Why are my chickens sneezing?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by iLoveAllChickys, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. iLoveAllChickys

    iLoveAllChickys In the Brooder

    Dec 1, 2012
    I noticed yesterday that my chickens are sneezing?
    They are eating and drinking and acting normal. What could it be? A cold?[​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
    Rudy Rodriguez likes this.
  2. How often are they doing it? Sneezing is pretty normal, especially during feeding time, when dust is getting kicked around, or when the coop is being cleaned. Really any time there is a lot of dust in the air chickens will sneeze. As long as they don't continue to do it for extended periods of time I wouldn't worry about it.

    Best of luck,

    ~~Ms. B :)
    1 person likes this.
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    My response is very different. I've always heard sneezing is not normal, and birds don't get colds, per se, but there are some nasty respiratory bugs that can run through a flock. I don't have personal experience--I just have healthy birds, apparently--but if I were you I'd post on the diseases forum and give them as much info as you can.
  4. Really, as long is it only happens once or twice, and only to one or two birds, and there isn't discharge, there is usually no need to worry. It is true that there are many very serious respiratory diseases that chickens can carry, but sneezing alone is not usually reason to automatically assume something is wrong.

    If chickens are eating or drinking, and they get a little dust over their nostrils, they will sneeze to dislodge it. Or if they are drinking from a water dish and get a little water of their nose, they will sneeze or shake their heads. This is totally normal, and alone is not necessarily a sign of a bird that is healthy or unhealthy.

    As long as the chickens are healthy otherwise, the nostrils and beak are clear of any gunk or dirt, discharge, mucous, and breathing is normal, they are not lethargic or behaving strangely, they don't sneeze often or for no obvious reason, and they are eating, drinking, and pooping normally I would not rush to assume something is wrong.

    However, if your chickens are sneezing often or showing other signs of disease, there is reason to worry about respiratory disease, which is often serious and requires quick treatment.
    Odemay likes this.
  5. JerseyGiantfolk

    JerseyGiantfolk Crowing

    Jan 12, 2012
    There are a several different kinds of respiratory diseases that could cause sneezing. Or if your birds were dusting and getting dirt in their nostrils, that's likely.

    I got really worried when my hen had a foamy eye (because signs of a respiratory disease can be foamy eyes). Turns out she just got dust in her eye from dusting, her eye was back to normal in less than 5 minutes.

    Infectious Bronchitis, for example, a common respiratory disease in cold weather, includes symptoms of coughing, nasal discharge, gasping and sneezing. It is highly contagious, but doesn't kill. It can affect egg quality and/or quantity of a hen or pullet. You can prevent it by avoiding crowding and good management. Sometimes a bird will show signs of a respiratory disease when stressed. If your birds do have IB you can give your birds electrolytes.

    How old are your chickens, first of all, and do they sneeze commonly?
  6. iLoveAllChickys

    iLoveAllChickys In the Brooder

    Dec 1, 2012
    My chickens are about a year old and they don't sneeze often,
  7. Themilkguy

    Themilkguy Hatching

    Oct 5, 2014
    Well, I was on my iPad one day, and I heard my chicken sneeze. He was the littlest one, but he was strong. Why did he sneeze? I see his feathers puffed out only 3% and his feather colors are less bright. He sneezes every 5 seconds. My 3 other chickens don't sneeze though, never in their life! I'm worried that my little rooster is sick. After all, it's almost winter. :(
  8. chick-U-dee

    chick-U-dee Hatching

    Oct 15, 2014
    I have 4 chickens in a sizable coop and free range by day. My chickens are bedded on shavings which I think contribute to one of my chickens sneezing periodically. Mine are also exposed to rock dust around the barn area and dirt. While only "one" of my birds is irritated by this set up, the rest are not affected by any stretch of the imagination. You may consider something in the environment causing a minor irritation to your chicken. If your chicken is eating, drinking, pooping well and does not show signs of lethargy, diarrhea, eye or nasal discharge, disinterested in eating/drinking AND the rest of your flock is not showing any signs of illness.... then your bird is likely to be reacting to something environmentally. Personally (if this is a repeated problem) I view this as a "week" link and cull this bird out of the flock. Keep watching as any responsible flock owner should and be aware of significant changes that take place.
  9. joshbparker

    joshbparker Chirping

    Apr 28, 2013
    Winton, North Carolina
    Can chickens have alergees?
  10. csaylorchickens

    csaylorchickens Songster

    Mar 8, 2015
    My Coop
    I noticed that since input them in the garage with the warmer they are sneezing a lot more. But I think the pine shavings I am using is causing them to sneeze. I need to get different shavings. They are sneezing often but no resp symptoms and no discharge from the nose? So I'm they are fine

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