Chicks with open mouths

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by KatieRice, Jun 28, 2016.

  1. KatieRice

    KatieRice In the Brooder

    May 1, 2016
    Shaftsbury, VT
    I have 9 chicks ranging from 6-9 weeks, and I started noticing yesterday that they open their mouths when I turn on the garage light at night, and maybe 2-3 more times throughout the day. I have given them earth worms but I just started reading about gapeworm and I'm freaking out! They open their mouths for about 5 seconds and I can see the area under their mouths moving a little. They've all been very active and happy. The only reason I'm thinking it may not be gapeworm is because they ALL are acting this way. Any ideas? Should I start a dewormer just to be safe?
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016
  2. BuffOrpington88

    BuffOrpington88 Non-Stop

    Mar 20, 2012
    Hi! I'm not sure since they're so little, but they could be panting because they're a little hot? That's what my chickens do when it's hot out, and I thought it was gapeworm too at first. Sorry I can't be of more help. Good luck!
  3. KatieRice

    KatieRice In the Brooder

    May 1, 2016
    Shaftsbury, VT
    I've turned their heat lamp off a few weeks ago but it's still pretty warm as it is late June. This is a good possibility. Thanks for putting my mind at ease... I'll keep an eye on them. Any other ideas?
  4. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    It is highly unlikely the chicks have gape worm, and highly likely they are suffering from a too warm garage.

    Your chicks need to be outdoors living in a coop with access to an outdoor run. They are probably crowded and overheated living inside in a garage. They need access to cool dirt or sand to dirt bathe in and cool themselves, as well as the freedom to move in and out of shade or sun.

    Is there some compelling reason why they need to still live in the garage? How large is the brooder you have them in? How much ventilation is there? Can they get a cool breeze or even a fan to help circulate the air?

    If it's impossible to move them to a coop right away, then you need to rig a temporary pen so they can spend their days outdoors. Make certain they have plenty of shade as well as sun to sunbathe in, and cool dirt in which to dirt bathe.
  5. KatieRice

    KatieRice In the Brooder

    May 1, 2016
    Shaftsbury, VT
    The coop should be finished this week, but we do have an outdoor pen for daytime. They are outside from 7 AM - 7 PM everyday. Their brooder inside is quite large, but I agree, they should be outside full time right now. It is our main focus this week!
  6. nharbison0722

    nharbison0722 Chirping

    May 26, 2016
    I'm not an expert-no where near..... But some of my chicks did this when I had them in the brooder... They were near the heat lamp with plenty of room to move around, so they weren't too hot.... I immediately freaked out and posted on here and researched the issue. One person much wiser than myself suggested that they might be stretching their crops and so on. I wouldn't worry too much. But I agree- they do need to get outside permanently asap!
    Best of luck!
  7. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Songster

    Feb 7, 2016
    Saint Louis, MO
    Might add a small fan on low pointed at a portion of the brooder so they can move in/out of the airstream if hot.
  8. KatieRice

    KatieRice In the Brooder

    May 1, 2016
    Shaftsbury, VT
    They are outside & happy as ever! I am thinking the open mouths were from being too hot. Thanks everyone!
  9. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Songster

    Mar 25, 2009
    South Alabama
    I know *everyone* is happy about this!!!! And, glad to hear the chickens are doing well!!!

    Best wishes,

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