Chicken Respiratory and Breathing Questions

Chicken respiratory and breathing problems can occur due to an unhealthy environment. Environmental threats to a chicken can be toxic build-up from fumes in a coop overdue for cleaning.

Poor coop ventilation can compound problems, sick and contagious poultry (or other domesticated bird or wild bird species) can spread disease quickly.

Products used to disinfect or treat for parasites, if not used properly can lead to overdose or serious illness and death.

Keeping a Clean Coop 

A drafty damp coop and roosting area in cold weather can wear chickens down, make them too cold and unable to fight illness. 

Any concentrations of natural or unnatural gasses, mites, parasites, fungus or bacteria that can live in the respiratory system may harm a flock if not corrected quickly.

Many chicken respiratory problems will be prevented just by keeping a clean coop well ventilated, but not drafty. This is your first line of defense for chicken breathing and respiratory health.  A coop with a leaky roof or inadequate shelter from winds, rains and storms will be a breeding place for disease and an unhappy chicken home. Dry feed may become moldy and deadly. 

Hopefully your chickens have access to the outdoors, where they can spend much of the day breathing fresh air, sunning themselves and foraging for healthy natural foods. 

Access to clean water in regularly scrubbed containers will cut down on transmission of disease and build-up of potentially dangerous bacteria.

If a coop becomes over run with rodents, either mice or rats this can cause additional fumes and feces build-up that can lead to chicken respiratory problems. Rodents getting into feed storage areas and feeders ruin good feed and can make it toxic. 

If you see mice or rats, you have an infestation and need to trap or poison them in a way that will not harm your chickens.  NO POISONS can be placed anywhere that a chicken might get to it.

A chicken’s diet must contain all necessary nutrients to maintain a healthy immune system that can fight and win against disease and pollutants.

A chicken deficient in nutritional basics is an open invitation for health problems, some that can wipe out an entire flock in a short amount of time.

A toxic build-up of fumes from droppings or chemicals in the coop can irritate delicate tissues in a chicken breathing and respiratory system. Irritation can quickly turn to infection and respiratory congestion and distress.

Protecting Aganist Respiratory Illness

To protect against chicken respiratory illness, clean the environment, if you suspect this could be a problem. That would be the first step. The next step would be to boost their immune systems with a good vitamin and electrolyte product, available at most feed stores.

Often adequate vitamin supplementation can cure a multitude of problems, and is more beneficial than antibiotic treatments, and less expensive. Chickens showing signs of illness should be separated from the flock and kept warm.

If you have a big problem affecting most of the flock you can provide heat lamps that can help to reduce their physical stress while getting better.

Check With Your Vet

To determine a specific chicken respiratory disease and treatment it’s best to consult an experienced poultry veterinarian. Often it’s possible to test one sick chicken rather than the expense of taking the whole flock.

Your local vet may be able to alert you to any local diseases that he/she has become aware of. Some are airborne, so if a neighbor is close enough with chickens, his could be sick or become sick from your chickens.

Generally antibiotics won’t kill viruses, but can treat secondary infections. Working for the healthiest immune systems for your flock can help prevent all manner of problems from taking hold in the chicken coop. 

If you have questions that you would like to ask a vet, use the service below. Ask a Vet has qualified doctors that can answer questions about chicken health.

Chicken Breathing and respiratory Questions


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