What to do if domestic chickens sneeze and cough

Sometimes poultry holders are faced with the fact that the chicken wheezes when breathing. In addition, sneezing, coughing, and other symptoms of well-being may appear. These phenomena are often a sign of a disease. Consider the reasons for its appearance and what therapeutic and preventive measures to take.

Chickens sneeze and wheeze

Why do chickens sneeze and wheeze

Wheezing, sneezing - atypical phenomena in the behavior of birds. Sometimes breathing is accompanied by whistling, gurgling, a sound similar to human snoring. With a high degree of probability, this signals the presence of health problems, the development of a disease. It is very important to identify the cause of their occurrence as early as possible in order to avoid deterioration, decrease in egg production, infection of a healthy livestock or even death of poultry.

One of the possible causes of these symptoms may be colds.

Most often they arise due to:

  • drafts in the chicken coop;
  • high humidity;
  • low temperatures;
  • improper conditions for laying hens;
  • weakened by hypothermia of the immune system.

The diseased chicken begins to breathe heavily, and does it with his mouth open, sneezing. This is due to the development of inflammatory processes in the respiratory tract, swelling of the mucosa. The nose is blocked by snot, a cough appears. If treatment is not started on time, there is a risk of complications affecting the bronchi.

Tip: during treatment, isolate diseased hens from healthy birds by placing them in a separate aviary

Infectious bronchitis

Infectious bronchitis (infectious type bronchitis, IBS) is a serious disease similar in its initial symptoms to a cold, to which green loose stools, conjunctivitis, nervousness are added, but entailing much more serious consequences:

  • often it affects the kidneys, reducing the productivity of laying hens up to 40%;
  • when it enters the lungs of young animals, many chickens die;
  • an ill individual may not return to the previous level of egg production;
  • broilers begin to significantly lose weight in comparison with a healthy livestock;
  • feed conversion ratio is significantly reduced.

The causative agent of coronary heart disease is a coronavirus that can survive on eggs for up to 10 days, on bird feathers - up to several weeks. Active in a radius of 1 km. Distribution time - from 18 to 36 hours. Transmitted:

  • airborne droplets;
  • through food and drink;
  • from the litter;
  • from clothes and tools of workers;
  • with the discharge of disease vectors.

The most easily infectious is a chicken under the age of 1 month.

The virus is not dangerous to humans.

Information: a bird that has successfully undergone treatment remains a carrier of IBS virus for 100 days, spreading it with saliva, feces and mucous fluids.

Respiratory Mycoplasmosis

Belongs to the number of infectious diseases. The cock is first infected. He has symptoms of the disease earlier than the rest, so the bird owners try to examine him first and, in case of suspicion of infection, take tests for examination, and isolate the bird.

As in the case of IBL, mycoplasmosis has several pathways:

  • airborne droplet;
  • through water in bird drinkers;
  • from a brood hen to chickens.

The main symptoms are:

  1. The individual breathes with difficulty. In this case, her beak is open. At this point, a respiratory distress occurs.
  2. A cough begins, sneezing, foamy exudate from the nostrils appear. The outer membrane of the eye becomes inflamed (conjunctivitis). In adult chickens, the reproductive system is upset - the number of laid eggs is reduced, the embryos die.
  3. Diarrhea appears. The immune defense of the body is reduced, which leads to a sharp deterioration in the general condition, the depletion of the body.

At the final stages, which are asymptomatic, the body begins to produce antibodies, the animal becomes a carrier of respiratory mycoplasmosis.

The virus is also dangerous for eggs, therefore, if they were laid by a sick hen, they must be destroyed. Birds can infect each other, so the diseased individual should be isolated as soon as possible from a healthy livestock. Carriers of the virus are also turkeys, ducks, and other animals.


It is a viral respiratory disease, during which the trachea, conjunctiva, and nasal cavity become inflamed. The main indicator of the disease is that the chicken bubbles in the throat. This is accompanied by a runny nose, conjunctivitis.

There are 2 forms of laryngotracheitis:

  1. Acute form. The mortality rate of the diseased livestock reaches 15%. Hens become lethargic, cough, and often sneeze. The larynx swells, discharge appears, reminiscent of cottage cheese in consistency. Distribution time - up to 10 days.
  2. Super sharp. The mortality rate can reach 60%. Only in the first day about 80% of chickens can become infected with laryngotracheitis. The main distinguishing feature of an over-acute form of the disease: the diseased individual is very difficult, with whistling and croaking sounds in the larynx, breathes. During coughing, blood secretions, wheezing may appear, and asthma attacks may result in suffocation attacks. The animal shakes its head, cranes its neck, the rooster loses its voice. The sick livestock loses their appetite, moves little, ceases to rush.

