Raising chickens can be a fun experience, these feathered animals bring new life into the home and keep you on your toes. Just as with any other living organism, chickens can get ill. Maintaining a birds health is of upmost importance weather they’re being raised as pets or as meat. If your chicken is spitting up clear liquid then this may be cause for alarm. This article explores the reasons why your bird is spitting up clear liquid.
The reasons why your chicken is spitting up clear liquid can either be that the bird has simply had too much water to drink, that the bird is suffering from ascites syndrome or because the bird has gapeworm. Have the bird seen by a vet for a diagnosis and adequate treatment
Chicken spitting up clear liquid, why this happens
When humans spit up, our bodies involuntarily cause muscles in our neck, diaphragm and abdomen to contract. This forces food and drink out of our stomaches.
Chickens aren’t able to spit up, that is, they aren’t able to spit up the way that humans are, a chicken spitting up can be cause for alarm. Here are reasons why your chicken is spitting up clear liquid:
This is the most non-dangerous reason why chickens spit up, and what many bird owners hope to be the case with their bird.
If a bird drinks too much water, and gravity does not allow the water to run down the bird’s throat, then the water may simply pour out of the bird’s beak as though the bird is spitting up.
When chickens drink, they tilt their beaks into water and then tilt their head back and use gravity to send the water down their throat. If all the water doesn’t fall down the bird’s oesophagus then the water will pour out of the bird’s beak when the birds head moves back to normal
They can also spit up if they’ve just finished drinking a large amount of water and they are moved roughly.
If you pick the bird up and accidentally squish their crop, or put too much pressure on it, then the water will pour out of the crop, into the esophagus and out of the bird’s mouth. This is normal, you do not have to worry if this happens
Spitting up clear liquid can also be a sign that your bird has worms, the most likely worm that your bird has, if it is spitting up clear liquid, is gape worm. A gape worm is a large, red, round worm that affects the bird’s trachea.
If you mishandle the bird as you pick it up, or put pressure on its gullet the bird can spit up especially if the bird has just had water. Gape worms can lead to the bird making gargling sounds, this happens once the gape worms attach to the birds trachea.
When gape worms attach themselves to your bird’s trachea, the bird can have difficulty breathing and can even suffocate
Many animals, including chickens, can suffer from this illness and it’s one to worry about.
When a bird suffers from heart failure or hypertension, this causes the liver to stop working. This leads to fluids leaking into the birds abdominal cavity which results in ascites syndrome or ‘water belly.
The fluid that collects in the bird’s organs has to come out somewhere, and it often comes out of the bird’s mouth. If you’re raising fast-growing meat chickens, ascites can develop because the birds are growing too fast and putting too much stress on their hearts.
What to do if my bird is spitting up clear liquid
If the bird is simply spitting up water because it hasn’t swallowed fully then you don’t have to do anything
If the bird has gapeworm, treatments include Flubenol, Aviverm or specialist liquid bird wormers.
Flubenol is a powdered worming medication that can be found online. Aviverm can be used on larger birds. Specialist bird wormers can be found at pet stores, online or at vet clinics
If your bird is suffering from water belly one way to treat the bird is to drain the water that is causing the fluid build up in your chicken. This involves using a needle and syringe to get the water out. This should be done with great caution.
Note: It is always recommended that you have your bird see a vet if it is sick. The vet will be able to assess your bird and give you a diagnosis that is specific to your bird.
In conclusion, the reason why your bird is spitting up clear liquid can be that the bird has simply had too much water to drink, because the bird is suffering from ascites syndrome or because the bird has gape worms. Before treating your bird it is recommended that you have the bird seen by a vet
If you enjoyed this article then you may also be interested in other chicken related articles. Here are some articles that you may be interested in: Chicken foaming at the mouth, why this happens, what to do, Chicken has fluid coming out of its mouth, why this happens, How to drain water belly in chickens, Chicken’s crop is full of liquid, why and what to do, Can sour crop kill a chicken?, Chicken vomiting yellow liquid, what to do