I certainly hope that Lady was able to help her chickens.
I love and respect my chickens very much and lately decided to take preventative measures against a potential gape infection.
I want to preface this by saying that our family lives in Central Texas where we are presently experiencing a record drought. We have had triple digit heat for the majority of the summer.
Recently some of our chickens began doing what looked like yawning or wretching. My birds are free range and sometimes forage near my wild bird bath and feeder so it is conceivable that this as well as the remains of some snails on my property could have infected them with gape. I first noticed Marmalade - a New Hampshire Production Red Rooster - doing this. I then noticed this behavior in Gertrude one of my Ameraucana hens. All of my birds have been panting given the triple digit heat. I mention this to illustrate that the wretching was noticeably different from the panting.
After consulting Damerow's Chicken Health Handbook I decided it was possible that my chickens could have contracted Gape. we attempted to look down their throats but found no evidence of gape worms there. I discussed my concern with my local feedstore owner who suggested it was more likely the heat that was causing my chickens to act in this way.
But as a gape and roundworm preventative she recommended I use safe-guard (fenbendazole) Equine Dewormer - 25 Gram paste 10%. She told me that this product was the most reliable way of dealing with gape. She suggested I administer small portions of the paste wrapped in bread to my birds for 2-3 days followed by taking milk soaked white bread and feeding it to the flock after that time as a flush.
Edited by Smevans - 9/3/11 at 5:50pm