If untreated, the chickens begin to go blind.

Reference: Even if the birds can be cured of laryngotracheitis, they may still have conjunctivitis and wheezing may be present.


Colibacteriosis affects young animals from the age of 3 days to 2 weeks. There are 2 forms of the disease:

  1. Acute form. A gradual increase in symptoms is observed - an increase in body temperature by 1.5-2 ° C, severe thirst. The chicken ceases to eat, weakens, sits with a cracked tongue. Due to the refusal of food, sick chickens lose weight, lose activity and, ultimately, bend from intoxication.
  2. Chronic form. It develops from an acute form that has not been completely cured. It is accompanied by shortness of breath, asthma attacks, coughing. The chickens sneeze a lot, while breathing in the sternum you can hear the bubbling, crunching. Convulsions, paralysis may occur. The neck bends unnaturally. All this often leads to death.

If the chicken still survives, it develops more slowly than its counterparts, lagging behind in development.


It is an inflammation of the mucous membrane of the trachea. It is often a concomitant disease with inflammation of the upper respiratory tract of an allergic, infectious, toxic, mechanical nature. Trachea is located in close proximity to the larynx, so a disease of one organ often leads to inflammation of the other.

Symptoms include:

  • swollen larynx, its redness, narrowing;
  • overlays in the form of fibrin films;
  • wheezing and whistling with rapid breathing.

With mechanical tracheitis resulting from the ingress of foreign objects, dust particles, pollution, birds sneeze both at the initial stage of the disease and throughout its duration. To get rid of tracheitis, it is necessary first of all to treat the root cause of the disease.


It is a relatively young respiratory disease. The main symptom is swelling of the bird's head. At the same time, secondary signs of inflammation of the upper respiratory tract appear, affecting the eyes, nasal cavity, larynx, trachea. Eyes watery, discharge appears.

For information: it is possible to successfully treat chickens from rhinotracheitis. However, if young hens become ill and then healed, their growth process will still be slowed down.


Inflammation of the lungs (another name for bronchopneumonia) is a serious disease of birds. Causes of occurrence:

  • not completely cured colds, bronchitis;
  • keeping chickens in unsuitable conditions: in drafts, in an insulated or unprotected place from snow, wind or rain;
  • infections of the upper respiratory tract caused by pneumococcus, staphylococcus, gradually descending into the lower segments.

First, the bronchi are affected, then the disease passes to the lungs and pleural film.

In adult laying hens, bronchopneumonia practically does not occur, most of all young animals from the age of 10 to 20 days get sick with it. It is possible to guess that the chickens fell ill with bronchopneumonia by a number of symptoms:

  • rapid breathing appears, accompanied by moist rales, the beak is open;
  • chicks sneeze a lot and often;
  • birds practically do not move;
  • chickens do not peck food, do not drink.

On the second day from the onset of the disease, the weakest chicks die.


It is a fairly rare disease among chickens. An individual who suffers from them wheezes, coughs, and vilifies. Due to the long term spread of the disease, these symptoms can occur for several months. The simplest and most effective method of protecting the livestock from death due to tuberculosis is the destruction of sick birds, disinfection of the chicken coop.

Bird flu

One of the most dangerous diseases that chickens suffer from. It leads to almost complete death of the chicken stock, which has an extremely negative effect on productivity.

Most often affects the organs of the respiratory system and gastrointestinal tract.

Causes of occurrence:

  • frequent movement of birds from one place to another;
  • the use of poor-quality food, its lack;
  • a chicken coop in which too many chickens are closed in a small area.

The presence of birds in such conditions leads to the rapid transmission of the active virus from diseased hens to healthy ones.

Bird flu transmission methods:

  • through common feeders, drinking bowls, other things that are in the chicken coop in the common use of healthy and sick chickens;
  • through infected eggs, feathers;
  • through excreta that secrete those hens that have just become ill, and those that have already undergone treatment for the disease;
  • with the help of other animals - carriers of the disease: rats, mice.

The main symptoms are:

  • poor egg production;
  • complete refusal of food;
  • rapid weight loss;
  • difficulty breathing, wheezing;
  • increase in body temperature to 41-45 ° C;
  • diarrhea, feces acquire a brownish-green color;
  • violation of coordination: animals move poorly, fall;
  • wings are down;
  • mucous membranes become inflamed, nasal passage is blocked by mucus.

The final symptom, talking about the approaching death, are: a strong feeling of thirst, pulmonary edema.


It is a disease caused by Aspergillus. It affects the respiratory system. Animals become infected through fodder grain, in which the fungus reproduces under conditions of increased dampness.

The main symptoms are:

  • increased drowsiness, fatigue;
  • when breathing, giving the bird difficulty, wheezing is heard;
  • chicken shortness of breath.

