Chickens do burp, yes. It’s not exactly the same as when we burp, but there is no mistaking the burping noises chickens make when they eat too fast or have gastrointestinal tract issues.
Can Birds Burp?
Birds can burp yes, and this includes chickens. I’ve heard people say numerous times that birds can’t burp, but I’ve found the opposite when researching the topic.
Plus, I’ve literally been close to my chickens when they’ve made burping sounds!
I think the reason some people say this is because chickens don’t have the same kind of muscled sphincter as we do.
It’s our sphincters that relax and contract when we’re swallowing food and water and are responsible for helping us force air back out - aka burp.
Birds are able to expel air and food, however. I’m sure it takes a lot more effort, but they do vomit when they’re sick and they can burp.
How a Chickens Digestive System Works
Their digestive system works very differently to ours too. When a chicken eats something, it travels down their esophagus into their crop.
The crop is like a holding area for food. When they’re ready to digest their food, usually overnight, it passes into their main stomach called the gizzard.
The gizzard is a lot like a large muscle that chews up food. Combined with grit, it’s able to break up food for digestion.
If they’ve eaten something that doesn’t agree with them or they have bad bacteria in their digestive system, they can push food or air back out.
Do Chickens Fart?
While we’re on the topic of a chicken’s bodily functions, we might as well address whether or not they can fart too.
Which they can.
Just like us, when chickens eat foods that boost the bacteria in their guts, they produce gas. This gas needs to escape one way or another, so they do pass gas.
This means it will come out of their vent (backside). Or, it may cause them to burp as I’ve already covered.
Does It Mean a Chicken Is Sick If They’re Burping?
If your chicken is burping it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re sick or ill.
Let’s be honest here. We all burp from time-to-time it can just be due to eating too quickly, swallowing too much air, too much bacteria in the gut, etc.
If they are also showing some other symptoms that they have some gastrointestinal issues or some other ailment, then you need to take a closer look.
A couple of the most common digestive issues in chickens are worms or parasites, and problems with their crop.
There are a few types of worm that can find their way into a chicken’s digestive system and cause them all kinds of issues.
If you think your flock has worms, you should seek medical advice from a poultry professional. It’s vital you use the most effective way to treat your flock asap.
Related - Valbazen for chickens - how to rid your flock of worms.
A couple of common crop-related issues that can cause excessive gas amongst other issues are:
Impacted crop - This is caused by a blockage stopping food from moving from their crop to their gizzard.
The most common causes are things like woody or tough grass, some form of twine, and other materials that won’t easily pass.
Sour crop - This is a common issue for backyard chickens. Basically, sour crop occurs when a chicken’s crop fails to empty because there is a blockage or some food is getting stuck.
This food, or whatever they’ve eaten, starts to produce an overgrowth of Candida albicans - more commonly known as a yeast infection.
Both of these crop issues can cause excessive gas. If you suspect either, you should consult with an avian veterinarian.
In Summary - Do Chickens Burp?
Hopefully, that’s cleared up the mystery of whether or not chickens burp for you.
As well as some of the reasons why your chickens may have gas, some signs of health issues to look out for, and some other tips.
Chickens can burp and fart, yes.
Struggling to find an avian vet? - Try the Association of Avian Veterinarians