Chick with overlarge crop

johanna_h(Z5 SW MI)June 4, 2009

Last night I noticed that one of my 7-week old Isa Brown pullets has a particularly large crop. She looks like a very busty caricature of a hen.

I figure she just had a big meal, but this morning it's still really big. I saw her eating this morning and I wonder if I should isolate her without food for a while so that what's in the crop can move on through?

I don't want to worry too early, but I'm not sure at what point I should.


Here is a link that might be useful: My place: Busy Solitude Farm

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johanna_h(Z5 SW MI)

No help yet! She is still overly full, and still wants to eat. I am going to separate her from the food overnight in hopes that some of what's in there will move on. Please someone share an idea???


    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 6:58PM
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Ok let me see if I can help. You don't say if she is acting sick or moving her head from side to side? if she is not then it could be just an impacted crop - if it is you can give her 2 eye droppers full of MINERAL OIL - (you will need help in holding her)put it down her throat and then massage the hard lump with your fingers to soften it and to help her pass it - you can repeat this the next day if needed. If she seems distressed the next day you may want to take her to the vet I hope this will help - let us know how she is doing.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 12:49AM
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since she is so young they do eat quite alot because of their rapid growth, so having a large crop can be normal. does she free range and what are you feeding the girls? Have you looked over all the rest of them - do they all seem to have the same size crop? Are you giving them grit?

I Should have asked these questions first, sorry! If she is the only one,then you can do the above treatment.

Remember you should always check over your girls nightly when they have settled down to roost - I check all my girls and boys nightly, mainly to make sure they are in good health and because they freerange you never know what they have gotten into. Handling them often will help you in the long run as it makes it easier to administer treatment without so much fuss and stress on them :)

Like I said I hope this will help you and please let us know how things are going.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 1:37AM
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johanna_h(Z5 SW MI)

This morning, after almost 12 hours of isolation from food, I would definitely say the crop is smaller. I let her out into the pen with the other babies and she immediately started scratching around, looking for something to peck at.

She hadn't really seemed off at all, she was just so awkward with that big crop in front of her. And it wasn't hard, it was just huge.

I'll remember the mineral oil idea for future reference. Thanks.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 6:44AM
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Johanna - LOL, maybe you should name her "DOLLY". Glad to hear that she is ok. Being that young she is eating like a pig! You will want to keep an eye on her - since she has not had anything to eat she is going to gobble food and anything else and this could cause her to have a "for real impacted crop".

Impacted crop can also happen if you withhold food prior to worming.

I am just glad she is ok! Just sorry I did not get to your post sooner. I know what it is like when you are worried and don't know what to do! Have a great day, and keep us posted on "Dolly" :)

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 8:37AM
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johanna_h(Z5 SW MI)

Well, Dolly's crop has not gotten any larger, but it's not normal size like I'd hoped. And I think she's falling behind the others in her growth.

I posted a couple of photos to my Facebook page, hope you can take a look.

She doesn't seem stressed at all, so I'm trying not to worry too much about her.


Here is a link that might be useful: Dolly on Facebook

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 7:49PM
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Hi johanna,

Went to face book and yes her crop is big! Try and give her the 2 eyedroppers of MINERAL OIL and then massaging the crop to help her pass it. She is not getting the nutrition that she needs if she is not passing it. You can start this tomorrow and if it does not go down you can do it again the next day.

Does she sit around with her feathers ruffled, refuse to eat or have saliva coming out of her mouth? They will sometimes do this if their crop is impacted.

If Dolly's crop does not got down you will have to take her to the vet and have her crop opened up and cleaned out.

Let me know how Dolly is doing ok! Sorry this the only treatment that I am aware of, that I have used and has worked for me before - maybe Velvet will chime in with some different ideas.

Just remember she is young and they eat like pigs at this age-be vigilant in watching over her though-it's when they are looking sick and acting sick is when it becomes almost to late. (Chickens tend to not show symptoms until it is to late.)

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 10:31PM
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I think she has a birth defect and should be culled out of the flock.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 11:51PM
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johanna_h(Z5 SW MI)

I didn't have mineral oil, so I gave her vegetable oil instead. We'll see if that helps.

She may have a birth defect, but I think she clogged herself up with wood shavings in their pen. At least that's my theory, I did not see it happen.

She acts like nothing is wrong -- hangs out with the other chicks and their duck buddies, eats and scratches. But her heavy, loose crop sometimes makes her awkward.

I'll report again in a few days.


    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 7:24AM
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Sorry I havn't any helpful words of wisdom. I hope it corrects itself soon. If not I'd cull her, too.

I'm looking forward to hear how this turns out in a few days.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 8:39PM
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johanna_h(Z5 SW MI)

Well Dolly Parthen lived a good life for the past year, but she died last night. Her crop always gave her troubles, sometimes more, sometimes less. I'm glad I gave her the chance to spend some time in the grass and sunshine. Rest in peace.

Here is a link that might be useful: Passages: Dolly Parthen

    Bookmark   May 22, 2010 at 7:53AM
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