Sneezing / Excessive Dust Baths


Jun 18, 2015
I have been noticing that a few of my hens are taking dust baths non-stop. I have checked them for mites and I don't see anything. I am not sure if this is related but in the last two days I now have at least one hen that is sneezing often. She is alert, bright eyed, eating and acting well except for the sneezing. Unfortunately I don't know the leg number of the ones that are having all-day dust baths so I don't know if there is a relationship between the dust baths and sneezing (inhaled too much dust?) or not.

I haven't had any issues with my flocks in the last 10 years. Back then I would treat my flock with Terramycin but these days I am worried about over use of antibiotics. I also don't like losing 2+ weeks of egg production.

Lady of McCamley

Free Ranging
11 Years
Mar 19, 2011
NW Oregon
The sneezing could be from excessive dust. Are you using DE in your dust area as that can be very irritating to the respiratory tracts of birds (and people).

The all day dust bathing is a bit excessive. I would do a poultry dust of the offending birds to see if that helps. You can also add poultry dust or wood fire ash to the dusting area.

Some days my birds simply do dust more than others, especially if it has been a wet spell....but I haven't had one spend all day long from moment up to roost time in the dusting bath. If that is happening, it has got to be external parasites bothering them. Some of them are hard to see during the daytime and you may have to examine them at night to catch the critters in the act. Red Roost Mites attack at night, live in the coop, but can leave the bird itching and irritated.

I've had really good luck with Ivermectin, cattle pour on, applied a couple of small drops at the base of neck and base of vent (never inside vent). That will do a very good job of ridding Northern Mites and a number of body lice (not feather lice though) but will not work with Red Roost Mites. If it is Northern Fowl Mite or body lice, you have to apply it every 7 days for 3 successive times to be most effective though.

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