Maybe a dumb question but here goes...

Ladyanne57

Chirping
Feb 26, 2015
47
10
74
Southwest Ohio
Our Wyandottes are just about 5 weeks old and so far their progress has been uneventful. Since Wednesday they have been in their run and coop and free to go out during the day. They seem to be thriving. However I've seen two of them "yawn" for about one second, one time at me today. The first thing I thought of is gapeworms - but they came from a hatchery, have only been out since Wednesday, are not at all distressed or acting sick or depressed - they are very active, eating well, and having fun in the coop and run, which is under a maple tree on ground that hasn't had chickens in the 40 years that we've lived here...so my question is - DO they yawn? Are they trying new vocalizations? Should I be worried? Now what?
Thanks for the help!
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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It's not yawning per say.......
......but they often open their beaks wide and stretch their necks up and around to adjust their crops.
 

Ladyanne57

Chirping
Feb 26, 2015
47
10
74
Southwest Ohio
And that REALLY makes sense. Thanks!
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azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
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Yes, in addition to stretching their necks and opening their beaks, they sometimes do a neck roll in conjunction with the "yawn" in order to get the contents of their crop stirred up enough to help empty it.

The crop is a sort of gathering place for food as it's eaten. It stays in the crop only for a short period before it passes into the gizzard where it's ground up by the grit, small stones they swallow, then digested.

If you see a chicken do the yawn and neck roll repeatedly, she may be experiencing some discomfort. You can help by gently massaging the crop in a downward motion until you feel the contents begin to disappear.
 

Ladyanne57

Chirping
Feb 26, 2015
47
10
74
Southwest Ohio
Also good to know. They seem to be doing really well. We have a big, safe fenced run for them (wire over the top too) that you could probably keep a couple of emus in with room to spare, so since the weather has improved they're having fun running in and out of the coop and discovering dirt, mud, bugs etc. Once they are out like this (during the day of course) do I need to worry about providing them with grit all the time? I have a small grit container in the coop but they insist on dumping it. Got the waterer and feeder hanging now and they just got "real" roost perches yesterday - which they've figured out already, smart birdies! I bring them a small treat once a day so they're staying pretty tame. Can't believe how much we are enjoying just watching them.
 

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