Chick pecking / biting at the air?


In the Brooder
Oct 28, 2021
Forgive me if i'm being paranoid about nothing, but I coudn't find much info about this- most other examples of similar behavior
were to do with chicks missing their food while attempting to eat, or already sick chicks, but my case is just kinda weird.

One of my 4 week old faverolles chicks, "Zeus" has been showing odd behaviour in the past few days.
I was worried it might be gapeworm, but he doesn't seem to be panting, more like biting the air very rapidly with his neck stretched out, as if eating something in the air like an insect; He makes a "chattering" motion while lightly shaking his head. He doesn't make any noise besides beak clicking when this happens.
(I will provide video later if I find the time)

The reason I fear it may be gapeworm is he will occasionally punctuate these periods of snapping at nothing with a "yawning" motion as if adjusting his crop.
He appears healthy otherwise- running around, scratching, eating, drinking, jumping on things etc. None of the other chicks do this.
It may just be insects, since whenever he does this, he's running along the edge of the pet pen, and looking intently outside, but the movements are quite unusual and erratic, and it can't help to ask if anyone else has had this happen.

I feed them a starter/grower crumble mix, and they are on grass, though not free range yet (they're in a pet pen that's open at the bottom so they can stay protected from kookaburras, ravens and magpies) so they forage a bit, in addition to getting occasional treats such as grapes, banana, alfalfa, spinach, mealworms and cheese.
They're vaccinated for Marek's but nothing else, and we give them a preventative dose of Amprolium in their water once a week.
I haven't weighed him so I can't say what he weighs for sure, but he's one of the heavier chicks of the lot.
No injuries, no pasty butt. I keep them in an old dog kennel inside at night when they're not in the pen, with newspaper bedding and a nesting box with hay in it. They're accompanied at all times by Seeds, their mom, who is a Silkie. I haven't seen him pooping specifically, but none of the poop that's in the pen or the kennel look abnormal, though they do show variation in colour/consistency (again, nothing that I can identify as alarming.)

I'm asking here insead of a vet and haven't administered any treatment because he isn't displaying any other strange behaviours and doesn't seem sick/enough to warrant intervention, but if his symptoms change I will act accordingly.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom