Mouth opened?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by beb444, Feb 8, 2016.

  1. beb444

    beb444 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So my 15 week old EE has been having her mouth opened a lot lately. Acting normal otherwise, just with her mouth opened. I know that some birds do that to cool down, but I'm not sure why she is. I live in Northern CA and the weather has been 70 and sunny. It's usually when I let them free-range but I noticed it in their run today also. Is this normal?
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    No, it's not normal. A gaping mouth, other than for very brief periods, can indicate something serious at the most, and at the very least, indicates possible distress.

    You need to give her a close examination, and observe her behavior over the next few days. Compare her to the other chickens and make notes of any differences in appearance and behavior, including poop.
     
  3. beb444

    beb444 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've actually been having trouble with her poop for a couple of weeks(even months) now. It has gotten better however. At first it was watery and white(we thought it might have been coccidiosis), but after putting ACV in the water it got better, now it is just a tad mushy.

    And I might have made it seem like it was happening more than it actually is. It is not for the majority of time spent with them, but it was enough where I noticed it. I also noticed one of my Australorp's was doing it briefly while roaming.

    Her behavior today was normal except for when I put them back in their run I notice that she was acting little paranoid, she was almost distraughtly pacing back and fourth by the door, trying to get out. It could have been that she just wanted more roaming time, but she's usually laid back.
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Just keep an eye on her over the next several days. Sometimes, a chicken will get sick and it will resolve itself. If she has a respiratory infection, and it is getting worse, you'll see signs. She may have color changes in her comb. It can be a drab purple if she's having trouble breathing. It can turn a bright cherry red if she's running a fever.

    If she's not feeling well, she will quit being vocal and will mope around with her tail held low, and she may want to hang out in the coop facing the wall. Make sure to examine her crop morning and night to make sure she's eating and hasn't lost her appetite. And keep close watch on her poop. That tells you more than anything else if she's getting sick.

    Watery poop with green chunks indicates no appetite and not eating. Watery white poop indicates an infection. Runny, smelly dark poop also may indicate an infection or worms. A stool sample sent to a vet lab isn't too expensive and can nail down what's causing her problems if it comes down to that.

    I hope she gets better on her own, and most of the time, that's what happens. It's very good you're so observant.
     
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  5. beb444

    beb444 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 16, 2015
    Northern CA
    She is very perky and she was fanning out her tail feathers today walking all around. Before someone has explained where to find the crop to feel but I've tried and had no luck. I just keep feeling their chest bone.

    Today her poo was a tad mushy but had a green tint to it-as did most of the others. It was't chunks, but solid colors. I also notice another chicken doing the same mouth thing and then her throat was moving in and out. Almost like someone was grabbing her neck and pulling it out and back in.
     
  6. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    It's easy to become overly concerned about your chickens' health until you've been around chickens for a number of years and observed them. But you will probably know when you have a sick one.

    First of all, the crop is empty first thing in the morning, so you won't be able to see or feel anything. After they eat, the crop will appear as a tennis ball protrusion on the right side of the chicken's front, (like the right side of your chest). Some chickens are petite eaters and it's hard to feel, but others like to pig out, and you can actually see the bulge, as well as feel it. It should feel solid, not squishy or hard.

    Regarding the pulsating throat, in some breeds, the respirations are real visible but it's just normal breathing. A lot of people mistake chicks' breathing as being labored because their little throats will pulsate so rapidly, but it's normal. Chicken breathing is more rapid than ours.

    As for poop, you're looking for trends, not one-offs, as there are many different poops according to what you've allowed your chickens to eat. But it should not trend runny. There should be nice solid poop for the most part. There are exceptions, though. I have a five-year old Sussex who has had watery squirts since she was first brought home from the feed store at three days. That's just her default setting. Solid poops for her are a real head-turner, but she's a rare case.

    Just watch and observe. You're spidey sense will kick in if you've got a sick one.
     

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