Breathing with mouth open


In the Brooder
Sep 3, 2020
Decatur, GA
Hi - I'm new to keeping chickens, so I'm full of questions and panic easily when I think something is wrong. I don't necessarily think anything is wrong, but I am seeing something new today. I have 13 chickens (11 weeks old). Half of them are breathing with their mouth open today. It's on and off, not constant. I don't hear any wheezing or labored breathing. My daughter said she noticed this yesterday with a couple of them, as well. It's not hot today. There is a nice fall breeze. They lived through a very hot/humid summer without mouth breathing, and today is much cooler (70s), so I'm confident weather is not the issue. They are eating as usual, nothing else seems to be wrong. I moved them to their new run this week, and they are digging like crazy. I know they can get gapeworm from eating worms and snails, so I suppose that's a possibility. But, is it likely if there are several chickens affected? Can it be passed around? Also, the run was hard clay, so we filled it in with some topsoil. The topsoil smelled a bit like compost, which concerned me. I'm not sure if that would be an issue. One more thing...I have been sprinkling DE and Sweet PDZ in the run at night after they leave the run. I rake it into the soil so it's not just sitting on top. It does wonders for the flies and smell, but could it be harming my chickens? Sorry for the long post...I've been researching but just need to ask for advice for those more experienced than myself. Thanks in advance for your advice and thoughts.


Aspiring Chickenologist
Oct 28, 2018
Manhiem, Pennnsylvania
Gapeworm is very uncommon, probably not that. I would say that they are just hot, and nothing is wrong. Have they displayed any other symptoms?


Sep 11, 2020
I have this exact problem! I just started a thread but I’ll update you if anyone responds!

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