Gasping for air

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by hitnspit, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. hitnspit

    hitnspit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2010
    New Haven, Vermont
    I have a bird that seems to be gasping for air. She is fine in all other aspects. She will raise her head and open her mouth at the same time. Is this a problem or normal for some birds. I also have a 8 week old chick doing the same thing......
  2. DaughterOfEve

    DaughterOfEve Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 3, 2009
    Montague, MI
    Two things come to mind. First is crop adjustment. If no other symptoms are present I would suspect that they are just adjusting their crops. Birds will do this from time to time. If it seems excessive to you there may be something in there that is just not digesting well. Make sure they have access to grit and you could give a couple of drops of olive oil to help lubricate the crop.

    Second is gape worm. There will be other symptoms with this though. Excessive head shaking, weight loss, poor feathering. A wormer can be administered.

    Always start with the least invasive treatment and if no improvement, go to the next thing.

    Hope that gives you a place to start at least.
  3. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 30, 2009
    Goshen, OH
    No, it's not normal. It's an illness. They're breathing that way because their sinuses are so clogged with fluid.

    There are a couple different things that cause that symptom... you would have to have testing done by a vet to know which one.

    You can try to treat with antibiotics, cull the affected birds, or cull the whole flock since the carrier for it is likely not showing any symptoms. Getting with a vet for a diagnosis will let you know the best approach. Some of the stuff they can have is really quite serious.

    It's best not to buy or sell any poultry until you know what you're dealing with.

    ETA: You didn't say if there was fluid in the eyes or nose... dry gasping could be gape worm or something else.

    Check for clogged noses or bubbly eyes or gurgling noises to know if it's an illness like I was thinking.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2012

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by