There are a few reasons why a hen will sneeze.
I remember the 1st time I heard my Bluebell sneeze. I think in jumped higher than the dog. Both of us shocked at the disproportionately loud sound that came out of her!
Chickens sneeze from time to time, it’s not uncommon. But there are few areas you should pay attention too because it could be a little more serious.
Typically a chicken will sneeze to clear their nasal passages.
I’ve notice that sometimes when I’ve let my two out for a quick scratch around the flower bed that they can bare contain themselves and end up much like my kids getting stuff stuck up their nose – in this case some dirt or soil.
I’ve also noticed at times that when they are drinking they mistimed thinks and end up sneezing – clearly the water when down or up the wrong way.
All this is pretty common and normal and nothing to be alarmed at.
It could also signal a temporary cold – which tends to be more common occurrence during the wet and cold months.
If your chickens is sneezing on a regular basis you should make sure to keep a close eye on her.
Be on the lookout for other “symptoms” such as bubbly or mucus-y eyes and coughing or gasping for air, because this could indicate a virus infection or disease.
There are several things you should do to help your chickens that appears to have a cold.
- If you can I would recommend separating the sneezing or symptomatic chicken from healthy hens in case the sneezing is caused by anything other than the “common cold.” That’s the first step I would try and do
- Next get your hands on some apple cider vinegar and add it to the drinking water of all your hens – if you haven’t read the article on Apple Cider Vinegar and the many benefits to it you can do so here. It’s a great natural way to help keep their auto-immune system healthy and functioning.
- Check and make sure their bedding is free of excess dust, pollen, and moisture, as these can cause nasal irritation and or add to it.
- If you don’t feel confident enough to wait things out to see if your hen improves or if if after a few days things are still the same then you should consider contacting a vet and ask about antibiotics and what they recommend.
A word of warning about a sneezing chicken.
In some cases, what is perceived at first as common cold could be mycoplasma gallisepticum, or a respiratory disease or virus, especially when the sneezing is accompanied by other symptoms.
So, while more often than not – it is just a common cold and your hen may be poorly for a few days ot could also be something more serious, so try not to worry but make sure you are keeping an eye of your hen and if you are concerned and or notice other symptoms then the best route is not the internet or forums but a professional vet with experience dealing with chickens.