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Pneumonia often can occur as part of a generalized respiratory problem in chickens. The type and severity of the infection depends on the cause, the length of time of the infection, and the immune status of the bird. Pneumonia can be caused by bacteria, parasites, or fungal agents Aspiration of food or fluid can be a contributing factor in it's onset.

Clinical Signs of Pneumonia

Affected chickens may show signs of coughing, weight loss, difficulty breathing, crackles, and general depression.

How Pneumonia is Diagnosed

Pneumonia is diagnosed in chickens through a complete blood count, radiographs, and culture or cytology samples from tracheal washes or directly from the lungs using endoscopy.

Clinical Signs

Difficulty breathing
Weight loss


  • Radiographs
  • CBC
  • Culture or cytology samples from tracheal wash


Supportive careIsolate the bird from the flock and place in a safe, comfortable, warm location (your own chicken "intensive care unit") with easy access to water and food. Limit stress. Call your veterinarian.
Systemic antimicrobials and nebulization
Supportive care



Only tube feed chickens if you have been taught properly by somebody experienced.


In moderate to severe cases of penumonia the outlook is usually poor.

Scientific References

    Risk Factors

    • Inexperienced tube feeding