Think my ??5-7wk old?? chicks may have gape


6 Years
Jul 30, 2013
We have been having unseasonably hot (for us -- we are in coastal San Diego) weather here and our chicks are in our bathtub where there isn't much breeze. I thought they were hot so we put a small fan pointing down into one end of the tub and gave them ice and watermelon. However, I checked them this morning when it was cooler and the biggest one is definitely panting and shaking her head. They have been outside and have had bugs and worms and been in the dirt. My husband checked her throat while I held her wrapped in a towel (is there an easier way to get in a chcken's mouth because she was not having it and it took a long time) and couldn't see anything. They have had acidulated water since we got them at a couple of weeks old.

I have a video if that helps... could it be the heat?

help? Before this I helped look after chickens for 6 months when I was a teen (in a hotter place than this) and the "only" problems we had were predators, we never had any sickness and the birds dealt fine with the heat.
What is the temperature where they are? Chickens can die of being overheated at 100 degrees F. If they are too hot, they will pant with their mouths open, and hold their wings a little away from their body.

If they have gapeworm, which is unusual, you can tell by swabbing their throat with a Qtip. When you bring it out, you will see them. They are red, about 1" long, and very thin.
I think that it is possible that your birds are too warm. When chickens are hot, they will pant with their beaks open.

I don't think that gapeworm is all that likely. It usually affects older birds, and is rather rare. Valbazen is the best wormer for gapeworm.
ok I decided to give them a bath as the fan and watermelon didnt work. They have stopped panting but are really unhappy with me. Thanks for the help!

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