The acute form of the disease is characterized by a high mortality rate: up to 80% of the livestock die. To avoid this, it is necessary to conduct a constant audit of the state of the grain, often clean and change the litter in the chicken coop, use antifungal agents when processing the granary.

Other diseases

There are other diseases of chickens, accompanied by wheezing, sneezing. They can be both dangerous to humans and harmless.


There are several forms of the disease:

  1. Super sharp. A perfectly healthy-looking individual suddenly dies.
  2. Sharp. The chicken has a blue crest, earrings. You may notice that the layer has become lethargic, lowers its wings, drinks a lot. Wheezing appears in the larynx, foam is released from the nasal cavity. The pectoral muscles atrophy. Death occurs after 3 days.
  3. Subacute. Abscesses appear on the inflamed earrings, the animal is exhausted, the joints are affected by arthritis. Death comes in 7 days or earlier.
  4. Chronic Rhinitis, nasal and conjunctival discharge, inflammation of the intermaxillary space join the symptoms.

Refers to infectious diseases of chickens that can harm human health.

Newcastle disease

It is a viral disease. A feature of this virus is its ability to penetrate the chicken egg and safely remain in the egg during the entire incubation period. Juveniles can be born already with the disease.

With a super-acute form, during which the nervous system is affected, one can hear how the individual has wheezed, she has difficulty breathing, increased irritability. Further:

  • limb paralysis occurs;
  • impaired coordination of movements;
  • the neck is twisted.

All livestock can be infected within 2 to 3 days.

A distinctive symptom of an acute typical form is the process of suffocation in 70% of birds, and diarrhea in 88%. All this is accompanied by a decrease in appetite, conjunctivitis, high fever. The animal can lie, cuddling its beak on the floor.

The atypical form affects, in the bulk, chickens. It is asymptomatic due to the use of antibiotics.

The treatment of the disease has not yet been developed. About 90% of the livestock die from it.


There are several ways to treat chicken diseases:

  • using antibiotics;
  • with the help of home (folk) means.

Each of them has its own characteristics.

Using antibiotics

In the absence of positive dynamics in the fight against the disease with anti-inflammatory and antifungal agents, antibiotics are prescribed with the simultaneous introduction of vitamins A, E in the diet of birds:

  1. Put 1 capsule of doxycycline in the chicken’s mouth overnight. Give plenty of water. The duration of treatment is 1 week.
  2. For 3 days, lay in the morning ½ tablet of tetracycline for adult hens, ¼ for juveniles.
  3. Colibacteriosis can be treated with biomycin, terramycin, adding funds to the feed at the rate of 100 mg of the drug per 1 kg of feed.
  4. You can try to get rid of mycoplasmosis using oxytetracycline or chlortetracycline, at the rate of 0.4 g per 1 kg of feed. Duration of admission is 1 week, 3 days break, 1 week.
  5. To help relieve the condition with laryngotracheitis, thromexin, previously dissolved in water: for 1 day - 2 g of the drug per 1 liter of water, on the 2nd and subsequent days - 1 g per 1 liter of water. The course of admission is a minimum of 5 days.

Important! During the treatment period and within 14 days after the chickens took antibiotics, you can not eat the eggs of diseased individuals, their meat.

Folk methods

Many people use folk remedies for coughing, wheezing and sneezing chickens. As a rule, such methods are accessible and highly effective.

First way

  • Take unsalted lard.
  • Cut it into small pieces the size of a nail.
  • Twice a day, give it to young animals of 2 to 4 weeks of age, carefully pushing it into the beak.

Duration of admission is from 3 to 5 days.

Second way

  • Take the dried coltsfoot grass.
  • Set it on fire in a suitable container.
  • Let the chickens breathe smoke for 1 hour.

For greater effect, make sure that the room is closed.

Third way

Such a recipe is also suitable:

  • take in equal shares the leaves of plantain and coltsfoot;
  • finely chop the plants;
  • pour boiling water in such an amount that it covers the mixture;
  • tightly close the lid;
  • leave to infuse for 1 hour.

The resulting infusion is given to drink chickens

Prevention and Precautions

As a preventive measure aimed at preventing the incidence of livestock, it is necessary to implement a number of recommendations:

  • instead of water, pour nettle broth into chicken drinkers;
  • introduce fortified and mineral supplements into the feed;
  • crush a tablet of streptocide and powder the resulting beak powder.

Keep track of air humidity, temperature and the absence of drafts in the room where the birds live.

Diseases of chickens can be a serious problem for their owners. In order for the chickens not to begin to die, to lose their productivity, it is necessary to follow all the rules of breeding and keeping birds. Sometimes it’s better not to risk being self-medicated, but to seek help from an experienced veterinarian.


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