Are sneezing chicks sick?

14gipperMay 14, 2007

Hi - first time chicken owner here. I bought three two week old chicks on Friday at the feed store. They are acting fine except they are all sneezing occasionally. Is this an early sign of disease or is it just something chickens do sometimes? They don't have any other symptoms that I can see. They're eating and drinking and making happy little chick sounds, but everytime I check on them at least one of them sneezes. This has been going on the whole time I've had them. I have them in a plastic bin with a light above and pine shavings on the bottom. The temp is 87 right now.

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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

It might be just due to dust from the shavings...but pick them up and check out their eyes and nares (nostrils) for any kind of discharge. Other signs of illness are gasping or labored breathing, sitting around fluffed up all the time, soiled vent feathers, being lethargic and eating/drinking/poop changes. Observe them for a bit to see.

Enjoy your chicks! :) I have a chicken info site that might help, located here:

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 12:11PM
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Thanks. They have none of those things you listed. Other than sneezing, they appear to be fine. I will keep watching them of course. I hope it's just dust.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 12:18PM
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You might want to take a good sniff of the shavings. The light might be releasing some kind of fumes. Also check for an ammonia a smell.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 5:34PM
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I'm not smelling anything from the shavings at all really. An occasional chicken poo smell if they've done a fresh one, but nothing else. One of them just now sneezed while sitting on my shoulder though. But still, I'm not seeing any discharge or suspicious behavior. Is there anything I should do as a precaution?

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 7:31PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Watch them like a hawk for signs of illness, weight loss and behaviour changes. Keep them warm and out of drafts to avoid chilling them, and give them lots of tidbits such as live mealworms to keep them as healthy as possible. :) I offer unflavored Pedialyte (get it in the baby aisle at the grocery store) to drink for sick birds, it boosts their electrolytes. You can also give it to your chicks, it helps birds stressed by shipping and/or new surroundings. Can't hurt!

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 9:08PM
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