Chickens and Colds

July 18, 2017

Picture of 4 chickens




That Time my Chicken had a Cold



I went out to feed the chickens one morning.  The chickens that I had just brought home 2 weeks earlier.

One of my hens (Rose) was a little wobbly and slow going. I watched her for about an hour, she wasn’t interested in eating or drinking and seemed very lethargic.  I wedged my way into the coop and took a hold of her. Once she was in my arms I noticed that her eyes were very watery and she had bubbles in the corner of her eyes. There was also sneezing, chicken sneezing. So sad but so cute.

There was a lot of rain this spring so I guess I wasn’t surprised someone was sick.

I have zero experience with chickens and illness but I do know that their respiratory systems are fragile things. When chickens get sick they spiral down quickly. I knew I had to act fast.

After visiting a very trusted website called Backyard Chickens to do some research, I was relieved to discover that she definitely had a cold and not the avian flu, or some other kind of crazy ailment.

Since that particular day was cold and rainy I brought Rose in the house and set her up in a tote with some water and food and something to roost on.

She still wasn’t interested in drinking  and her eye began to swell and get really runny which worried me a lot.

Chicken with a swollen eye
Poor Rose and her swollen eye

Rose stayed in the house that night, warm and out of the rain. The next day wasn’t much better. I managed to get some water into her  using a dropper and with some patience she happily drank what I gave her. But she still wasn’t eating. I knew I had to up my game.

Then I played a chicken nurse of sorts…


I went to my local TSC store and purchased a  powdered antibiotic as well as a powdered vitamin. Both can be measured out and dissolved in water and put in the chickens water feeders. The tricky thing about this was that I have a very small flock, it’s a flick at best.

The package of antibiotics is for a large flock and should be dissolved in many gallons of water. I was pretty sure that my chicken was not going to drink gallons upon gallons of water so with a little math I was able to get a proper dose of antibiotics for my hen and again with the dropper I slowly fed her.


On the Mend



Chicken eating yogurt
Keeping her strength up with some yummy yogurt


Rose spent another night in the house with us and by morning she had a little more life in her. If you haven’t already figured it out I’m a sucker for chickens. Rose and I shared some plain yogurt, I mixed mine with some homemade jam, she had hers with chicken feed.

Later that afternoon Rose started looking really good and was becoming a little agitated in her tote, so back out to the coop she went!

I kept a close eye on her for the next few days and happily watched her improve.

Now our Rose is happy and healthy but sometimes when it’s really rainy and damp I can see her eyes starting to get a little watery again so I pop some of the vitamins in the chickens water and she usually bounces back pretty quickly.


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