Causes for chicken making gurgling noises while eating

Once I kept food for my chicken and she started making gurgling noises while eating. She was making it for so many days, I thought it’s normal but then I paid attention when the noises became so loud.

At first, I was worried because of this strange behaviour of my chicken. I tried almost everything from changing her food to changing the environment she’s living in. But unfortunately, nothing worked!

So then, I asked my friend and he suggested that I should take my chicken to the Poultry Veterinarian. Then, I went along with the chicken to the doctor to know what exactly was the problem. The Vet diagnosed the chicken, gave all the medications, and then my chicken was alright after a few days.

So my point is that, do not worry if your chicken is making some weird noises while eating. After all, what help will the worry do? Nothing, right? Worrying is just a waste of time and an invitation to headaches. So, instead of worrying you can just go and see a doctor for your chicken.

In this article, we are going to tell you the reasons why your chicken makes gurgling noises while eating, along with the symptoms and everything related to it. So, just move ahead and read, because this is important!


What is the reason behind the gurgling noises that chickens make while eating?

Diseases in animals and birds is a common thing! It doesn’t matter how many chickens you have, they can catch diseases anytime. Even if you own a few chickens or a flock of 100, diseases can be a major problem while maintaining and keeping a healthy flock of chickens.

Respiratory diseases are the most common types of diseases which your chicken can get. The most common signs behind them are breathing problems.


What are the most common symptoms of respiratory diseases in chickens?

Respiratory diseases are caused because of problems in breathing. So, first things first, when your chicken starts finding difficulties in breathing, then know that there is some problem.

But how would you know that the chicken is having difficulties in breathing? Wait, these are the symptoms that your chicken will show when she will find it difficult to breathe. The symptoms are as follows:


Open-mouthed breathing

When a chicken starts breathing by opening her mouth, then knows that she’s not able to breathe properly. That is the reason, she’s trying to breathe by keeping her mouth open.



Sneezing is the most common symptom of respiratory diseases in chickens. When they sneeze more than normal, then there’s surely something that’s troubling them.


Ruffled feathers

The chickens get irritated when they can’t breathe properly. So, they get upset and ruffle their feathers. When you see your chicken with ruffled feathers, that’s a sign. A sign that she’s finding it difficult to breathe.


Gurgling or wheezy breathing sounds

Ever heard the gurgling sound of your chicken? The sound is like splashing or bubbling water. If you’re hearing it too often, then know that there’s something fishy. Run to a doctor along with your chicken!


Shaking head

The chickens shake their heads out of frustration when they are not able to breathe. So, when your chicken seems irritated, frustrated, and shakes her head too often, then maybe she’s finding it difficult to breathe.


Discharge of liquid around eyes and nostrils

Sometimes the reason why a large amount of liquid is released from her eyes and nostrils is because of respiratory diseases. She might be finding it hard to breathe.


But what causes these diseases in them? What are the main causes?

1. Mycoplasma

Mycoplasma is a bacteria that is found in the environment. It’s very common, chickens can come in contact with the bacteria at any point in time. But that’s not always a matter of concern.

Most specifically, this bacteria causes diseases when the chickens are tensed or if they have any prior infection. Also, if the environment is dusty or if a lot of birds are living together, then there are chances of getting infected.

This bacteria spreads widely and is infectious. That is the reason it can infect a flock when a single chicken gets infected.

But you can go to a vet to find a cure for treating these bacteria. The easiest solution to get disinfected is Tylosin which is mixed with the drinking water. To prevent the infection from spreading, you need to keep the chickens in a clean place.

Also, make sure to keep the environment free of dust and dirt. Assure that all the chickens are free of diseases. Most importantly, there is also a vaccine for mycoplasma, you can get your chickens vaccinated with that.


2. Infectious bronchitis

This is an extremely infectious virus. It causes various respiratory signs that we have discussed above. Also, it can lead to a substantial drop in the production of eggs. Also, when the infected chickens lay eggs, the eggs are generally soft. In addition to this, they have crinkled shells.

Moreover, the rate of mortality is higher in younger birds because of IB. The diseases are generally diagnosed by taking swabs from the throat or by examining by post mortem.

Unluckily, there is no such treatment for Infectious Bronchitis but if you doubt that it’s a secondary infection caused by any bacteria then antibiotics can treat it. Besides, there are several vaccines that can be given to the chickens to treat Infectious Bronchitis.


3. Ammonia and dust

Another cause can be Ammonia or dust. Dust is the most common cause of breathing problems in humans too. If the chickens are living in a dusty environment for so long, or if the levels of Ammonia in the air are high. Then, there are chances that they can catch certain respiratory diseases.

The lining of the airways of chicks is sensitive. Therefore they get easily infected by ammonia and dust particles.

So, to avoid that you can keep them in a healthy environment. And try to offer clean bedding. Also, offer sufficient ventilation to the chicks that are inside.

Most importantly, remove the faeces regularly, it will assist in keeping the levels of ammonia down.


4. Gapeworm

Gapeworm is caused by a worm named Syngamus trachea. And the adult worms live in the trachea of chicken. Snails and earthworms get infected by inserting the eggs of worms that dropped in the faeces of chicken. Then chickens too get infected by the diseases when they eat the already infected snails and earthworms.

The larvae of the worm pass through the walls of the intestines and then travel to the lungs. In the end, they finally enter the lungs and make their home in the trachea.

The infected chickens start showing signs like head shaking, coughing. We are a bit sceptical about the young birds but the elder ones can be treated easily.

These were the most common causes. But other than these, there are other not so common causes of respiratory problems in the birds. They are as follows.


Not so common causes gurgling noises

5. Avian rhinotracheitis

Avian Rhinotracheitis is also called a swollen head syndrome. This virus mostly affects the turkeys but it can affect the chickens as well.

If the chicken is only infected with this virus then she can be treated easily. But if the chicken has any other prior infection and then she got infected with this virus, then it can be a cause of concern.

Unluckily, there is no other treatment for this other than using antibiotics to treat any other secondary bacterial infections.


6. Infectious laryngotracheitis

This virus leads to serious inflammation in the upper airways and can even cause death. There is no specific treatment for this virus too. But you can give some secondary treatments to your chick.


7. Avian influenza (Bird Flu)

Bird flu is the most popular disease that can even spread to humans. It was first identified in the wild birds of the UK, but it wasn’t found in the domestic birds.

The symptoms of the flu may be a swollen head, diarrhoea, or breathing problems. Moreover, this virus spreads through direct contact with the infected bird.

If you doubt that your bird caught Avian Influenza, then please visit a doctor.


Main points to keep in mind to prevent respiratory disease

Some of the main points to keep in mind to prevent the chickens from respiratory disease, are:

  • Make sure to keep their surroundings dust-free, clean, and stress-free
  • Vaccinate them from time to time
  • Before keeping the bird in the old flock, keep them at any other place for a few days. Using this method, you can check if they’re healthy or not
  • If you suspect any ill and infected chickens, then please keep them separately and away from the flock of chickens. This will help in preventing others from getting infected



So, this is it! To conclude, I would just say, chickens speak in a language, try to learn it. Also, the way they behave and the noises they make say a lot about the problems they are going through.

Spend time with your chickens. Pay attention to the way they interact with each other. By doing so, you will make them suffer less.

We guess now you know the reason behind your chicken making gurgling noises.