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blocked crop suspicion

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

I noticed that my chickens weren't depositing much overnight, and so I blocked of their food (to prevent any midnight snacking) last night.  I didn't pick up much this morning either.  And on checking, I found that two of them had full, firm crops, so I suspect a crop blockage. 

 

I do have a poultry vet coming on Monday who should be able to help me unblock them if needed, but I don't want to wait until then if they're not getting any food.  I know I need to massage their crops, but am afraid of breaking them if I do it too roughly.  What is the proper technique?  And is it worth pulling them off the roosts when I get home tonight to do?

 

Thanks

post #2 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by SusanD View Post
 

Hi,

 

I noticed that my chickens weren't depositing much overnight, and so I blocked of their food (to prevent any midnight snacking) last night.  I didn't pick up much this morning either.  And on checking, I found that two of them had full, firm crops, so I suspect a crop blockage. 

 

I do have a poultry vet coming on Monday who should be able to help me unblock them if needed, but I don't want to wait until then if they're not getting any food.  I know I need to massage their crops, but am afraid of breaking them if I do it too roughly.  What is the proper technique?  And is it worth pulling them off the roosts when I get home tonight to do?

 

Thanks

Do you keep a light on at night? How old are your chickens?

What type of food, treats are you feeding? Do they have access to grit ? What type of bedding do you use? Is the crop soft, hard, pliable, doughy, any sour smells?

Most chickens will fill their crops at bedtime, but do not eat at night when roosting in the dark. Sometimes, depending on how much they ate the night before, they may still have something left in their crops (one of mine eats right before roosting and she looks huge, but still has a little left in her crop in the am). You could GENTLY massage downward and offer a little bread soaked in olive oil to see if that may get things moving. There is a lot of info about impacted/slow/sour/pendulous crops here on BYC and on the net.
 

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi, to answer your questions. 

 

They are around 10 to 11 months.  I have them on layer feed, and my parents have been giving them the occasional scratch.  They are on ground topped with straw and wood chips and on pine shavings in their coop.  I'm am concerned that they started eating straw (and their pine shavings) after we put straw down for them, but am unsure how to break the habit.  I have never given them grit (on my Dad's theory that they can get it from the ground), but would be happy to get some for them if what were doing's not working.

 

As far as midnight snacking is concerned.  I am not giving them any kind of artificial light.  I have seen them (I put their food in their coop) walking over and getting some, so I think they know their way around pretty good.  I will do some reading tonight, and will try the bread treatment tomorrow if I think it's needed.

 

Thanks,

 

Susan

 

PS - Their crops felt firm and not too full with no smell.


Edited by SusanD - 1/14/16 at 6:32pm
post #4 of 8

If they are eating in the middle of the night there is really no way to judge whether or not the crop is emptying overnight. The only way to do this would be let them eat their fill before bedtime and then remove all the food. Check their crops when they go to bed, then first thing in the morning. You should be able to tell a difference.

 

If you aren't providing any type of supplemental lighting, then your chickens should be going to bed (roosting) around sundown and sleeping through the night. Not getting up in the middle of the night milling around and eating. Chickens cannot see well in low light, so I would suspect that there is some type of light source shining in the coop, from houses/street lights.

 

As far as grit goes, that is a personal choice. Some people give it, while others don't. I personally do provide it, I get a 25lb bag at Tractor Supply for around $9.00 and it will last a really long time.

I put it in a pvc cap which is attached to a post in the run and they will get a piece or two when needed. This helps them to grind up foods.

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks. Just to clarify, I did use a piece of plywood to block access to the food last night, which is why I was concerned they were still full this morning.  I agree about light coming in, as the "snacking" usually happens in the evening when I have the door open and before they have gone to sleep or early in the morning before I let them out.  I will try buying some grit next time I am the feedstore :)

post #6 of 8

I would keep an eye on it the next couple of days.  I would still remove the food and see how they do.

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks.  The crops on the two chickens I was concerned about did seem to empty themselves over several days, and they just had a checkup where I was told their crops were normal, so I think they're are good to go for now :)  I was told that I need to replace our old straw (on my to do list for this weekend), so I may consider replacing it with something that's not as risky.

post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by SusanD View Post
 

Thanks.  The crops on the two chickens I was concerned about did seem to empty themselves over several days, and they just had a checkup where I was told their crops were normal, so I think they're are good to go for now :)  I was told that I need to replace our old straw (on my to do list for this weekend), so I may consider replacing it with something that's not as risky.

Thanks for the update!

Glad to hear they are doing good! Wonderful to have a confirmation on normal crops! :celebrate

Sometimes one or two of mine eat a LOT and their crop looks huge, but I check on them later in the day and they are back to normal (I'm a worrier).

 

Even though it is surrounded by controversy, I have read too many times about how long grasses, hay and straw can sometimes be a potential for impacted crops. (Just search on youtube about impacted crop surgery-like this one (Warning its a bit gross :sick but interesting -you see what they start pulling out at about the 4 min mark) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uA6dKTfUm_U ).

 

I use pine shavings in the coop and so far have had no problems :fl. A lot of people use sand, leaves, pine needles.

 

Wishing you continued health and success!


Edited by Wyorp Rock - 1/21/16 at 8:34pm
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