Baby Chicks with crop impaction...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by seespotbitejane, Aug 29, 2009.

  1. seespotbitejane

    seespotbitejane Out Of The Brooder

    29
    0
    32
    Aug 13, 2009
    Walla Walla, WA
    I am a chicken newbie with a brooder full of assorted bantam chicks. They are just a couple days shy of being a week old. Their bedding is a combination of shredded newspaper and shredded office paper. I have not seen any of them eating the bedding and they have been monitored pretty closely. Their food is medicated chick starter/grower. I haven't given them any treats or anything.

    They don't have a thermometer in their box, but there is a thermometer in the room and we adjust the heat lamp to make up the difference. They are all noisy and active, they don't act too hot or too cold. All of them are eating and all of them are drinking. Sanitation is good, I clean the feeder and waterer at least daily (with spot checks if I noticed a big poop) and the litter is changed every couple of days.

    There are about 4 chicks that have swollen crops. They aren't rock hard, but they are tight and round. The chicks are just as active as the others and everyone is eating, drinking and pooping. Following other advise on this site I added apple cider vinegar to their water and I've given them a few drops of olive oil (boy do they hate that).

    Is there anything else I should be doing? Should I separate these chicks away from the food until the swelling goes down? How often should I give them the oil? I've been putting a small drop on the end of their beaks (making sure it doesn't get near their nose). A few of the chicks (with and without crop issues) have had little pasty butt, which I have cleaned with a warm moist towel.
     
  2. TXmom

    TXmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    I really don't think their crops are impacted. I think they're just eating a lot and they're full...and that's perfectly normal...you don't need to treat them at all. For one, I think they're too young to have impacted crops, unless they are eating wood shavings or hay or something. I wouldn't even suggest separating them from their food because at this age they eat a LOT and should always have food available. They even eat overnight so their crops will still be full in the morning...perfectly normal. [​IMG] Relax, Mommy [​IMG]
     
  3. ShaggysGirl

    ShaggysGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    876
    1
    139
    May 24, 2009
    Temperance, MI
    I just went through this (sour crop) with two of my chicks unfortunately we did lose one she was just too small [​IMG] The other is doing good though

    I would separate the chicks with the crop problems for sure.
    Next is what I did with mine I used to raise parrots but I am fairly new to chickens.
    I flushed the crop with baking soda and warm water. Got most all the stuff in there. In our case there was a lot of down feathers they plucked either from them selves or others.
    I let the chick rest for about 12 hours no food just acv water
    Then I fed yogurt with probiotics mixed in and bread soaked with oilve oil and I gave them some dark corn syrup mixed with the water.

    I didn't get it in time for my first chick but my second is getting dosed twice a day with Medpet Medistatin 100g which is nystatin which my avian vet used to give me when I bred parrots. That really does seem to help and I would recommend anyone to have it on hand.

    Best of luck keep us updated

    **edited to say, only do this if you see them lagging behind the others in growth and are sure their crops aren't working right. You can separate them and if they have full crops in the am after no food at night that might indicate a problem.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2009
  4. ShaggysGirl

    ShaggysGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    876
    1
    139
    May 24, 2009
    Temperance, MI
    I also give all my chicks yogurt a few times a week.
     
  5. seespotbitejane

    seespotbitejane Out Of The Brooder

    29
    0
    32
    Aug 13, 2009
    Walla Walla, WA
    Why yogurt? I've seen that mentioned multiple times. Is it just for the good bacteria (so make sure it's live culture yogurt)? Also, maybe a silly question, but I assume just plain yogurt?

    I'll knock off the oil for now then. The ACV is supposed to be good for them in general right? I probably do need to relax. I'm trying not to be paranoid, but they're so small and delicate (though not that delicate based on some of the jumps they've made trying to escape).
     
