Chicks choking?? Help ASAP!


7 Years
Mar 20, 2012
I have 9 bantams (and a random buff orp) that all hatched right before Easter. They are 6 weeks old now. They run around outside all day, get rounded up, and come back inside for the night. Well, last night they got the boot and went to live with the 8 hens that are 9-10 weeks old now. Our coop is an old stone smokehouse that was built in the early 60's.

Here is the entrance:

Well, my "big girls" have been in there since Mother's Day and do very well. Last night, I had my 5 year old little girl refill their food container. Wouldn't you know, the bottom falls out of it and she spills all of it on the floor of the coop. As of now, it is just the concrete slab as the big girls only poop in one line and I can scoop/sweep it up pretty easy. So after the food spills, my little bantams run from their "protection" box and begin to eat.

At this point the strange behavior began. I have a Mille Fleur D'Uccle that began to look like she was.....dry heaving? trying to throw up? Gagging? Choking? I don't know.....she had her mouth open and was moving her head in a pretty crazy way. I gave her a few moments, unsure she was breathing and then scooped her up and put her beak to the water. She didn't drink. She ended up just resting her beak on the edge of the water for another minute. She started to eat again a few minutes later, but very cautiously, acting almost winded. She survived the night and is fine today.

Now, this morning my daughter brings me our OEGB (named Cadbury for how shockingly small she was). She was doing the same sort of gagging thing that the MF was doing yesterday. Cadbury was kinda drooling though. I put her beak into water right away and she did drink a bit. Her crop felt "deflated"...if that makes any sense. It was very soft, not full in any way and felt like it had been full some time before. She is still really tiny....looks like a house finch even at 6 weeks old.

I haven't observed their poops as they are with 18 other feathered friends. I can separate them if I need to.
Potentially. It is not quite as pronounced and they"choke" but then return to normal. Can baby chicks eat way too much, way too fast and have a hard time getting it all down? My first 8 never did that but maybe the little ones are because they are so small?
I am no way an expert, but I have seen my birds do that at times ... I think it just gets caught in their throat sometimes? If it is constant, you may have a problem .... I have 23 chicks from 3 weeks - 11 weeks old...

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