Baby Chick Opening and Closing its Mouth

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by valentinebaby, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. valentinebaby

    valentinebaby Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2009
    Sherman-Denison, TX
    Hi all -

    I have 12 new chicks: 4 New Hampshires and 4 "Americaunas" born on 3/2 and 4 Buff Orpingtons born on 3/8. They all came from the same place and all appear great except for one-the smallest Buff. She sometimes open and closes her mouth (like a baby bird does when it's hungry), but does not appear to be panting. I asked local feed store for advice and they recommended I start the flock on antibiotics which I hate to do, but started last night. I also separated this one from the flock. I fully expected to find her dead this a.m., but she actually seems better - her feathers look more normal and her mouth is closed.

    I then decided to call the breeder and she said she has never had any disease of her flocks and is totally organic (which is why I chose her). However, she did say that it could be because it's the youngest and smallest, it may be getting crushed by the larger ladies and may be trying to stay on the bottom of the pile to stay warm and that her little lungs might be working overtime for air.

    Any thoughts out there? I'm new to this and probably worry a bit too much, but would like to know what ya'll might think it is. I really want to take them off antibiotics!

    Thanks!

    Gail
    Beautiful North Texas
     
  2. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

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    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    I've seen this in one of mine- does it almost look like yawning? I, too, would like an answer on this...
     
  3. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    a few of mine did that around that age and I freaked out, but everyone on here told me it was just yawning. I tried to put it out of my head and it mostly went away, though some still do it now and again and I really do believe it is just yawning. I hate to use antibiotics when no one knows what's really going on, since they'll only treat bacterial infections, and otherwise will breed resistance. However, if she is acting sick in another way, I would be more concerned. I am no expert, but I'm just sharing my experience.

    At 6.5 weeks old, a couple of my boys are stretching their necks and opening their mouths and I learned today that they are trying to learn to crow! So much to learn.... good luck to you!
     
  4. valentinebaby

    valentinebaby Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2009
    Sherman-Denison, TX
    The only symptom this buff has is opening and closing her mouth - I guess you could call it yawning - really looks more like a hungry baby bird. Another small buff was doing it a bit yesterday, but not at all today. And this one is doing better now. So, I'm going to pull the antibiotic water and put a bit of sugar in and see if that peps her up a bit. I guess I'll go with what the breeder says and that she's trying to pull more air in. Thanks!

    Gail
     
  5. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    I personally would never use antibiotics unless it was for a specific purpose - - and even then I would be certain to use the right kind for the infection.

    If the chick is eating and pooping alright, has no discharge from nose or mouth, is breathing properly, has no injuries or defects, and your brooder is at the right temp for the age of the chicks I would watch and wait.

    Good luck! Please keep us posted.
     
  6. valentinebaby

    valentinebaby Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2009
    Sherman-Denison, TX
    I am happy to report the little guy is doing great. I'm now convinced that my breeder was right and it just got packed on the bottom of the huddle by the bigger guys when they all got too cold. Right before the above happened, my mom thought it was too hot in their room and turned off the floor heater that keeps my studio warm and failed to tell me! When I checked on them later that afternoon, the room was 70 degrees... anyway, they are all happy as clams and growing amazingly fast. They now expect my twice daily treats. This morning they were served mashed bananas and loved it. When I finish my coop, I'll load up pics on "my page" here. Thanks! Gail
     

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