Hi I am a new chicken mama - I have three humans (7,5,2) and three 1.5 week old chicks we bought from a hatchery at a day or two old.
One of the chicks (a speckled sussex) has a very big crop most of the time (compared with the others) and it feels a bit plasticine-y. She is bright and eating and drinking well and seems to have lots of new baby feathers sprouting. I noticed the swelling a few days ago and last night after reading a little on here I gave her a few drops of olive oil and a gentle massage of the crop and withheld food (from all of them) for abut 5 hours. Her crop became significantly smaller in that time so I put food (crumble) back in before I went to bed and decided that she was just a bit of a greedy bird. It was a bit bigger again in the morning. This evening her crop is quite big again - can actually see it looking at her from a distance - but when I look closer it seems to have pockets of air, or there are pockets of air closely associated with it. Now I am really worried! They have been on chick starter (although an over enthusiastic child put some lettuce in with them at one point but I am not sure if they ate any before I discovered it). They are on some sort of pine shavings that the hatchery sold us when we got them. I haven't noticed them eating them but they are always scratching around in them and spreading food everywhere etc. What do you think? My kids just love them and would be devastated to lose one.
Thank you in advance for any help.