Home Remedies for A Chicken Cough

Inside: Discover natural remedies for chicken cough! Learning how to help your chickens easily at home can help your chickens live longer.

Caring for chickens can be a fulfilling experience, but it also comes with its own set of challenges, including respiratory issues such as coughing. While seeking professional veterinary care is crucial for serious illnesses, there are also natural remedies available to help alleviate the symptoms of chicken cough.

hen in chicken coop with Home Remedy Chicken Cough Treatment text overlay

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Home Remedies for A Chicken Cough

As a chicken owner, you may need to use these home remedies if you notice your chickens coughing or exhibiting respiratory symptoms. Coughing in chickens can be caused by a variety of factors, including respiratory infections, allergies, or poor living conditions.

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I don't want you to think that you are a horrible chicken owner if your chickens get sick. Because it just happens sometimes.

We occasionally have bad weather conditions in the winter here in Nova Scotia. We can go from wet spring-like with mud everywhere to a cold snap the next day. Some chickens have a harder time with weather like that, silkies in particular.

These natural remedies can help alleviate the symptoms of chicken cough and promote your chickens' overall health. However, it can be important to seek professional veterinary care if the cough persists or if your chicken shows other signs of illness.

I am a homesteader who doesn't take her chickens to the vet. One: there are no vets for chickens here. Two: I spend enough at the vet on my kitten. Three: I can hatch out replacement chickens so if I have to end the suffering of a chicken I will. Or, I should say, I have my husband end their suffering for me.

black silkie chicken

Home Remedies for Coughing, Wheezing Chickens

First, you should separate the sick chicken from the rest of the flock. We bring them into the house, or a dry calm area out of any wind, and place them in a tote/brooder. This is to completely remove them from the flock and reduce the risk of another chicken getting sick. We bring chickens into the house so we can keep a close eye on them.

Difusser & Essential Oils

Eucalyptus oil is a natural decongestant and can help relieve respiratory issues in chickens and people. Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to a cool mist humidifier near your chicken.

Steam can help relieve respiratory symptoms in chickens by opening up their airways. Place a humidifier near the chicken and let the steam circulate for a few hours.

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Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a popular home remedy for chickens, as it has natural antibacterial properties that can help fight off infections.

Mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in one gallon of water and offer it to your chickens as their drinking water. This solution can help improve their overall health and prevent respiratory infections.

It also has other benefits for chickens including:

  • a boost to the immune system
  • help with digestion
  • often used to prevent worms
herbs growing in mason jars


You can also buy some VetRx for your chickens. This can use this during wetter seasons when you may have had issues in the past. You just add it to their water.

This also works once your bird has started coughing or wheezing.


Adding some fresh and dried oregano to their diet is a good thing as a preventive and to keep your flock healthy.

Oregano for chickens is known to strengthen the immune system and is thought to help guard against common poultry illnesses such as salmonella, and infectious bronchitis.

I mix dried oregano right into their feed when I give them both dry and soaked feed. I typically give my flock soaked feed during cold snaps. Now, the only problem is, is that the silkies, who typically have problems here, won't eat soaked feed. I don't know why because other birds LOVE it.

two chickens in chicken coop with Home Remedy Chicken Cough Treatment text overlay

The key to helping your chicken through wheezing or coughing is to catch it early. The sooner you treat a chicken cough the better shot you have at it pulling through without a trip to the vet.

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    Frequently Asked Questions About Coughing Chickens

    What is a home remedy antibiotic for chickens? This is a really ideal way to help prevent disease and chicken illnesses in your flock. I highly suggest adding things such as dried/powdered garlic, Diatomaceous Earth (DE), Black Oil Sunflower Seeds (BOSS), Oregano, and Turmeric into their feed and diet as much as possible. Oregano is a natural antibiotic.

    Why is my chicken coughing so much? Infectious bronchitis is a highly contagious, acute infection of chickens characterized by nasal discharge, coughing, and rales. In layers, it causes a marked reduction in egg production and quality.

    Does apple cider vinegar help sick chickens? ACV is effective against bacteria, including E. coli and salmonella, meaning that ACV in chicken drinking water can protect against the spread of pathogens and may also help to prevent infection in the gut by improving immune responses.

    Want More?

    Caring for Ailing Hens: Effective Home Remedies for Sick Chickens

    Home Remedies for Sour Crop in Chickens

    Herbal Remedies from Your Garden

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