lump on chick neck

chicken_ingenue(7)June 2, 2006

yesterday I bought three chicks from a feed N seed two hours away. today I found a large lump on the side of the chicks neck. what could this be. this chick doesn't have any feathers on its body and it is a white leghorn female about 3 to 4 weeks old. it is much larger then the other two I bought a new hampshire red and a black sexlink. I would take it back but Its just too far to drive. does anyone have any ideas on what this could be and if it might be life threatening. other then the lump and no feathers which I attribute to the heat it seems as healthy as the other two. it eats and drinks and takes dirt bathes and forages.


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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Is it possible that it is the chick's crop...? The crop can get quite large after they eat, and on chicks it's especially noticeable. It could also be an injury...? How big is the lump?

If it's NOT the crop and not an injury...unfortunately, as my vet informed me last year when I took in a hen with a lump at the base of her tail, chickens can suffer from upwards of 300 different types of tumors and cysts. If it is a solid mass and does not feel like fluid, it is most likely a tumor and will prove fatal eventually. I've had three hens with tumors over the years, all died shortly after the mass was discovered. The thing with tumors is, the chicken will carry on normally and not act or look ill until the thing just takes so much of their energy that they pass away. Cysts have a better outlook, they can usually be drained, but you never know if they will reoccur.

If you think it is a tumor or cyst, I'd return the chick or prepare to have it euthanized when the time comes.

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 8:45PM
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Thanks velvet you are ever a fount of information. I looked again this evening but didn't pick her up. maybe it is a naturel thing that just looked really big because she is so young. I hate to be so ignorant, but this is a learning experience so it just can't be helped. S OH you asked the size of it, it was smaller then a ping pong ball maybe the size of those rubber bouncing balls you get for a quarter in the machines at stores.

what is a crop exactly?


    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 9:04PM
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One time I found a huge lump on my hen's neck... about the size of a baseball. I finally figured out it was just her full crop! I don't know if I'm describing this right, but the crop is like a stomach in the neck?? (pouch of the esophagus)

How long has the lump been there? Check on the chick again and see if the lump goes away.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 9:34PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Here is a description of the chicken digestive process that I copied from a website:

"Passing from the mouth, the food does not go straight to the stomach as it does in mammals, but is stored in a compartment called the crop, situated inside near the base of the neck. Eventually the food passes from here along the alimentary canal into the "fore-stomach" (proventriculus), where it is mixed with the digestive juices. Then it passes to the gizzard in the middle of the body. Here, with the help of strong muscular walls and the stones and the grit swallowed by the bird, the gizzard grinds the food into a pulp, which then passes further along the alimentary canal to be completely digested and absorbed into the bloodstream."

So the crop is basically a storage bag for food. Go ahead and feel the lump--it it feels like shifting sand inside (kinda like a beanbag) it's most likely the crop and the little pig has been stuffing itself. :) The crop should look large after eating and shrink when the bird is hungry. One way to tell for sure is to remove the food and water at bedtime, then in the morning look at the lump to see if it's gone. If it is, it was the crop! Don't forget to return the food and water to the bird in the morning, though!

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 9:49PM
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ok, I hope thats what it is, but how come I have never noticed this on my larger hens. they have one right? L


PS: I explained and read all this to my 12 year old daughter who was shocked and impressed LOL Me too S.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 10:15PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Yeah, it's like a little chicken food backpack! *L*

As for not noticing it on the hens, maybe it's because of the lack of feathers on this one and the fact that it is young and skinny?

I've handraised baby birds (sparrows, etc.) and let me tell you, THAT is weird! They hatch totally without feathers and their skin is so thin it's nearly translucent--so you can SEE the food going down their throat and into their crop, along with the blood vessels in the neck! It's a whole 'nother practical anatomy lesson, and really points to how the crop is juuuust beneath the skin.

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   June 3, 2006 at 12:59AM
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I took the food out like you suggested velvet, and it does look a bunch smaller. hubbie said the same thing about the feathers covering the other chicks crop. This hen is a leghorn and is supposed to be the same age but is twice as big as the new hampshire and sexlink chick. when we first brought her home I was a bit concerned she kept having to sit down a lot and ate from that position also i think she was just so big she had trouble holding up her own weight. Its pretty much what I expect from getting her from a dealer that orders batches from a hatchery. We are keeping a close eye on her. thats probably why I even noticed the lump. I think her feathers are already starting to grow in though. she has some really white downey feathers coming in under her wings hubbie says they wouldn't grow that fast. but I tend to really feed all my animals, and family. Its a mother thing I think. LOL so maybe the good feed and accomodations is already making a difference. thats my wishful thinking anyway. S .

thanks for all the info. Velvet you are just too good to be true.


    Bookmark   June 3, 2006 at 10:13AM
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Hi, my wellsummer has a full crop and ive noticed her wiggling her neck side to side and opening her beak now and again. The crop is very full, more full than normal... i have massaged the crop and also given a small syringe full of olive oil. It trickled into her beak and she drank it then massaged again....

I will take away the food tonight to see if theres any change, if not what else could i do?

obviously i wont put anymore food down until ive dealt with the problem.

Thank you

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 2:58PM
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I am hand rearing a baby chicken since its mum negelected too. It is between 2-3 weeks old and like yours has a lump between its wing and crop. As you said if it is soft then it is more likely to be a cyst, is it worth popping it and draining the fluid from it? Or should this be done more professionally?
Thankyou Alice.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2009 at 10:10AM
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Hi, i just bought a baby black sex link. Yesterday we realized a large lump on the side of its neck. my parents looked and said we might need to take it back to the feed store because it might have a disese. What do i do?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 7:43PM
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Thank you SOO much for the information, it has been wonderful help


    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 11:34PM
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The chick that you are describing does not sound like a Leghorn but a Rock (a meat chicken). They could easily be confused early on. However, Rocks grow twice as fast and love to eat laying down and do not grow feathers like other chicks. They are eating machines, compared to other chicks. This does not answer the lump question but hopefully will help with the diagnosis.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 9:33PM
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I am feeding a baby Mockingbird that is not able to fly yet and fell out of the nest. It has a large "bubble" on the side of his neck extending over his right leg shoulder. It is not the crop and does not deflate. The bird is eating and excreating well. Do you know what this abnormality could be?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 11:06AM
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