help! chicks foaming at mouth

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by farmergal, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. farmergal

    farmergal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 21, 2008
    Nor Cal
    So I just got back from a week away from the chickens... which means I spent a week worrying about their care. This morning, when I went out to check on them, they were RAVENOUS. They all leaped out of the coop and practically attacked me as I tried to feed them. Now some of the leghorns are gasping -- heads tilted back, mouths full of chick starter. And a couple of them are salivating heavily... kind of foaming at the mouth.
    I think they ate too fast, and the food built up at the top of their throats, because it doesn't even feel like it's getting to their crops. I massaged one of them in hopes of breaking up the chick starter and helping it go down. Should I give them water? Massage them more? HELP! What do I do?
     
  2. Namaste Mama

    Namaste Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 18, 2008
    AZ
    :/They were not feed for a week?
     
  3. farmergal

    farmergal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 21, 2008
    Nor Cal
    Of course not! I'd never leave my chickens alone for a week, I should have clarified. People were taking care of them every day (but I still worried, because you always worry when you leave something you love with a babysitter). I got back home late last night. When I went to the coop this morning the feeding trough was filled with litter (and stopped up so that no food was getting out), so I think that it must have happened sometime late yesterday, and they hadn't eaten since then.

    ETA: One WL (my favorite of course) is kind of wheezing... like she's having a hard time breathing with all the gunk/saliva in her throat. I'm really worried about her...
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2008
  4. Lobzi

    Lobzi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Massage their crops. That sounds like Chickie when he over-ate due to boredom:the salivating yet trying to eat more. Dont feed them any more solids...only liquids.
     
  5. Namaste Mama

    Namaste Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 18, 2008
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    Oh thats good! I wonder, although I am no expert, if it may be an impacted crop? Would that not effect being able to swallow? I hope someone more knowledgeable comes along. [​IMG]
     
  6. Lobzi

    Lobzi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Im no expert but it does sound like impacted crop to me...plus I experienced similar with Chickie.
     
  7. farmergal

    farmergal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 21, 2008
    Nor Cal
    Thanks for the help. Massaging seemed to work; I made gentle downward strokes with my thumbs, just below the beak and towards the crop. The chicken was pretty out of sorts, so she didn't resist. Fifteen minutes later, she seemed better, and now she's out of the coop and hunting around the grass.
    I had no idea chickens could make that much saliva. I'm guessing it was the chicken's natural response to try and flush the food down its throat. My WL girl had drool all over her feathers, and a WL roo shook a bunch of drool and extra food out of his mouth, all over the coop. (Maybe I should rename the WL girl "Beethoven" after that drooly dog movie [​IMG].)
    Anyway, I don't think it was impacted crop because the crop was totally empty... I think they were just really hungry and shoved too much food into their throats too fast, without drinking any water to help flush it down.

    Gosh, every once in a while, I really wonder if I'm built for the stress of raising chickens. How do they go from apparently near-death (foaming at the mouth, gasping, gurgling) to perfectly fine in the course of half an hour? And how do you tell when near-death really IS near-death, and when it's something that will clear up easily?

    4 months into this, I have a lot to learn!! Thank goodness for BYC [​IMG]
     
  8. Lobzi

    Lobzi Chillin' With My Peeps

    I cried it scared me so much when it happened to Chickie. I agree....it was so weird seeing all that saliva!
     
  9. RIVERA69R

    RIVERA69R Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 9, 2008
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    I get my chicks in about a month so now i know to be somewhat cool if it happens to me thanks for the different scenerios this is a great web site;)
     
  10. kryptoniteqhs

    kryptoniteqhs Rosecomb Rich

    Nov 14, 2008
    Perris, CA

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