Why Is My Chicken Sneezing?

Chickens can sneeze, get sick, and catch colds just like we do.

Although sneezing in and of itself is nothing to worry about, you want to make sure everything is okay with your chicken.

Generally, a simple sneeze is not a cause for concern, but in some cases, it may be a sign of some kind of respiratory disease.

So question is – Why is my chicken sneezing?

In short:

Chickens can sneeze due to a variety of different illnesses that should be treated.

In this article we’re going to go into more detail

Here’s what you’re going to discover

  • Why your chicken is sneezing (Possible reasons in detail)
  • Should you be worried?
  • How you can treat a sneezing chicken

Sound interesting?

Let’s get started!

Why Are My Chickens Sneezing (Possible Reasons)

A sneezing chicken is generally nothing to worry about.

However, if your chicken won’t stop sneezing, then it’s probably worth taking your chicken to the vet to get checked out.

Most likely, there will be an underlying cause for the sneezing.

Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG), also known as Chronic Respiratory Disease, is a common disease that causes chickens to sneeze.

This is an upper respiratory disease that is activated by stress or another infection.

Some other symptoms of this illness include swollen heads, coughing, watery eyes, and nasal discharge.

Your avian vet should prescribe your chicken some antibiotics to treat it.

Sneezing is also a symptom of the dreaded bird flu.

This disease is not as common as you may think, but it’s still a threat that can spread easily among chickens and even humans.

Some other symptoms of this disease include: swollen heads, shaking, decreased egg production, and occasionally even nose bleeds.

If you notice these symptoms in your chicken, take it to the vet as soon as possible.

However, despite all of the illnesses listed above, sneezing is not always a health matter.

Sneezing is the body’s way of clearing the airways.

So sometimes, your chicken may sneeze as something is blocking its nose.

This is likely the case if your chicken lives in a dusty barn.

The dust they inhale will make your chicken sneeze in order to clear the airways.

Chickens also sneeze when the air temperature changes quickly.

These birds have incredibly sensitive respiratory systems.

So the quick change of temperature in the spring can irritate the airways and cause your chicken to sneeze.

Should I Be Worried If My Chicken Is Sneezing?

Sneezing in and of itself is not a bad thing.

Chickens sneeze for all sorts of reasons in order to clear their nostrils.

Since their noses are so close to their beaks, the odd particle will often wound up in their noses, eventually causing the bird to sneeze to clear it.

Even we sneeze if something ends up in our nostrils that irritate it.

However, you should be worried if:

  1. The sneezing doesn’t stop
  2. The sneezing is accompanied by other symptoms

In the above two cases, you should immediately take your chicken to the vet in order to get a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Can you treat sneezing in your chicken yourself?

Let’s find out..

How Do You Treat a Sneezing Chicken?

If your chicken is sick, the first and best thing to do is to take it to the vet.

The vet will be able to advise you on what is causing your chicken to sneeze.

And more importantly, the vet will be able to help you get your chicken better.

However, once your chicken has been properly diagnosed and treated, there are other ways to speed up the healing process if need be.

  • Give your sneezing chicken some water mixed with a tiny bit of olive oil
  • Gently massage its neck
  • Give your chicken a little bit of basil, rosemary, oregano, or clover as they can help the respiratory system

Just a couple of extra notes worth mentioning.

If you have multiple birds, separate your sick bird from the rest as soon as you notice the symptoms.

Keep the sick chicken somewhere warm and with good airflow.

Continue to watch the rest of the flock to see if the symptoms pop up with any of your other birds.

If so, quarantine the other sick birds too.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that the best thing to do as a chicken owner is to prevent any disease in the first place.

Treating diseases fine, but preventing them is better.

Feed your chickens good food, make sure they have a good flow of air in the chicken coop, and keep them happy.

Here’s some related articles about what chickens can eat

Can chickens eat poison ivy?

Can chickens eat weetabix?

Can chickens eat hay?

Can chickens eat mustard greens?

Can chickens eat rabbit pellets?

Wrapping Up 

Chickens make wonderful pets especially as they are able to lay eggs for your breakfast every morning.

So you will want to make sure that your chickens are always happy and healthy.

Sometimes, sneezing can be a clue to your chicken’s health.

For example, it may point to a respiratory issue that needs attention.

If your chicken is sneezing a lot or seems sick in general, take it to the vet to be assessed.

However, sneezing does not always mean that your chicken is sick.

But when in doubt, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Related article you may find interesting so do have a read! – Chicken keeps shaking her head
We at birdcageshere.com write about bird health and diet however it should not be taken as medical advice. For advice on your bird you need to seek out an avian vet. The information you find on birdcageshere.com is for educational purposes only. At birdcageshere.com we are not liable for any information that you may find on here. Birdcageshere is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice about your bird.