Strange Noise + Head Shaking While Eating: Video Linked

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by scotc, Feb 1, 2017.

  1. scotc

    scotc Just Hatched

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    One of our year old chickens has recently started to make an odd noise on occasion while eating (almost a squeak) accompanied by some head weaving or shaking. Video explains it better than I can.

    All other behavior seems normal. Lays, eats, drinks as if nothing else was wrong. Crop felt normal to me (as described here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/587365/anyone-what-should-a-healthy-crop-feel-like#post_7672583) Only other symptom I can point to is some poop stuck to her tail feathers, but I think that may have been from the recent rains preventing her from getting clean.

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    Is this just a new noise to me or do I need to worry that she is sick?

    Thanks
    Scot
     
  2. Laurobee13

    Laurobee13 Out Of The Brooder

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    Respiratory problem most likely. There's a ton of illnesses that can cause it - sometimes you never find the source. I've always first treated with apple cider vinegar in the water, and a good round of deworming. I give my chickens ACV in their water 24/7 and it really helps keep everyone healthy! I make my own natural dewormer too that's very healthy for them.

    I also have one hen that is 3+ years old and she has done this most of her life no matter what I do. But she's still alive and laying eggs!
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    The neck twisting looks like she is adjusting her crop, and she is eating so voraciously that I wonder if she is squeaking because she is getting food caught in her throat. She also could be snicking or sneezing, which might be from a respiratory infection. If she doesn't do this any other time than while eating, she may be fine.
     
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  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    If you are seeing this while she is eating, then most likely she is getting food in her throat and/or nostrils. One of my Barred Rocks does this sometimes when she eats, I think she may be inhaling food particles. She is the only one of mine that does this, but she eats more quickly/voraciously than the others, I've never seen her do this any other time except when eating.

    I could also be respiratory illness, look for any symptoms like continuous coughing, sneezing, runny nose (mucous), wheezing and/or watery eyes.
     
  5. whatdaflockfarm

    whatdaflockfarm Just Hatched

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    Chickens will often shake their heads if infested with a parasite called a gapeworm. Gapeworms are red and fork-shaped and lodge in the windpipe. Birds will gasp, cough and shake their heads to try to expel them. Younger birds can die from suffocation. The "squeeking" noise may also be indicating that the bird is having difficulty moving food past the throat because of the lodged worm. If you think this is a possibility their is an easy, natural cure.

    To treatGapes
    · Hold bird firmly and pour one teaspoonful of salt brine down the chicken's throat.
    · Keep the bird upright and close the nostrils for five seconds (no longer)
    Turn bird upside-down, while holding its' feet; it will usually cough out the worms.
     
  6. whatdaflockfarm

    whatdaflockfarm Just Hatched

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    Come to think of it, the gapeworm is a good possibility. I would think that a respiratory issue would produce symptoms round-the-clock, and also often spread to the other members of the flock. I admit the aspirating of food is possible as well though, particularly if eating quickly which happens frequently if they are low-ranking in the pecking order. Low ranking birds also often get pooped on by other flock members that most often get to rooster higher.
     
  7. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

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    It may just be that she is gulping her food down to fast... poo stuck around her vent though along with that *may* indicate worms... we have gapeworms here and they are not forgiving... I did notice that the ones that were most affected/overloaded with the worms had mkre noticeable issues when eating though...

    For gapeworms I highly recommend treating with Safeguard (fenbendazole) 10% at 0.23cc/mL per pound of the birds weight for 5 consecutive days... that will treat several types of worms including gapeworm... egg withdrawal period is 17 days from the last dose...

    I do hope it's just her eating though...
     
  8. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

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    Please don't try to make a bird 'cough up' or vomit anything... that risks them aspirating liquid or particles into their lungs... that can kill them quite easily and at the very least will cause them to have respiratory issues for sure...
     
  9. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchaholic Extrordinaire Premium Member

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    X2 on this, if you want to treat for gapeworms just in case, please go the route of using a wormer as was suggested and do not try a 'natural' cure that very well may end up killing your hen.
     
  10. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    I also agree with using SafeGuard liquid goat wormer or equine paste 1/4 ml per pound given orally to the hen for 5 straight days if you want to treat for possible worms being a problem. Capillary worms besides gapeworm could be possible. You could confirm that with a fecal test of her droppings by a vet.
    I also agree not to give salt water and try to vomit the chicken. This would be dangerous if she does not have a crop problem.
    More than likely this is from eating too fast or a respiratory problem, but routine worming is not a bad thing. You might check her crop in the morning before eating to make sure her crop is emptying, and there is not a crop problem.
    Do you have food available all day long or do you feed them at intervals?
     

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