Hen with protruding tongue and esophagus from beak


10 Years
Sep 24, 2009
I have a hen that we found this morning with her tongue and esophagus protuding out her beak. There is so much coming out that she has her beak open as far as it will go. She can breath but not eat or drink. Anyone with ideas?????
I will try to get a photo and post it. If you think of a frogs belly and picture that coming out of her beak so far that it keeps her beek wide open, thats what it looks like. You can see her tongue off to the left side.
If that is really what is happening, I don't see how you could do much but cull her, poor thing. It does occur to me you could be looking at an advanced case of gapeworm. Read up on it? Are any of the others sick? Do they shake their heads and keep the beak open? Have you wormed them recently? Do they eat lots of earthworms?
Everyone else is completely fine. They are free range and eat what ever they come across plus a laying ration. They were wormed about a month ago. She has shown no signs of any problems until this morning she is raising 4 chicks now and they are showing no signs of any problems.
She may have swallowed something that is stuck, or possibly a string or thread. I had one swallow a thread partway down and it wrapped around her tongue and went down the throat. I was able to cut it and unwrap and she was fine after. Had another that swallowed a long strand of horse mane or tail, it would not come out. I cut it where it was coming out, gave him some mineral oil and hoped for the best. I don't know with yours. If she were important to me, I would take her to the vet. They could possibly try to see what is going on. Good luck. If she can't eat or drink and you can't take her to the vet, I would end her suffering.

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