Pullet appears to be "gaping"

cbascom

In the Brooder
7 Years
Mar 4, 2012
68
1
43
Phelan, Calif.
I have a 10 week old EE pullet that seems to be "gaping". Today is the first day I noticed it. She is housed with 4 other birds of same age, next to my older layers coop (kind of a "getting to know you" arrangement). The whole group is somewhat timid, perhaps after having a tough time of it when my rooster killed one of them. They have a run and a coop of their own. The coop has 3 1/2 sides, but is set with its back to the wind, and our temps are mild. If anything, they get too hot during the day. They all do appear to be eating, but they retreat to their coop when they see me coming, so I cannot observe closely. There are no loose or unusual looking stools in the run,
She is bright and alert, eyes are clear and no nasal discharge that I can see. She does not feel thin to me, but when I picked her up just now, her crop appeared to be empty. BUT it is the end of a hot afternoon and I know she has been inside that coop all day.
My first thought was gapeworm, but my research is indicating that it is fairly rare. She just looks like she is yawning. HELP. This is the beginning of my replacement layers, and 25 day old pullets are due to arrive on Monday!
 

Cyan Night

Songster
6 Years
Jul 31, 2013
1,077
67
148
Phoenix, AZ
It could be gapeworm; try looking in her mouth, I hear that sometimes you can see the worm. Is it hot in your area? It's already heating up where I am, and my girls sometimes look that way too. When that happens, I turn on the mister system I have set up for them. Good luck!
 

dawg53

Humble
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11 Years
Nov 27, 2008
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Glen St Mary, Florida
I have a 10 week old EE pullet that seems to be "gaping". Today is the first day I noticed it. She is housed with 4 other birds of same age, next to my older layers coop (kind of a "getting to know you" arrangement). The whole group is somewhat timid, perhaps after having a tough time of it when my rooster killed one of them. They have a run and a coop of their own. The coop has 3 1/2 sides, but is set with its back to the wind, and our temps are mild. If anything, they get too hot during the day. They all do appear to be eating, but they retreat to their coop when they see me coming, so I cannot observe closely. There are no loose or unusual looking stools in the run,
She is bright and alert, eyes are clear and no nasal discharge that I can see. She does not feel thin to me, but when I picked her up just now, her crop appeared to be empty. BUT it is the end of a hot afternoon and I know she has been inside that coop all day.
My first thought was gapeworm, but my research is indicating that it is fairly rare. She just looks like she is yawning. HELP. This is the beginning of my replacement layers, and 25 day old pullets are due to arrive on Monday!
Gapeworm are rare in chickens. If you researched further, you wouldve read that gapeworm infected birds constantly extend their necks trying to breathe or shake their heads to try and dislodge the worms. Sometimes they make honking or grunt sounds. Also birds wont eat nor drink, they are too busy trying to breathe. Finally, other birds in your flock would be infected as well. Birds with gapeworm die from suffocation.
Birds yawn to adjust their crop, this is normal. Or, they simply yawn just like humans.
 
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dawg53

Humble
Premium member
11 Years
Nov 27, 2008
26,006
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Glen St Mary, Florida
It could be gapeworm; try looking in her mouth, I hear that sometimes you can see the worm. Is it hot in your area? It's already heating up where I am, and my girls sometimes look that way too. When that happens, I turn on the mister system I have set up for them. Good luck!
This is misinformation; you cant see gapeworms lodged in the trachea. Q-tip test wont work neither.
You are correct about birds opening their mouths in the heat.
 

theoldchick

The Chicken Whisperer
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One of my gaping hens had an ear infection (yeast), and another had crop issues that resolved with a dose of Toxiban-a charcoal based liqued designed detoxify the digestive system.


These photos are of a hen suffering from ear issues.



While this gape is similar to a gape worm infection, she had crusty build up in her ears hidden by her feathers. Treated with monistat cream for a week, she did fine. She never did lose her appetite, nor did she shake her head excessively. She had stinky ears, though, when examined which clued me in to her true problem.



Never hurts to get your hands on an ailing bird and look EVERYWHERE for a problem.

Good luck!
 

dawg53

Humble
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Glen St Mary, Florida
Respiratory diseases can cause birds to gape due to mucus build up in the trachea as well. I'm sure there are other problems to cause birds to gape.
 

theoldchick

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Yes, I was surprised to find this hen with an ear issue. She didn't have the typical respiratory signs like sneezing, snorting, nasal or ocular discharge. Never coughed either. (At least not around me). Just had creamy exudate in her ear canal with an odor. Did a culture which grew yeast (microbiology students love me!) so I tried the monistat in the ears for a week and she never had another problem. I was really surprised to find an ear problem!


It's true that chickens 'gape' for many reason including hot weather, crop adjustment, or a unique health issue. Just gotta get your hands on the bird and examine it thoroughly.
 

gander007

Crowing
6 Years
Oct 9, 2013
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South Western Death Valley, Ca.
I have a 10 week old EE pullet that seems to be "gaping". Today is the first day I noticed it. She is housed with 4 other birds of same age, next to my older layers coop (kind of a "getting to know you" arrangement). The whole group is somewhat timid, perhaps after having a tough time of it when my rooster killed one of them. They have a run and a coop of their own. The coop has 3 1/2 sides, but is set with its back to the wind, and our temps are mild. If anything, they get too hot during the day. They all do appear to be eating, but they retreat to their coop when they see me coming, so I cannot observe closely. There are no loose or unusual looking stools in the run,
She is bright and alert, eyes are clear and no nasal discharge that I can see. She does not feel thin to me, but when I picked her up just now, her crop appeared to be empty. BUT it is the end of a hot afternoon and I know she has been inside that coop all day.
My first thought was gapeworm, but my research is indicating that it is fairly rare. She just looks like she is yawning. HELP. This is the beginning of my replacement layers, and 25 day old pullets are due to arrive on Monday!
Your in Phelan Ca, well you are several hours south but is nice and hot there probably just looking for air my chickens do it all the time from April till December and the wind we have has a lot of sand in it also so I try to have a place for them to hide form it but this is what I do Electrolyte & Probiotic in the water and the Probiotic only once a month as a preventive medicine and this has worked for me since 2001 up here ...

Here if you have an egg in the house boil it up and remove the shell mash and serve and yes this works very well for and my losses are more from predators not being sick ....






Some of my EE pullets







A little bit of my flock











gander007
 

dawg53

Humble
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Nov 27, 2008
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Glen St Mary, Florida
Yes, I was surprised to find this hen with an ear issue. She didn't have the typical respiratory signs like sneezing, snorting, nasal or ocular discharge. Never coughed either. (At least not around me). Just had creamy exudate in her ear canal with an odor. Did a culture which grew yeast (microbiology students love me!) so I tried the monistat in the ears for a week and she never had another problem. I was really surprised to find an ear problem!


It's true that chickens 'gape' for many reason including hot weather, crop adjustment, or a unique health issue. Just gotta get your hands on the bird and examine it thoroughly.
Yours is actually the first that I've read about a fungal ear infection in chickens. Most of the time it's ear mites, bacterial infections, including respiratory diseases that cause ear infections. I'll keep in mind the creamy discharge and odor for future reference. Glad it got taken care of in your hen.
 

theoldchick

The Chicken Whisperer
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First time for me, too. When I had her ear cultured I was expecting an assortment of the usual avian bacteria. Also did a smear for microscopic evaluation and the typical yeast buds (stained) were easily noted under magnification. A learning experience for every one involved!

Anyway, I hope the OP hen is doing well.
 
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