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Hen with weird pecking/gagging behavior (video included)

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by hockeygirl56, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. hockeygirl56

    hockeygirl56 Chirping

    Apr 21, 2011
    Allenton, MI
    My hen has been doing this behavior for a while, but it took me a while to catch it on video. She looks like she's pecking at something, but it's just in the air. My first thought is something stuck in her beak, but there's nothing there. She scratches at her face too. Eating/drinking fine, acting normally otherwise, and her crop feels normal to me. Anyone know what this could be?


  2. ChicKat

    ChicKat Crowing Premium Member

    Have you wormed your chickens lately? There is a variety of parasitic worm that lives in the chicken's trachea. It is called gape worm.
    If you are in MI, and it is cold, an infestation of worms seems a bit unlikely this time of year, but if a chicken appears to be gasping for breath then gape worm could be the cause.

    do a google search or search here on byc for gape worm....

    Folks with dogs often give them a heart worm pill monthly to prevent heart worms. Folks with flocks often go on a regular worming schedule to eliminate/prevent parasites in their flock.

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