Chick acts like its dry heaving


8 Years
May 23, 2011
Creedmoor, NC
1) What type of bird , age and weight.
Ameracauna, 1 1/2 weeks old.

2) What is the behavior, exactly.
Acts like its dry heaving- sticks its neck out and opens its beak wide

3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?
About 30 min

4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms?

5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.

6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.
I saw the silly bird eat very tiny twigs, the diameter if fine wire. Its mixed up in the pine shavings bedding.

7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.
Medicated chick feed, vitamin water

8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.

9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
Nothing yet- its a very strong bird for its size and i wont be able to hold it AND open its beak to look down. Hubby will be back soon to help tho.

10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?
I think we'll be able to fix this ourselves

12) Describe the housing/bedding in use
Large square cardboard brooder, normal set up lots of room to move. Only four chick in there right now. I was using newspaper with paper towels on top but they started pecking and shredding the paper towels. Was afraid they were eating the paper bc i couldnt find all the pieces. So i switched to same setup with about an inch of pine shavings on top. Then they dug thru the pine shavings and STILL shredded the paper towels.
So about an hour ago i cleaned out all their bedding and just put newspaper with pine shavings in.

Not sure what to do with the chick OR the bedding situation. Really hoping you all have some advice. Thanks in advance.
Hello! I've always used pine shavings for many, many chicks, and I've never had a problem, but it does sound like the chick might possibly have a little something stuck in it's throat. The only other thing that comes to mind is gape worm, which is a tiny, thread-like worm that gets in a chicken's throat, causing them to sort of gape or yawn.....There is a wormer you can use for that if you just research gape worm, but that probably isn't your problem.

Good luck with your little chick.....Glad your hubby will be home to help you look down the chick's throat.....

Looked down and didnt see anything. Dipped the birds beak in some olive oil. (read in another forum that that may help)

Sorry if I sound like a worrywart. I guess i kind of am; first time raising chicks and i had no idea the troubke they could get into.

Is there anything i can look for in her behavior to see if shes getting better/worse?

Any suggestions for what to do on the bedding??
mine were doing the same thing i got them a week ago and
i thought they were dehydrated so i dipped their heads in water and
that helped 3 of them but the other one was still doing it so i
thought it was overheating so i put it in the shade.
Are you sure they aren't just emptying they're crops? They do that to help move stuff to their bellies too. It looks like they are yawning or something
Well I do know they ate those little twig pieces. But i had no idea they did the yawning thing to clear their crops. Wish there was a book or a thread here to describe all these weird but normal-for-chicken behaviors!!
Our chicks exhibited a similar beharvioe when they were 5 weeks old. It seemed that they were seriously thirsty. We had moved the water and they hadn't found it. When we brought the water to them they drank and eventually settled down. I don't know if this will help you - but we totally freaked out and it turned out to be a pretty simple solution. Good luck.
Sometimes really young chicks will do that if they get a little water in their lungs. They seem to have to learn moderation while drinking and don't always get it right. It would not be normal for the chick to keep doing it for a long period of time though

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