2 of my 4 week old chicks mouth breathing/sneezing

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by zooweemama, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. zooweemama

    zooweemama Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have six 4 week old chicks. 2 of which are sometimes mouth breathing and sometimes sneezing. I have them separated from the other 4 now. Since week 3 I have been letting them out of their brooder and roam in an enclosed yard during the day. Back in the brooder at night. 1 of them is more noticeably mouth breathing and was sneezing a fair amount last night. Less sneezing today but still breathing with beak a little open. The other one is not so markedly mouth breathing but I did notice it.

    They are still happily eating and drinking. And yesterday before I noticed there was an issue- I noted that ALL 6 of them were extremely active and vigorous. Running around doing their usual chest bumps and chicken bombs. But I did not realize that yesterday morning my husband noted that the one cockerel was having an issue. So whatever it is- it was happening before we took them outside yesterday. But I did NOT note anything amiss Friday at all. I am obsessive about this stuff.

    They are in a cage style brooder, no brooder lights on now, ambient temp at night is 76-78 (they are in our home), and outside during the day (90s) with access to shade, fresh water and food. Substrate up until week 3 they were on pine shavings- cleaned daily. For the past week since they are going outside during the day- just puppy pads changed daily (so fresh pads when they come in at night). I started adding Rooster Booster (electrolytes and vitamin mix) to their water last night. Their poops appear to be normal. Eyes are clear and no snot or runny noses. The one cockerel that appears to be worse I can hear some raspy-ness in his breathing- almost like a crackle. The other one's breathing as of an hour ago sounded clear. They still seem to be as lively as they normally are but the one that is less 'sick' is extremely bothered that the other 4 chicks are gone. He is calmer now. I feel bad for them stuck in a cage just the two of them.

    Oh and I have NOT been to any farms, no who has chickens has been to my house in weeks and they had no contact with my chickens, I have not been to anyone's home that has fowl...ever. I have been to Tractor Supply of course. Have not been to fairs or shows. But we are pretty secluded out here. I added new chicks 2 weeks ago (in their own brooder and these chicks came from the same breeder, a reputable one too) and 2 goslings (also an entirely separate brooder) from Metzers. Everyone else appears to be fine.

    If I am leaving anything out please let me know. I have chicken books for days, I have read them and re-read them. I am at a loss. Thank you in advance.

    UPDATE: I saw one of them shake their head and 'wet' fly out away from their face. Oh my gosh this is horrible isn't ?

    UPDATE 2: Adding more symptoms. A lot of 'resting', closing of eyes like they are tired. A yawn like mouth motion and sometimes a break shake of their head.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2012
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Are you sure that the 'mouth breathing' is not an attempt to lower body temperature because of the excessive environmental conditions. Does this action continue when you bring them indoors and they cool down?
  3. zooweemama

    zooweemama Chillin' With My Peeps

    They were doing it last night (8pm) when we were rounding them up to bring them in for the night. And they were still doing it at midnight when I went to bed. They were still doing it this morning at 8am when I took the 'healthy' ones outside. I thought they had been trying to cool off too but after 4 hours being in 76-78 degrees they should have been cooled off (I would think right?). And by 8am- definitely (right?). Thank you for your response.
  4. zooweemama

    zooweemama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Update in OP
  5. zooweemama

    zooweemama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Could it be gapeworm?
  6. zooweemama

    zooweemama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Added more symptoms to OP. It's sounding a lot like gapeworms. :(
  7. zooweemama

    zooweemama Chillin' With My Peeps

    I also swabbed them both. No red worms that I could see although I am unsure how far back you are supposed to swab their throats. The one that is worse- I could hear a distinct crackly noise when he breathed. No outwards signs of congestions- eyes clear, nares clear and no drooling or anything. I did notice the swab came back very wet and he had bad breath.
  8. zooweemama

    zooweemama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Problem solved! Upon further investigation I opened my chicks mouth realllly wide and saw a blue something in his mouth. I grabbed the other chicken to see if that was normal. (still learning over here!) And sure enough nope not normal. It was literally glued to his tongue wayyyyy back into his throat. I got a qtip and I rubbed it forward and go it close enough the opening of his mouth to pull it off. The adhesive had glued a piece of puppy pad into his mouth/throat/tongue. Moral to this story? No more puppy pads for me- that was traumatic. I was getting ready to cull some chicks today. :| The other one was also one had caught chewing the other day- which is why he must have been exhibiting some signs to but he must have gotten his down. Hopefully it will not have lodged elsewhere though. *fingers crossed* Thought I would add closure to this thread even though I did pretty talk to myself the whole time. lol
  9. allured1

    allured1 Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 30, 2015
    Thank you for your update!!!!! I have a six week old sneezing and open mouth breathing and everyone kept saying upper respatory and so I seperated it and heat lamp, antibiotics fir a week now and still eating drinking... No improvement do I decided to look since the two are on puppy pads and sure enough a piece stuck in its throat!!!! So I took a Q tip and pulled it up til I could grab it and pull it out.... No more per pads for us either!!!! You saved my Daughters pets thank you
  10. TonkaGirl

    TonkaGirl New Egg

    Mar 20, 2014

    My little chick was doing this strange, almost gasping, open mouth breathing thing, and after reading these last 2 comments…I checked her mouth, and sure enough a piece of puppy pad was wrapped under her tongue and down her throat! Thankfully I work at an animal hospital where I had some help holding her still and getting that thing out! No more pads for us either! Thank you for helping me solve this mystery!

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