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Chicken opening and closing beak...?

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 12:08 pm
by New2chooks
Hi there,
I have a light Sussex pullet about 17 weeks old, and yesterday I noticed she was 'mouth breathing', so to speak. She's not the most agile of my chooks - rather clumsy and a bit slow, likes to sit a lot, it's like her rotund body shape is more than her legs can handle. But now she's opening and closing her beak fairly regularly too - like she's not getting quite enough air. I've checked her out today - did my best to see in her beak for gape worm (I'm no expert on this!!) and listened to her breathing - couldn't hear any rattling breath or congestion. What could be going on with fat Betty?
Please help, any advice welcome!
Oh and I've started the chooks on some apple cider vinegar today, plus a clove of garlic in their water for good measure.

Re: Chicken opening and closing beak...?

PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 8:26 am
by Marina
Was it a hot day at your place?

Other than that I can only think of a respiratory problem. Is her comb nice and red? If yes, I wouldn't worry at this stage. If the tips of the points go blue or even black-ish she's got a problem with not getting enough oxygen. But even then it can get better again just by itself. I would make sure she's in a cool shady place where she isn't harassed by any of your more agile chickens. You could even try to give her less food than she would want to eat. Same food as usual just a measured amount per day. As many greens as she wants to eat. 100g of pellets/wheat per day should help bring her weight down.

I've raised broilers and they suffer from their excessive weight. Their heart isn't any bigger than a normal chicken's heart. In a commercial setting they get killed off at 32 days old. Mine were 3 months old and especially the males had problems with breathing - and walking.

Re: Chicken opening and closing beak...?

PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2016 8:28 am
by New2chooks
Thank you for your reply :)
It has been hot here in Auckland the last few days - but her area gets almost total shade by mid afternoon. As yet she still hasn't developed much of a comb, it's there but small and pale. she's getting red around her cheek bits though. She does seem a bit pale (legs etc) but I think that's more her breed colouring?
I wondered if the wood shavings we had were too dusty, so I've changed their bedding to a no-dust wood chip.
Thanks for the insight on broilers (I'm guessing that's what Betty is?). I'll keep a close eye on how much she's eating - she seems to enjoy her greens, but usually sits on top of them to eat them :?