Chicken with Crusty Nose

by Sparkly Girl
(United Kingdom)

Question:

Chicken with Crusty Nose: I have a hen with a very crusty nose. She had a cold and the chicken breeder gave me some tonic for her water.

My other girl seemed to have caught the cold and have fully recovered, but this girl has a very dry crusty nose (which looks like a slight lump on one side). Any ideas?

Answer:
It sounds like this could be a respiratory infection, irritation or allergy. One thing that can lead to colds that seem to spread from one to another is vitamin deficiencies.

Often the standard treatment for animal ailments is to give antibiotics of some sort. This is very outdated information and can actually lead to flocks that are unable to fight off simple infections of one kind or another and early stages of disease.

Another problem that can cause nasal discharges is irritants in the chickens’ environment. This could be pollens, dust from shavings, mold and mildew in straw or strong fumes from built up droppings in the chicken coop.

Unless the irritation was so bad as to cause an infection, antibiotics would have no effect on what looks like a cold.

I prefer to use vitamins on my chickens at the first sign of a “cold”, when I hear one of them kind of sneezing to clear extra liquid from the nares (nose).

I’m not sure what the lump could be on one side, unless it’s just a build up of discharge. There are some chicken diseases, like avian pox, that will cause bumps to rise up. It would take a veterinary exam to diagnose the problem for sure.

With a warm damp cloth I would suggest cleaning her nares and removing any crusty residue. Check her in a few hours to see if she built up more. Clean her up as often as needed.

Listen to her breathing. Do you hear any rattling in her chest? or higher near her nares?

A cloudy discharge, especially if yellowish or greenish is a sign of infection and should be treated with antibiotics, probiotics and vitamins.

Giving Vitamins regularly, or when you hear sneezes, may help you avoid having sick chickens. Make sure they can get out of the wind and breezes, especially at night.

It’s not clear if this chicken was sick when you got her. If she is a recent addition, sometimes the stress of moving to a new home can cause some signs of sickness and weakness.

This is a time when vitamins can help an animal under stress be as healthy as possible. Not sure what was in the “tonic” the breeder provided. If it was vitamins, that’s great.

If it was antibiotics you should follow up with probiotics to restore good digestion and gut health.

Plenty of exercise, fresh air, greens and some fresh fruit, plus a good feed and water will help your chickens be as healthy as possible.

You can find daily vitamins to give or less often, if you feel they have a good balanced and natural chicken diet.

Hope she feels better.

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