Sneezing chickens


5 Years
Apr 5, 2015
Western North Carolina
Over the past month some of my chickens have started sneezing. I first noticed it when I went to lock them up one night and my 5 month old rooster was panting through his mouth and had a dripping nose. He would sneeze occasionally but he would always have this clear drainage coming from his nose. When I would look for it the next day it wasnt there anymore. Since then I have started watching them when I let them out in the mornings for about 20 mins to see how they are acting, and check on them periodically throughout the day. Some of my other chickens would sneeze but its rare and it's more of a dry sneeze. I didnt see any bubbles in the eyes and there isn't any coughing. Over the past two weeks since I have been watching for any bad symptoms it has been hot, humid, and rainy here. When I went to put them up 5 days ago one of my hens was panting and I heard a sort of raspy wheezing sound. It sounded like chest congestion in humans. I panicked and came inside and researched what it could be. Now like 2 of my other hens have a slightly runny nose, no other symptoms and it's also clear liquid. Almost like a water consistency. (It's mostly at night when I'm seeing these symptoms) So basically now I am thinking a respiratory problem that may spread, or maybe they are allergic to the pine shavings when they get damp. I did read on here that they could make that sound with drainage down or around the crop? (Correct me if I'm remembering that wrong) I do remember she did have a very full crop that night because I picked her up to look her over for a runny nose, eye bubbles etc, which she did not have. I haven't heard that sound from her since then. I am just worried I'm about to deal with some sort of outbreak and I want to go ahead and treat them for anything they could have with those symptoms. I have around 27 standard size chickens that I would be treating. I have a feeling they are panting because they are too hot from perching so close together. I have needed to put in more perches recently but have not had much free time to do that. Other than these issues I have described, they are acting normal and are eating and drinking well. Sorry for the mini book, but I am just worried. Thanks!

Pork Pie

Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jan 30, 2015
It does seem like your flock is dealing with some respiratory issue that is contagious, so I would be inclined to consider it to be either viral or bacterial.

There are a number of schools of thought on what to do - I'm sure there may be others BTW
1. Take your chicken to the vet and go from there
2. Give the flock vitamins / electrolytes in their water to help give their immune system a boost and see how they go.
Dose the whole flock with broad spectrum antibiotics or if you can get one that is for respiratory infections then all the better (they will not kill a virus, but can help stop secondary infections)

Theres no reason not to begin on the vitamins ASAP.

Some respiratory infections are only as harmful as humans getting a cold, others a lot more serious. Assuming your flock survive and get over the illness, bear in mind that they may be carriers of a virus for life and can infect new flock members. It would be unwise to sell or give any of your flock to other chicken keepers in the future.

I'm sure the experts will be along to give further advice.

All the best
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