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Chicken Shaking Head: Why Do They Do It? (Explained)

Chicken has some behavioral patterns. Shaking their head is a common behavior. If you have chickens in your house or firm, you might notice the fact.

However, people are getting confused to know if there is a specific reason behind it. You might see the chickens shaking their heads with their legs. But the question is, why do the chickens shake their heads? What are the main reasons behind it?

To find the answer and solution, we did thorough research and found the right solution in this regard. Keep reading to more and solve the issues thereby.

Why do chickens shake their heads?

Chickens shake their heads if they face any internal issues, including ear, nose, or throat. If they meet any irritation or health issues, they shake their heads. In other words, shaking heads is typical behavior of the chickens. Often, they do it for their comfort, and they get rid of irritation.

So, when you notice that your chickens are shaking their head continuously, take it seriously. There might be internal issues in their nose, ear, and throat. Maybe foods are stuck in the chicken’s throat; therefore. They are shaking their heads to get rid of it.

Shaking head and opening mouth:

When chicken gets respiratory problems or sickness, they face breathing issues. In that case, they shake their head and open their mouths to breathe. Be sure; chickens are shaking heads and opening their mouths too often.

If you notice that the chickens are shaking heads and opening their mouths, don’t be worried. It’s a very common characteristic. It’s fine.

Shaking head and stretching neck:

Gapeworm is another common health issue for chickens. In that case, they shake their heads and stretch their necks.

If you notice that the chickens are shaking and stretching their neck frequently and regularly, consult a doctor.

On the other hand, if the chickens shake their heads and stretch their necks after a long time and not too often, you don’t need to take it seriously. Body movement is common for birds.

Shaking head sneezing:

Sneezing is also a symptom of respiratory problems. It’s a clear indication of the cold issues, to be exact. You should treat it carefully.

Cold issues could be a severe concern for the chickens. They don’t feel good about it. If they get a severe fever and cold, they may pass away overnight. As soon as you notice that your chickens are shaking their heads and sneezing, go for the treatment.

Shaking head and closing eyes:

If you find that your chickens are shaking their heads and closing their eyes too often, be sure they are sick. Take care of them properly.

However, shaking heads and closing eyes indicate the severe health condition of the chickens. Maybe your chickens are going through serious respiratory problems or internal health issues too.

Shaking head side to side:

If your chickens are shaking head side to side, it might be a sign of crop issues. Also, when chickens face ear mite issues, they shake their heads side to side.

Shaking head and lethargic:

Most of the time, chickens shake their heads and feel lethargic when facing eye issues and upper respiratory problems. In that case, you need to take care of them and find out whether they have any eye issues or not.

Shaking head and making noise:

Chickens usually shake their heads and make noise. But if you find any abnormal behavior, you need to take it seriously.

If your chickens have any respiratory injury or infection, they will continuously shake their heads and make noise.

In that case, there might be some throat or breathing issues. If they get infected through a virus, you should vaccinate them soon.

Shaking head and walking backward:

If you see your chickens are walking backward and shaking their heads, you need to check the chicken’s diet.

Maybe they are running out of vitamin E. When chickens get low vitamin E, they start walking backward and shake their heads as well.

Why is my chicken shaking its head?

Chicken shakes its head due to some health issues or sickness. But it can also shake its head as it might be a regular habit. However, if you notice your chickens shake their heads regularly, you need to be cautious.

There are some common symptoms and reasons why your chicken is shaking its head. They are:

Respiratory infection:

When a chicken faces respiratory infection or sickness, they shake their heads. Especially when it meets ear mites or ear infections, chicken shakes its head now and then.

Throat issues:

Your chicken might get throat issues. Something might be stuck in the throat; therefore, the chicken is shaking its head and trying to get rid of it.


Cold is another reason for the chicken’s shaking head. It’s a threat for every chicken if you fail to take proper steps and give medicine after that.

Virus infection:

Your chicken might be infected through a virus. Therefore, it faces internal damages that are the ultimate reason for the chicken’s shaking head.

Lack of vitamin E:

Chicken shakes its head when it runs out of vitamin E. You will notice your chicken is walking backward. To solve the issues, add vitamin E to the diet.

How to treat excessive head shaking in chickens?

If you find your chickens are shaking heads excessively, you must consult a doctor and go for treatment. Maybe chickens are facing severe health issues regarding their respiratory system.

However, there are some primary treatments available.

You may apply them and see if there are any changes. Also, we are adding all the proven ways to treat excessive head shaking in chickens.

Give medicine:

Antibiotics might be the ultimate solution to treat the excessive head shaking of the chickens. You may consult a doctor and buy the prescribed medicine.

Moreover, excessive head shaking is the sight of severe respiratory issues. Therefore, antibiotics will help the chickens recover soon and get well.

Change diet:

You can change the diet to treat the excessive head shaking of your chicken. Sometimes they don’t get vitamin E; therefore, they start walking backward and shake their heads too often.

In that case, changing the diet system would be an excellent way to treat excessive head shaking of chickens.

Keep them dry:

Save your chickens from getting wet. They will get fever and cold if they get wet for a long time. After that, they start excessive head shaking.

To treat excessive head shaking of the chicken, you need to keep your chicken away from rain and water. If they get wet somehow, warm them up soon.

How do you treat ear mites in chickens?

To treat ear mites in chicken, you can follow some easy steps. You have to fulfill all the basic requirements of the chicken. Follow these ways and get rid of ear mites in chicken. 

Clean the area:

Make a dust bath area. It’s the first way to get rid of ear mites. Mainly, chickens are used to taking a dust bath regularly; if they fail to do it for a few days, they get ear mites soon.

So, ensure the dust bath area and treat ear mites in chickens.

Clean coop:

Clean your chicken coop. It’s an everyday task for you. Don’t ignore it. If you want to get rid of the ear mites, clean the chicken coop.

Apply mite spray:

Use the mite spray if needed. When you find that the coop area cannot be appropriately cleaned and get rid of mites, you should use the spray. It will help you to treat the ear mites of the chickens.

Apply garlic juice:

Garlic juice is an excellent ingredient to treat your chicken’s ear mites. It’s a home practice for chicken lovers.

You can treat the ear mites with garlic juice. You need to apply for it twice a week. It will surely help your chicken stop head shaking as well as the ear mites.

Why do chickens shake their heads when you talk to them?

It’s a behavior pattern to shake their heads when you talk to them. They don’t understand your talk but try to reply.

Moreover, they show their response through shaking heads. When you start talking, they love to respond. But they can’t speak but make noise.

In that case, chickens shake their heads and express their feelings. In other words, they love to shake heads in front of their mates. It makes things easier for them to exchange their thoughts.

Final Thoughts

If chickens face internal health issues, including ear mites, throat, and eyes issues, they start shaking heads continuously. However, you can treat them well through easy and practical ways that we have already covered. Moreover, the chicken also loves to shake its head when it meets the mate.