4 Week Old Chick mouth breathing and making faint click sound

Diego Rodriguez

Aug 1, 2021

I am fairly new to having chickens as pets. I currently have 3 chickens, all about 4 weeks old. I keep them indoors right now in their brooder, but have started to take them outside for a few hours a day in the morning or evening depending on the weather. Today I noticed that my lavender orpington was mouth breathing and making a faint clicking sounds. The chick kind of moves its head a little bit back when it tried to take a breath through its mouth; about every dozen or so mouth breathes, it will extend its neck all the way out to breather and do like a shake. I've attached a video of the chicken making its breathing sounds and another video showing inside its mouth. I also attached a picture of the poop it left on my leg yesterday, which looked a little more different then it usually does.

Chick mouth breathing:
Chick mouth view inside:

Any help or advice appreciated.


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Clicking can sometimes happen when a chick gets bumped and has a ruptured air sac. That causes a ballooning of air underneath the skin. Look it over for any soft swelling under the skin. It also could be from a respiratory or heart issue I think. She looks to be gasping in the video, and possibly something in her throat. Gasping in baby chicks can be a sign that they are struggling. Has she been eating and drinking? Look her over for the possible air sac problem and let us know. Try getting her to drink some water.
hey Eggcessive, thanks for the guidance. I have checked for soft swelling under the skin, but did not notice anything out of the normal. I compared it against one of the other health chicks I had , and they both look the same around the lung area. The chick has been eating food regularly like the other ones as well; I tried getting her to drink some water by giving her some through a syringe and she drank several drops before refusing to drink anymore. I have noticed that she also tends to be under the brooder plate more often then the other chicks.

hey theoldchick, I'm not sure if its Aspergillosis; I use pine shavings as the bedding substrate and I change those every week; I also change their food and water at least once a day depending on how dirty they leave the feeders. I don't see any of the other symptoms associated with aspergillosis, but I'll keep an eye out them for sure.

I'm trying to schedule a vet visit for this week as well to get her checked out as soon as possible.
Hello, sorry to hear your chick is having troubles. I also had a chick this year with the same issue. Unfortunately the chick has since passed but this was after I had resolved the breathing issues.

I used nutridrench in the water and it seemed to clear up the clicking/ open mouth breathing issue, within a few days. I think something was wrong with the chick internally, though I'm not sure yours has the same issue.

I had been advised to start on nutridrench and it wouldn't hurt to try that for your chick as well.
Thanks katelwil, I am sorry that your chick passed away :( . I don't have any nutridrench (I just ordered some though), but I'll give them vitamin/electrolyte water for now to see if that helps.
Thank you, that means a lot. I hope things turn out better for your chick :) keep us updated! Hoping yours makes a full recovery.
hey folks, an update on the situation: the chick in question is no longer mouth breathing and seems to be acting normally along with the other chicks. She is eating and drinking well too; so looks like it might have been something that got stuck in her throat, but I'm not sure. I'm keeping an extra eye on her to just to make sure she is doing well.

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