Do Chickens Get The Hiccups? (Sounds & Causes)

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When you hear the word “chicken,” the first thing that comes to mind is probably a plump, feathered bird with a red comb on its head and dangling wattles. But have you ever heard chickens make a noise that sounds like “hiccup” and wondered if chickens get the hiccups?

Chickens do not have a diaphragm, which is what causes hiccups in humans. Instead, the noises chickens make that sound like sneezing, and hiccups are most likely due to dust, dirt, pollen, mold, or fungus.

Chickens have a complex respiratory system that makes them susceptible to respiratory issues. Their respiratory system consists of 10 air sacs that are located in their chest cavity and connect to their lungs. This intricate system allows chickens to breathe more oxygen and exhale more carbon dioxide than other animals.

However, it also makes them more susceptible to breathing harmful airborne particles. So the next time you hear a chicken making noises that sound like hiccups or sneezing, don’t be alarmed. They’re just doing their best to keep their lungs clean!

What Causes The Hiccups?

Most everyone has had hiccups at some point in their life. They can be annoying, but generally, they are not harmful and go away independently after a few minutes. The hiccups are caused by an involuntary contraction of the diaphragm, the muscle that separates the chest cavity from the abdomen.

This can be triggered by eating too quickly, drinking carbonated beverages, or breathing too much air. In some cases, the hiccups may be caused by nerves or stress. However, regardless of the cause, the hiccups usually last only a few minutes and do not require treatment.

Chickens Don’t Have A Diaphragm

Chickens are a common farm animal known for their egg-laying abilities and their friendly dispositions. However, one aspect of chicken anatomy sets them apart from other animals: they cannot get the hiccups.

This may seem like a trivial difference, but it has a lot to do with how chickens breathe. Unlike other animals, chickens don’t have a diaphragm. Instead, they rely on the air movement in their chest cavity to help them breathe.

This unusual breathing method also causes noise that sounds like hiccups. So, while chickens may not be able to experience this common ailment, they can still provide us with a good chuckle.

Understanding How A Chicken Breathes

Hiccups are common in mammals, but did you know that chickens can’t get them? That’s because the respiratory system in birds is different than in other mammals. Birds have air sacs throughout their body that help provide fresh oxygen, which helps to prevent hiccups.

Chickens have four pairs of air sacs in their lungs and a cervical air sac. This allows them to take in more oxygen with each breath, and it also helps to keep their lungs inflated. As a result, chickens don’t have to worry about hiccups!

At a normal resting rate, chickens average about 30 breaths per minute, while humans only breathe 8 to 16 times per minute. That’s because chickens have special air sacs that help to regulate the air flow, temperature, and buoyancy.

Chickens have a more complex respiratory system than other animals. This makes them more susceptible to respiratory problems, which can manifest in many different ways. For example, hiccups in chickens could signify a more serious respiratory problem.

If you are concerned about your chicken making hiccup sounds, it is best to take it to a veterinarian specializing in avian health. With the proper care and treatment, your chicken will be back to his or her normal self in no time!

Chickens make a weird noise that sounds like hiccups, but they don’t actually have them. So what’s causing this noise? Several things could be to blame.


Many first-time chicken owners get sneezing and yawning, confused with hiccuping. However, there is a big difference- hiccuping is caused by spasms in the diaphragm, while sneezing is caused by irritation in the nasal passages.

If your chicken is sneezing frequently or showing other signs of being ill, it’s best to take them to the vet for a check-up. In the meantime, ensure they have plenty of water and a comfortable resting place.

Gapeworm In Chickens

Weird chicken noises can be caused by gapeworm, a parasitic infection of red worms that infect a bird’s trachea (sometimes lungs, bronchi). Gapeworm is a very serious condition that requires medical attention, as it can cause death from suffocation, starvation, and dehydration.

While gapeworm is scary and can be life-threatening if not treated, it’s actually not as common in backyard flocks. It only affects chickens that consume infected slugs, worms, and snails.

If you think your chicken might have gapeworm, take them to the vet right away for treatment. In the meantime, try to keep them calm and comfortable and ensure they have plenty of food and water.


Chickens can get hiccups for various reasons, such as allergies or dry feed. However, it’s most likely due to something in their environment, such as dust, dirt, mold, or rot. Check their feed and water areas for any possible contaminants and clean them out if necessary. In the meantime, try to soothe your chicken by petting it and speaking calmly. The hiccups should go away on their own soon enough. But if they last for more than a few hours or your chicken starts showing other signs of illness, it’s time to take them to the vet.

In Conclusion

Chickens are interesting creatures, and they are known for making a variety of different sounds. However, one sound that they cannot make is a hiccup. Hiccups are caused by a spasm in the diaphragm, and chickens do not have this type of muscle.

However, they may make noises that sound like hiccups if something is stuck in their nasal passage or they are exposed to mold. If a chicken is making these noises and has a decreased appetite, contact a veterinarian immediately.

The chicken may need to be separated from the rest of the flock until the cause of the issue is found. In most cases, the problem can be quickly resolved, and the chicken will be able to return to its normal life.


Shanna is the 2nd half of Top Outdoor Survival. Like Forest, she has a passion for guns and knives. They love to go on a survival trip at least once a year. They love to go camping, hiking, and traveling.

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