Respiratory Distress in Poultry

Chickens are known for being sensitive to respiratory diseases, but there are so many possibilities that it is best to break down the symptoms a bit more specifically to try to narrow down the possibilities. 

Rattled Breathing

Do you hear your chickens rattling when you go out to close up the coop at night?  Does it sound like something is stuck in their throats and is rattling around?  Here are some possibilities with some clarifying questions to help you narrow it down:

Sneezing

Does it sound like your chickens have been in too much dust or have a cold and can't stop sneezing?  Here are some possible diagnoses with some clarifying questions to help you narrow it down:

  • Infectious Coryza - Is there a strong odor when you are near your chickens?
  • Infectious Laryngotracheitis - Are they also having trouble breathing and have eyes that swollen shut?
  • Wet Pox - Are there also white or clear lesions on their face or in their mouth?
  • Chronic Respiratory Disease/Mycoplasma Gallicepticum - Do your chickens seem unable to shake minor respiratory issues, but never seem to get any better or worse?  Is the spread in your flock very slow?

Nasal Discharge

Does your flock need a box of tissues?  Are small nostrils at the base of their beak leaking liquid?  Here are some possible diagnoses with some clarifying questions to help you narrow it down:

Coughing

Does it sound like a "barky" cough, like they are trying to clear out their throats?  It's likely one of these possibilities: 

Still not sure?
go back to the Symptom Analysis tool
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A righteous man cares about his animal's health...

Proverbs 12:10a