2 week cornish cross chicks - runny poop, sneezing, visible breathing, and leg stretching


In the Brooder
Apr 5, 2020
We have 13 2 week old Cornish cross chicks from Tractor Supply. This is our first time with chicks of any kind. I do not know what is typical behavior for these types of birds. They do make this little noise which sounds like little bitty sneezes which I feel like it's definitely not a good sign. I'm not sure if it is normal to be able to see them breathing either. They seem to breathe with their whole bodies. Also they will stretch their legs out in a very odd manner. All of them are eating and drinking and moving around well. Some of them do look like they have larger round growth type areas on their bottom part. I wanted to attach a video of them breathing but I see videos aren't an option.

I have no point of reference to know what is normal or not. They are causing me great concern.


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Flock Mistress
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Sep 6, 2007
Corydon, Indiana
Just a guess here. They sound like preemies. That larger round growth looks to be the umbilical did not get absorbed. I don't know if it will . The breathing , if it's open mouth they may have a respiratory illness. I am just going by what info is available from you. These are my first thoughts.

Since you are new at this, you should not be stuck with sickly chicks. Takes the joy out of it. I would take them back. Otherwise you may need a prescription from a doctor for some medication for their respiratory problem. I don't think you should have to go thru all that. If you want chicks there's also hatcheries online that will send you chicks in the mail.

Overo Mare

A Tide Rainbow Adventure 🌈
Premium Feather Member
Aug 26, 2019
Smalltown Virginia, USA
First, welcome to NYC!

That does appear to be some sort of hernia. I'm not positive on that however. Hopefully someone will be by soon that has a better idea. If you don't get any help here, maybe try posting in the meat bird forum.

You did buy these for butchering, correct?


Apr 17, 2019
Zakythos greece
Its normal for them to stretch out their leg and open wings (whilst stood up) i remember my first 20day old chicks doing it i thort they were broke 😁😂😃 i also remember them making sneezy noise after they eat , think they were eating to fast. Is it hot where you are? I live in greece and mine kinda pant in the summer so i give them watermelon whats been in freezer for 30mins seems to cool them off for abit and keeps them rehydrated. Out of 20+ chooks i have lost a few to heat 😢

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