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Chicken sticking neck out and opening mouth wide

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MIChicken, May 6, 2009.

  1. MIChicken

    MIChicken Out Of The Brooder

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    May 6, 2009
    Southeast Michigan
    Hi Everybody,

    I will go back and introduce myself properly but right now I have an urgent problem.

    I am a first time chicken mama. I picked up my 2 five week old Buff Orpington chicks last Saturday. They are both very sweet. I noticed 2 days ago that one of them was jutting it's neck out and opening it's mouth very wide. It didn't seem to be breathing heavily or have any other symptoms. I thought it seemed to stop but I noticed that it was doing it again. Today it was also doing a little head shaking and she did sneeze a few times. I'm so worried.

    I started thinking. Since I've had her she has always been the quietest of the two (the other chick is really NOISY). She is bigger but seems to catch a few more naps during the day. She is very active though and chases bugs, floppily flies to be near me, perches on my shoulder, and does seem to be the dominant of the two. One of them did have some reddish brown poo the first day but I'm not sure which one and haven't seen any since. But she looks like she is struggling when she does this open mouth thing, like she can't swallow or is going to vomit. It's really scaring me. Please help.

    Thanks so much.
     
  2. Chickenfeet

    Chickenfeet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 12, 2009
    Cleveland, Ga.
    I have a 5 month old hen doing the very same thing!! Can not find an answer anywhere. Hopefully this will bump it back. Hope we get an answer soon. Good luck and I'll say a prayer for the both of you. [​IMG]
     
  3. ThePamperedPullet

    ThePamperedPullet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Just like you and I, Chickens stretch and yawn. It seems that the chicks do it more than the adults. Nothing to worry about. Kind of cute to watch them do it though.
     
  4. Chickenfeet

    Chickenfeet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 12, 2009
    Cleveland, Ga.
    It seems like she is gasping or she is having a hard time swallowing. She is doing it as she is breathing. Its too strained to be a yawn. Thanks for responding PamperedPullet!
     
  5. cobrien

    cobrien Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 16, 2009
    Oakland, CA
    I have seen chicks do something like this, stretching their neck out and opening their mouth wide, sometimes 2-3 times in succession. It worried me at first but nothing came of it. If they are eating drinking and not having trouble breathing other than this occasional behavior, I wouldn't worry but watch for more sneezing or runny eyes/nose. maybe more experts will respond with some good advice, but these are my thoughts.
     
  6. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Jan 27, 2007
    BOCOMO
    Did you get them from a breeder, or a hatchery? Do you know if they were vaccinated and, if so, for what?

    Less pacific reasons than yawning for this behavior would include: injury/gapeworm/respiratory illness/obstruction.

    You might consider adding 1tbs. of unfiltered organic vinegar (Bargs is a common brand) per gallon of their drinking water as this can sometimes be useful for congestion. VetRx is another option.

    I'd probably seperate the sneezer and keep a close eye on her for the time being just to be sure.
     
  7. mamaKate

    mamaKate Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2008
    SE MO
    She may be having trouble swallowing her food. Add a dish of chick sized grit and see if it helps. If it continues, search for "gapeworm."
     
  8. Chickenfeet

    Chickenfeet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 12, 2009
    Cleveland, Ga.
    I have her separated . I brought her inside the house where I could keep an eye on her. She is eating and drinking. Her poop is normal. I have regular apple cider vinegar or does it need to be organic? How do I know if its gapeworm or respiratory? Any thing else I need to be looking for? I don't think its injury. Thanks for the info Ivan3 !
     
  9. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    BOCOMO
    Needs to look something like this:

    [​IMG]

    Gapeworm, though possible, is not common. The best med for the treatment is not available for chooks, but is still found in a product called Wormazol for pigs. Someone with more experience than I can help out with that.

    Are you feeding medicated starter? You can augment her diet with some meal worms (protein) and pickup a bottle of Polyvisol enfamil vitamins (without iron) and give her three drops a day for a week and taper off (slowly drip inside lower beak) or paint it on meal worms.

    If she is eating and drinking normally and no unusual droppings then try not to worry too much. If there is wheezing or increased sneezing/snot post asap.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2009
  10. Peeplperson

    Peeplperson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2009
    Napa
    Does it look something like a silent crow? I've had a few chicks do that. They stick out their necks and open their beaks. I'm a newbie, but assumed that since they do so much preening, the probably had some 'chick fuzz' stuck in their throats. I hand fed some chick feed, and watched them drink, and it went away. Kind of like having a hair stuck in your throat - irritating, but not dangerous.
     

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