When we see an animal burp, it’s quite humorous, to say the least. If you own a flock of chickens, you may have heard a strange noise coming from them, especially when they are eating food. Since you’ve never heard the chickens burp before, you may be wondering if chickens can burp.
Do chickens burp? Yes, chickens do burp. This is usually caused by them eating too fast, overeating, or have a crop-related issue. Most of the time, it’s nothing to worry about. If the burping is excessive, it could mean a problem.
How Does a Chicken Digestive System Works?
The digestive system of a chicken is pretty much the same as humans. Both allow foods to travel through the digestive tract and the body extracts the nutrition from it before it ends up in the intestine as waste.
The only difference between the chicken’s digestive system and those of humans is how the food is stored and processed.
For chickens, the foods travel down the esophagus and into their crop. The crop is where the food is stored while it waits to be digested.
When the food is ready to be digested, usually at night while they are sleeping, the food will travel into their stomach called the gizzard. The gizzard has large muscles that grind up the food. When it’s combined with grit, the food is able to be processed and broken down.
Sometimes, the foods may have bad bacteria in them. As the gizzard digest it, when grits are mixed with it, it will form air and get pushed back up the esophagus. The air that comes out of their mouth will result in a “burp”.
Is Excessive Burping a Problem For Chickens?
Chickens will usually burp to release gas from their stomach. Sometimes, when the chickens are burping excessively, it could mean there’s an issue with their digestive system.
During the day, chickens will eat throughout the day. As they eat, they will burp from time to time. Also, they may also fart to remove excess air from their stomach.
It starts becoming a problem when the chickens are burping without eating a lot of food. Usually, there is something in their stomach that’s causing them to burp or even fart too often.
A couple of the most common digestive issues for chickens are worms, parasites, or a problem with their crop.
If the chickens are allowed to roam freely in the yard, there’s a high chance they may ingest parasitic worms. If you suspect or notice that the chickens have worms, you need to seek medical attention for them right away. If you have a large flock, one infected chicken can spread it to the other chickens quickly.
Crop Related Issues
Impacted crop – Chickens are known to eat just about anything they can fit into their mouth. For that reason, it could be a problem since something they ate may get lodged in the digestive tract. This will cause a blockage and cause the chicken to burp excessively.
The most common material for backyard chickens is woody grass, twigs, branches, and even small kid’s toys.
Sour crop – This is a common problem for backyard chickens. When foods go into the crop and it fails to empty, a sour crop occurs. This happens due to a blockage or some foods may get stuck in the crop.
The food that they’ve eaten and got stuck will start to produce an overgrowth of Candida albicans or commonly known as a yeast infection.
When this happens, it will cause excessive gas in the digestive system. This will results in the chicken burping often. The only remedy to this is to seek medical attention from an avian veterinarian.
Pendulous crop – Pendulous crop is the most serious one out of the three.
A pendulous crop is when the organ gets blocked and food can’t pass through. It then will begin to stretch so much that it bulges and the organs will start to hang.
A pendulous crop is similar to an impacted crop, but much more serious since it’s a major organ that’s damaged. If it’s damaged and starts to hang, it can function properly and will have a harder time pushing the food through the digestive tract.
If you noticed the chicken is suffering from a pendulous crop, you can try to empty the crop by “burping” the chickens.
To burp the chicken, hold it’s head at a 60-degree angle to the ground. Once you’ve got a good grip, massage the crop until the lodged content drop to the floor.
Once the object comes out, leave the chicken in a quiet place for 48 hours. Every 2-3 hours, check the bird to see if the organ returns to the proper size.
Do chickens fart?
Yes, chickens do fart. Similar to burping, when there’s excessive gas in the stomach, the chickens will relieve them through their anus. The gas that exits their anus is fart and sometimes it makes a sound and other times it won’t.