How to get a hen to open her beak

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by LilyLovesBugs, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. LilyLovesBugs

    LilyLovesBugs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My hen is sick, if you look here https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=613320 you can see it, I would like to try to swab her throat with a Q-tip, but I'm not sure how to open her beak, it was hard enough to get it open to squirt some oil down, but to swab her throat?! How do I open her beak?
     
  2. Gargoyle

    Gargoyle Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:With mine, if I hold her like a football cradling her under my arm, reach under the beak with my thumb on one side, forefinger or middle finger on the other, near the base of the beak and very very gently squeeze, eventually she'll open up enough.

    If you first stroke her under the throat that generally will calm her down.
     
  3. MissJenny

    MissJenny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Squeeze her beak at the base -- careful and when it opens slightly pry it open with a finger. It might take some practice. I hope she is better and on the mend very soon.

    Jenny
     
  4. LilyLovesBugs

    LilyLovesBugs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, thank you. I will try that
     
  5. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Pull her wattles down firmly... her mouth will open, and dont let go.
     
  6. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you know which opening is the trachea and which is the esophagus? What happens if the cotton gets stuck or comes apart from the swab? If you're checking for gape worm, how many of the symptoms is she having. Check a video of gape worm in chickens to see if your bird looks anything like that. Gape worm has a fairly consistent presentation.
     
  7. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2009
    Kingman Arizona
    Does her crop feel full while she's "choking"?

    Sometimes birds will do a movement that sort of looks like a yawn to me, but I guess it could look like choking, to help empty a full crop--they will stretch their neck and sort of gulp, they may do it a few times and then stop. Is it possible this is what your bird is doing? Is she eating? If she is eating, she is not choking on something stuck in her throat or an impacted crop.
     
  8. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could be the peanut butter suet, raisins, etc. got stuck in her crop. Avoid feeding sticky foods, keep to regular chicken feed, and see how she does.

    Personally, I wouldn't risk sticking a cue tip down a chicken's throat unless I was really sure it was necessary to do something like that.
     
  9. LilyLovesBugs

    LilyLovesBugs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I didn't want to stick a Q-tip down her throat either, only if she continued to get worse. She hasn't choked today, I think she is feeling better. Thanks everyone!
     
  10. florida lee

    florida lee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    what dawg53 said....works every time,
     

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