Healthy chicken coughing up food


6 Years
Sep 15, 2013
Hi everyone,

I'm quite new to keeping chicken, I actually got 3 hens early in June and they're alive and well ever since. However, one of them has this strange behavior: she apparently cannot swallow dry food like seeds or ground corn very well and sort of coughs up some of the food and shakes it out of her beak. (Previous owner says she never noticed anything.) The chicken looks otherwise happy and healthy, she's active, grazes with the others, lays eggs regularly and it seems she's actually on top of the pecking order. First I thought she might have caught a cold but since the others haven't caught it in the past 3 months, I discarded the idea. She's coughing or sneezing only while eating. I tried to peep into her throat to see if she might have any worms but didn't see anything.
If you have any ideas what to do to cure her I'd really appreciate it :)
I would examine the inside of her beak for anything abnormal looking. Look at one of the other hens first to see what normal looks like. Look for any yellow or discolored gunk which might be wet fowl pox or favus. She could have something stuck in her throat or crop. Feel of her crop (just under the neck right center of chest) first thing in the morning when it should be flat. If she has infectious bronchitis or some other respiratory disease that also might cause this.
Thank you for your reply.

I cannot see anything in her beak that would look different from the inside of the other two hens beaks. I tried to feel her crop and it felt like it was sticking out a bit maybe but then I examined the other chickens and their chests felt the same. If it's an infection, though, how come the others did not catch?
Also, I have three young chicks in a separate coop and I'm planning to put them together when they are big enough. I'm a bit worried whether this condition may spread to the young ones?

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