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Sneezing Chicken - Please confirm my suspicions

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by australorpchick, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. australorpchick

    australorpchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 18, 2009
    Canyon Lake, TX
    On Wednesday, I picked up two 21 week Barred Rock pullets from a man who had many pens and 100+ chickens. I didn't see any outwardly sick chickens while I was there and the two chickens I picked, appeared to be healthy, i.e. clear eyes, no nasal discharge, no weird looking scales, no bald patches. They are currently housed in an XL dog crate with pine shavings, in my garage, next to the side exterior door, so that they can get some fresh air.

    Wednesday evening, after I brought them home and settled them in, one of the chickens started sneezing. Not too frequently, but I'm paranoid when it comes to chicken sneezes. Yesterday evening, she was sneezing much more frequently. There is some clear nasal mucus, but not so bad to where it's being flung everywhere. I just notice her nostrils were a little damp and she keeps wiping her beak. The second chicken sneezed a few times this morning. Otherwise, they both seem to be fine, eating and drinking okay, poops looks nice (well, for poop). Though they do smell kind of funky, kind of like unwashed feet. I try to keep my coop really clean and I think my flock smells nice (I may be biased).

    After reading several posts, I'm thinking that this might be environmental.

    Possible Cause #1) The shavings that I used had gotten wet while still in the package (2 - 3 weeks ago). I let it dry in the sun and when I used it yesterday, it looked fresh and felt dry. Perhaps there was mold that I couldn't see?

    Possible Cause #2) They are in the garage, which has paint, lawnmowers and cleaners stored in it. Perhaps there is a chemical bothering them?

    Possible Case #3) Stress. I did just take them from their home and put them in a box, a very large box, but a box none the less.

    So far I've put ACV in their water. I'll add garlic to their feed and maybe give them some some garlic-filled cheese balls. I'll pick up a new bag of shaving and clean out the kennel. Then, I'll put the kennel on the outside of the house, where my nosy neighbor can't see them.

    I'm not too worried about my current flock. They are housed several miles away. I also make sure that when dealing with the new girls, that I wear shoes that I won't wear with my current girls and change my clothes that come in contact with them or the kennel. I also scrub my hands like a surgeon after I come in contact with them.

    My questions are:
    1) Are my environmental assumptions correct?
    2) If no, Antibiotics? - some say yes, others no
    3) Is there anything else I should be doing?

    On a side note, they seem to sneeze the most when I'm around. I'll be in the garage, no sneezing. My mom checks in on then, no sneezing. I go up to the kennel, sneezing. Maybe they're allergic to me! I'm very sensitive to chemicals and am allergic to most perfumes, so that's not an issue.

    Thanks for all of your advice.
     
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Do you have chemicals in the garage? That could easily do it. Gasoline, oil, paint, cleaning supplies, etc. The pine shavings could be extra dusty or not completely dry so they smell a bit like pine disinfectant. The smell could be what they were eating or living in, but most healthy chickens don't have much of an odor.
     
  3. bantamsrus

    bantamsrus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    maybe the stress changing their environment is bringing out their mycoplasma?
     
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    That is entirely possible, though I'd wait for other symptoms to show up. I would not use any antibiotics because that may mask symtoms,which you want to show up to assess their condition.
     
  5. SpeckledRoo

    SpeckledRoo Have Superglue-Will Travel!

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    Apr 1, 2009
    Your environmental assumptions are a possibility. Any one of them or all can cause them to sneeze, but to be safe you need to clean up their environment, remove anything you think might cause the problem and give them a lot of fresh air. Beyond that good food, clean water, and a lot of watching is all you can do. Your question about Antibiotics. No, NO, NO!!! If a bird is hurt, I mean has a cut, an open wound with infection treat with antibiotics, but diseases are not to be treated with them because they only cover up symptoms, they do not cure. Some people feel better because their birds look better and act better, but they are in fact creating carriers.
     
  6. australorpchick

    australorpchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 18, 2009
    Canyon Lake, TX
    Speckledhen & Speckledroo -

    So I've given them ACV, crushed garlic, fresh pine shavings and moved them out to the side yard. Thankfully they're quiet chickens, since I live in an HOA neighborhood with a nosy neighbor. They appear a little more lively, eating and drinking well and are sneezing a lot less. Their noses are still running a little bit, nothing flinging, just enough so that some shavings stick to their noses for awhile. If it was due to their environmental surroundings, how long until this stops or until I know I have to do something else more dreadful?

    They've also been introduced to fresh spinach and american cheese, which they have already learned the sound of it being unwrapped and eat from my hand . I think tomorrow they'll get to try peas and yogurt.

    Thanks for your expertise!
     
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Well, obviously, I cannot know for certain what is causing the sneezing, but environmental is the first thing I go to with just sneezing. And they have changed environment in the move. You're doing well so just keep giving them healthy food and a dry coop and watch them. Let us know how they're doing in a week or two.
     
  8. yay-for-chickens!

    yay-for-chickens! Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 3, 2009
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    I have almost the same problem but not to the extent.

    My 3 7-week old Rhode Island Reds sneeze now and again, but exibit no extreme behavior...They have just spent a week in the coop and every now and again I hear a sneeze....

    Anything I should add to the water or feed? They don't bang their heads around or anything, i sort of see them yawning once or twice a day but no mucus no blood fine poop eating and drinking well and acting like happy girls...

    Is this just the occasion sneeze from the pine shavings?
     
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I have one hen who starts a sneezing fit if I throw scratch and she is trying to eat it all before anyone else. I know that's the cause because I've watched her do it so many times. And if feed is a bit dusty, they'll do the same thing.
     
  10. australorpchick

    australorpchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 18, 2009
    Canyon Lake, TX
    Speckledhen!! One of the chickens has clear bubbles in her right eye this afternoon. Could that bad smell earlier be Coryza? There's no swelling, eating and drinking okay, poop looks fine. Oh I hope not, I'm just starting to get attached to these two.
     

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