gaping chick

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chrisfletch, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. chrisfletch

    chrisfletch New Egg

    Jul 31, 2013
    Can anyone help. My lovely 20 week old speckled Josie has been very quiet and sleepy for a few days. Today she is gaping and stretching her neck and seems to have difficulty staying awake. She is still eating and drinking but not pecking around or preening like my other 3. None of the girls have laid yet. Any advice please.
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Is she hot? They gape with their mouths open when it is very hot. You might check her crop to see if it is full, soft or hard. Sometimes they adjust the crop and gape. Crops should be empty and flat first thing in the morning. Sour crop or impaction can cause her to be pretty sick. Coccidiosis is another thing to rule out--any diarrhea or blood in stools. they usually are lethargic and fluffed up, and look ill. Since she is near the age for laying, pullets can have egg laying issues such as egg bound. Gapeworm is not that common, but it is a possibility if she constantly gapes.
  3. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    She could have Gapeworm, though this would not explain her sleep behavior. If no other symptoms appear, I'd worm with Safeguard or Fenabenzole.

    However, these could also be the early stages of a respiratory infection. If other symptoms, like sneezing, coughing, swelling of the face, or heavy breathing become present, start her on antibiotics. Oxytetracyline is a good antibiotic to start with. If it doesn't work, get Tylan200 (dosage is .5 ccs for large fowl, .1-.3ccs for bantams) or Tylan50 (dosage is 1cc for large fowl, .5ccs for bantams).

    It could be a viral respiratory disease, in which case an antibiotic will not work. All you can do is keep her warm, hydrated, and well fed. Give her probiotics, electrolytes, and vitamins. She may lose her appetite, in which case you can try to entice her into eating by offering her yogurt, scrambled eggs, and applesauce. Moistened chicken feed might also be enjoyed.

    Good luck!

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