Stuffy beak?

WaltzDancer

Hatching
Oct 1, 2019
4
2
9
We have a new hen about 4 months old. I've noticed recently that she has been sneezing a bit (or what sounds like sneezing). Also, when she is roosting and sleeping, she will open her beak to breath every few breaths (seems like a gasp sometimes). Other observations; she is eating great, drinking plenty of water, eating treats, and overall, acting like a typical hen. She is loving her adventures outside of the coop! Very curious about her new surroundings. Could she just have a stuffy nose/beak? If so, what can we do to help her? Thank you for your advice!!
 

Wyorp Rock

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Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Sep 20, 2015
39,583
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Southern N.C. Mountains
We have a new hen about 4 months old. I've noticed recently that she has been sneezing a bit (or what sounds like sneezing). Also, when she is roosting and sleeping, she will open her beak to breath every few breaths (seems like a gasp sometimes). Other observations; she is eating great, drinking plenty of water, eating treats, and overall, acting like a typical hen. She is loving her adventures outside of the coop! Very curious about her new surroundings. Could she just have a stuffy nose/beak? If so, what can we do to help her? Thank you for your advice!!
Welcome To BYC!
Do you notice any mucous in the nostrils or blocked nostrils?
How much ventilation do you have in your coop?
Any mold/mildew?

I would also check her crop first thing in the morning before she eats/drinks to make sure it's empty.
 

SurferchickinSB

Free Ranging
Feb 23, 2018
2,868
4,434
532
California
We have a new hen about 4 months old. I've noticed recently that she has been sneezing a bit (or what sounds like sneezing). Also, when she is roosting and sleeping, she will open her beak to breath every few breaths (seems like a gasp sometimes). Other observations; she is eating great, drinking plenty of water, eating treats, and overall, acting like a typical hen. She is loving her adventures outside of the coop! Very curious about her new surroundings. Could she just have a stuffy nose/beak? If so, what can we do to help her? Thank you for your advice!!
Sounds like she might have a respiratory illness or disease. Do you have other chickens? Did you just get this new chicken as a four-month old?
 

WaltzDancer

Hatching
Oct 1, 2019
4
2
9
Welcome To BYC!
Do you notice any mucous in the nostrils or blocked nostrils?
How much ventilation do you have in your coop?
Any mold/mildew?

I would also check her crop first thing in the morning before she eats/drinks to make sure it's empty.
Thank you for the advice! So if her crop is empty, that's a good thing? What exactly would that rule out? There's no mucous that I'm seeing. I've been trying to examine her nostrils but they're so tiny it's hard to tell if there is a blockage. The coop is quite large with lots of windows as well as vents at the top so plenty of air flow. Not sure about mold or mildew. I'll have to look a bit closer to rule that out.
 

WaltzDancer

Hatching
Oct 1, 2019
4
2
9
Sounds like she might have a respiratory illness or disease. Do you have other chickens? Did you just get this new chicken as a four-month old?
We do have other chickens and we have her quarantined at the moment. We did get her as a 4 month old or just about 4 months.
 

Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Sep 20, 2015
39,583
56,521
1,342
Southern N.C. Mountains
Thank you for the advice! So if her crop is empty, that's a good thing? What exactly would that rule out? There's no mucous that I'm seeing. I've been trying to examine her nostrils but they're so tiny it's hard to tell if there is a blockage. The coop is quite large with lots of windows as well as vents at the top so plenty of air flow. Not sure about mold or mildew. I'll have to look a bit closer to rule that out.
Yes, the crop being empty is a good thing :)
IF a crop is not emptying properly, if it's turned sour, etc., sometimes the contents may come up and the bird can aspirate fluids - this can could cause some sneezing or even aspiration pneumonia - it's always a good idea when you have one that is not feeling well or you have a concern to check crop function.

Since she's "new" it's good that you are keeping her separated - sneezing can be from a number of things - but if it's fairly frequent and consistent and there's no other explanations, then the likelihood of respiratory disease is greater. There are several common respiratory disease that chickens have - Infectious Bronchitis, Mycoplasma, ILT and Infectious Coryza. In CA there have been outbreaks of NewCastle as well. Antibiotics can treat symptoms of bacteria-like disease (Mycoplasma and Coryza) and will help with secondary infection of viruses (Infectious Bronchitis and ILT). Birds are still carriers of the disease even when recovered. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044

If the symptoms worsen, then getting some testing would be a good idea - a lot depends on your goals - having a respiratory disease in your flock, you would want to keep it closed - no selling of hatching eggs, chicks or showing chickens.
 

WaltzDancer

Hatching
Oct 1, 2019
4
2
9
Yes, the crop being empty is a good thing :)
IF a crop is not emptying properly, if it's turned sour, etc., sometimes the contents may come up and the bird can aspirate fluids - this can could cause some sneezing or even aspiration pneumonia - it's always a good idea when you have one that is not feeling well or you have a concern to check crop function.

Since she's "new" it's good that you are keeping her separated - sneezing can be from a number of things - but if it's fairly frequent and consistent and there's no other explanations, then the likelihood of respiratory disease is greater. There are several common respiratory disease that chickens have - Infectious Bronchitis, Mycoplasma, ILT and Infectious Coryza. In CA there have been outbreaks of NewCastle as well. Antibiotics can treat symptoms of bacteria-like disease (Mycoplasma and Coryza) and will help with secondary infection of viruses (Infectious Bronchitis and ILT). Birds are still carriers of the disease even when recovered. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044

If the symptoms worsen, then getting some testing would be a good idea - a lot depends on your goals - having a respiratory disease in your flock, you would want to keep it closed - no selling of hatching eggs, chicks or showing chickens.
Wow, thank you so much for all your help. We are in the Boston area and our hens all come from a farm in Vermont. And our little ladies are pets first with eggs as an added bonus! We don't sell anything:) We very much appreciate all this wonderful information! Thanks again!!
 

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