to their roosts at around 6pm. I can't say it's because of the cold weather or the high humidity/rain because the sneezing started before that. To make matters worse I don't even know which bird(s) are sneezing, I've never actually seen them do it it's always when I'm not within line of sight of the run or if I'm in the run when it happens it's always behind my back... So I can't even quarantine.
 

Isaac 0

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There are no housing problems, coop floor is dry as can be and I have a very high ventilation setup. 90% of the time that I hear them sneezing they are out in their run which is about 600 sqft with a flock of 15 chickens. When the ground is dry it can be dusty when they are scratching but it has been raining for a week straight, dust is a myth right now until the ground dries. Their sneezing seems entirely random and I have never heard them sneezing inside the coop, only between the hours of when I let them out in the morning and when they go to their roosts at around 6pm. I can't say it's because of the cold weather or the high humidity/rain because the sneezing started before that. To make matters worse I don't even know which bird(s) are sneezing, I've never actually seen them do it it's always when I'm not within line of sight of the run or if I'm in the run when it happens it's always behind my back... So I can't even quarantine.
If you could at least try to get a video of the hen sneezing, that would be quite helpful.

What type of feed are you using? Dusty or powdery-type feeds can cause occasional sneezing. I may try picking one of the hens up, and try listening for "rales" in their breathing.

If you don't think it's an environmental problem, it could be a mild strain of respiratory disease such as Infectious Bronchitis, or MG (Mycoplasma galliseptcum). IB may be more likely since you're only seeing sneezing, and no signs of facial edema, discharge, etc.

You can have testing done by your state to confirm this. IB usually runs its course in a few months, and besides ensuring their coop is well ventilated and free of respiratory irritants, antibiotics are usually not needed due to the minor symptoms.
https://extension.psu.edu/infectious-bronchitis-in-chickens
 

Wyorp Rock

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Sep 20, 2015
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One of my birds started sneezing about a week or two ago. I didn't pay it much mind because they kick up a lot of dust when they scratch. But now the ground is soaked so they aren't kicking up dust and I'm hearing sneezing a bit more often and I think it might be more than one bird right now. No discharge or anything else abnormal.
Its completely random and not too often I doubt id be able to get a video of it. It's usually just one sneeze sometimes there will be a couple single sneezes spaced a minute or so apart. The only symptom I can think of is a couple of them have started growling almost like small dogs but I think that's just them being brats since it's usually when I'm coming with food. No discharge no lethargy.
The sneeze also barely sounds like a sneeze it's a very dainty sneeze as far as sneezes go.
heir sneezing seems entirely random and I have never heard them sneezing inside the coop,
If the sneezing is random, usually just one or spaced a minute apart or so and there's no other symptoms - they are active/eating/drinking, then personally I would just observe. IF sneezing increases or you see other symptoms then consider investigating further.

A random sneeze can be from dust bathing, getting water/feed in the nostrils, possibly an indication of mild respiratory illness. Usually with respiratory illness symptoms are fairly consistent (sneezing often) and you likely would see other accompanying symptoms (mucous, rales, maybe watery eyes, etc.).

Keep us posted on how it goes.
 

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