Chicken Gasping and 'honking' but otherwise acting normal?


Sep 25, 2020
We have an about 18 week old Cuckoo Maran that in the last week or so has started stretching her neck out and opening her mouth to breathe, she also occasionally honks like she is trying to clear her throat. She's otherwise acting normal, was running around the yard, scavenging and scratching.
Initially we believed it to be a respiratory illness (as we have had that in the past and it started in a very similar way) and have treated her with a cycle of doxy-tyl but have not seen any change, but also hasn't got worse. She also has no swelling or discharge.
I'm now thinking that it may be a crop issue, it feels full and squishy with no smells that I have noticed, so I have taken away any food and massaged her crop a few times today, provided her with plenty of water and keeping her where we can observe. She has been separated from the rest of our chickens.
She has been checked for worms but didn't see anything. I will take a video shortly
Thanks for any and all suggestions :)
That kind of breathing can be caused by several things. If you think she has a crop problem, try feeling her crop first thing in the morning. If you can't feel much of anything, that's normal., on the other hand, if it's full she has some sort of problem that's preventing normal digestive activity. In which you can refer to the link below :

If the crop is empty, the problem could be related to tracheal obstruction of sorts. Tracheal obstruction can be caused by a variety of issues, such as trauma to the trachea resulting in swelling/inflammation. Aspergillus (Brooder Pneumonia), can cause fungal spores to develop inside the trachea, lungs, and syrinx, which will cause dyspnea, and often honking/squeaks. You can read about a recent case of fungal tracheitis here :

Lastly, one of the other common causes resulting in tracheal obstruction can be inhalation of seeds, matter, or feed. Often times the piece will get lodged in the trachea, or syrinx, and cause dyspnea, along with honks. Gapeworm is another one to mention, but you have already mentioned she was checked for worms, correct?


There is little you can do at home for tracheal obstruction. Sometimes the problem will resolve itself, but that greatly depends on the underlying cause. If you live near an avian vet, that may prove the best outcome here.
Update this morning, her crop is still full but slightly less than yesterday and doesn't seem to be honking so much so will continue as if it is sour crop
Update (final one hopefully)
3 days of being separated during the day with no feed, only having access to water and grit she is doing well and going back in with the flock today - her crop finally emptied fully this morning and she was back to her regular protesting of being loud and obnoxious with minimal gasping (seemed more stress related being alone inside rather than health at this point as it's significantly less and only when we walk through the room - I peeped from the other room for a good few minutes and she didn't do it once)
Will be keeping a close eye on her but definitely happy with her improvement.

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