Chicken Drooling Causes – [Reasons Why]

Chicken drooling is a common occurrence that many chicken owners have encountered. While it may seem strange and cause concern, it is actually a normal and natural behavior in chickens. In this blog post, we will discuss the reasons why chickens drool and what it means for their health.

The Physiology of Chicken Saliva

To understand why chickens drool, it’s important to understand the anatomy and physiology of their salivary glands. Chickens have three pairs of salivary glands located in their head and neck region. The glands secrete saliva, which helps to moisten and lubricate food as it travels down the chicken’s throat.

Chicken drooling

The composition of chicken saliva is similar to that of humans and other mammals. It contains enzymes that help to break down carbohydrates and other food components. Saliva also contains electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, which help to regulate the fluid balance in the chicken’s body.

Chicken Drooling Causes

There are several factors that can cause chickens to drool. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Excitement or Stimulation: Chickens often drool when they are excited or stimulated. For example, they may drool when they are fed, when they are given attention, or when they are in a new environment. This is a natural response to stimulation and is not cause for concern.
  • Over-eating: Chickens may drool if they have overeaten. This is because the food is not being processed quickly enough, causing it to sit in the chicken’s crop and esophagus, causing drooling.
  • Disease or Illness: If a chicken is suffering from a disease or illness, it may drool as a result. Some of the most common illnesses that cause drooling in chickens include respiratory infections, digestive problems, and liver or kidney disease.
  • Poisoning: If a chicken has ingested toxic substances, it may drool as a result. Some common toxic substances include pesticides, household chemicals, and plants that are toxic to chickens.
Chicken drooling
  • Stress: Stress can also cause chickens to drool. If a chicken is under stress, it may experience a physical response that includes drooling. This can be due to changes in their environment, lack of food or water, or the presence of predators.

See also: Why is my dog digging holes all of a sudden

Chicken Drooling: What to do?

If your chicken is drooling, it’s important to determine the cause. In some cases, the drooling may be due to a simple factor like excitement or overeating, in which case no action is necessary. However, if the drooling is due to a disease or illness, it is important to take action to help the chicken recover.

Here are some steps to take if your chicken is drooling:

Observe the chicken: Observing the chicken can give you clues about the cause of the drooling. If the drooling is accompanied by other symptoms, such as lethargy or difficulty breathing, it may indicate a more serious problem.

Provide a healthy diet: Ensure that your chicken is eating a healthy and balanced diet. This will help to keep the chicken’s body functioning properly and prevent illness.

Keep the chicken hydrated: Provide clean, fresh water at all times to ensure that the chicken is properly hydrated. Dehydration can lead to drooling, as well as other health problems.

Keep the chicken’s environment clean: Ensure that the chicken’s living area is clean and free from debris, which can attract pests and cause stress.

Chicken drooling

Seek veterinary care: If you suspect that the drooling is due to a disease or illness, it’s important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible. A veterinarian can diagnose the underlying cause of the drooling and provide appropriate treatment to help the chicken recover. In some cases, the veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics or other medications to help treat the illness.

Types of Infections Chicken Get

Respiratory infections: Chickens can get respiratory infections such as chronic respiratory disease (CRD), infectious bronchitis, and avian influenza. These infections can cause symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, and decreased egg production.

Gastrointestinal infections: Chickens can get various gastrointestinal infections such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Clostridium. These infections can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, and reduced appetite.

Fungal infections: Chickens can get fungal infections such as aspergillosis, which can cause respiratory symptoms such as coughing, nasal discharge, and difficulty breathing.

Parasitic infections: Chickens can get various parasitic infections such as mites, lice, and internal parasites such as worms. These infections can cause symptoms such as itching, decreased egg production, and weight loss.

Bacterial infections: Chickens can get various bacterial infections such as septicemia, which can cause symptoms such as lethargy, decreased appetite, and death.

Viral infections: Chickens can get various viral infections such as Newcastle disease, Marek’s disease, and avian pox. These infections can cause symptoms such as decreased egg production, respiratory issues, and death.

Roundworms in Chicken

Roundworms (Ascariasis) are a common type of internal parasite that can infect chickens. They are long, thin, and white in color and can be found in the chicken’s intestines. Roundworms feed on the chicken’s digested food, stealing valuable nutrients and causing malnutrition. In severe cases, roundworms can block the chicken’s intestines, leading to death.

roundworms in chicken

Symptoms of roundworm infection in chickens can include:


Weight loss

Poor feather condition

Decreased egg production

Abdominal swelling

Marek’s Disease In Chickens

Marek’s disease is a common viral infection that affects chickens. It is caused by a herpesvirus and is one of the most widespread diseases in chickens. Marek’s disease is characterized by tumors that can develop in various organs, including the eyes, nerves, liver, spleen, and skin. The tumors can cause a range of symptoms, including paralysis, blindness, and death.

Marek's disease in chickens

Marek’s disease is spread through respiratory secretions, dander, and feces. The virus can also be spread through contaminated feed, water, equipment, and clothing. Chickens of any age can be affected, but younger chickens are more susceptible to the disease.


Chicken drooling is a common behavior in chickens and is often due to simple factors such as excitement or overeating. However, if the drooling is accompanied by other symptoms or persists for an extended period of time, it may be due to a disease or illness and require veterinary attention. By observing your chicken, providing a healthy diet, keeping the environment clean, and seeking veterinary care when necessary, you can help ensure the health and well-being of your chickens.