  6. save the favs

    save the favs Chillin' With My Peeps

    856
    1
    131
    Jun 14, 2009
    Oregon
    seespotbitejane, you might want to put a brooder thermometor (or any small room type thermometor) in where the chickies are as they will do best with temps around 90 degrees at 1 week, decreasing 5 degrees each week; they digest their food better when they are not chilled. Are they getting chick grit? I always offer a little chick grit in alfalfa sprouts, yogurt or kefir for the benificial bacteria (email me if interested in how to make kefir at home inexpensively & so so easily-no heating), zuchinni etc. (blended or finely grated when that young), it helps them grind the food in their crops so it doesn't sour or pack. When around 3- 4 weeks, I give them sprouted whole wheat, & all through adulthood; it's easy to make, takes little time, is very nutritous & is inexpensive to feed on the side. Get them used to eating fresh things as chicks & they'll come running to gobble up anything you bring them as adults; won't be so picky as adults. I alternate everything, cause as the saying goes "too much of a good thing......" But, about 90 percent of their diet should be the chick starter feed. I use ACV in my chicken drinking water every other time I change water, for the benificial enzymes. In a gallon of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar, I put 1 large clove of garlic; have also put an average sized clove in a quart bottle of ACV. Then, every other water change I put 1 Tblsp. to 1 gal of fresh water. This helps keep algae undercontrol in the water container also I hear, but mainly the ACV is for digestion & immunity. Don't like to use it every time it gives them an alternating break from the acid, cause fresh water is good for us all just as it is (have seen several recomendations for 3 days a week). My all time favorite bedding/litter for chickies is 2-3" sizzor cut straw, there is no chemical paper ink on it, it's eddible - which I have never seen them try to eat a whole one (have seen baby parrots impact with pine wood shavings though), they like to play with it, & you can put it in the coop on the floor or in the nest boxes. I do organic everything, so medicated chick starter is not my favorite unless there is a problem with the chicks to start with that had in the past come from a hatchery/feed store with shipping stress. So test their brooder temperature, keep everything clean, give a little pinch of grit daily & enjoy watching their antics, it's better than TV. Handle them often for short periods of time, at least scoop them up from the front & under their chest, letting their legs dangle. Trust me, they will often come to you for this "free ride" & they'll be nicer as adults when going for an egg under them in the nest; mine are all bantams also. I hope that you will soon be able to embrace the ease of caring for them that comes with experience which gives confidence. Sounds like they are quite active, eating/filling their crops but not packed hard & cold & drinking; you're a lucky gal, those are the best signs.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. 23442344

    23442344 Just Hatched

    1
    1
    15
    Jul 7, 2015
    My chick, 'Salt,' just died from an impacted crop after much suffering and much effort on our part to get her better. At the veterinary hospital, the vet showed me the X-Ray [she died before they could implement their plans]. She had overeaten chick grit. Her crop was FILLED with grit, and more grit was in an abdominal mass according to the X-Ray. In addition, grit may have perforated the GI tract and caused sepsis. She'd stopped eating and drinking. The vet said [their veterinarian medical book confirmed this] very young baby chicks still eating commercial chick mash do not need grit until they are eating grains like cracked corn, etc.; some chicks overeat grit [and other non-food items like wood chips, metal shavings, etc.], and cannot differentiate between seeds, grains, and grit. I share our sad mistake to benefit those willing to consider this advice. :(
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. Artemis Moon

    Artemis Moon Out Of The Brooder

    22
    1
    26
    Mar 24, 2016
    Maryland
    I juse gave my week old chicks some chopped up boiled egg and the one loved it so much I think she just over ate. Because her crop is full. Its firm yet has some palapability to it, so also soft-ish. I'm also new to this and @seespotbitejane is your chick opening it's mouth every now and again? (Also, is this normal?)

    So far She's doing ok but I'll be keeping an eye in her just incase.
     
  9. Bocktobery 10

    Bocktobery 10 Chillin' With My Peeps

    542
    38
    161
    Oct 8, 2010
    I'm also curious about this..

    I just had a baby chick die (I would guess it was 3 days old at least since I know the hatchery sent them out on Wed.. its now Fri evening). Its crop also seemed full to me. But like everyone else was saying, I thought it had just eaten its fill. I just got the chick about 5 hours ago. I noticed it wasn't eating, wasn't drinking. By just two and a half hours ago, it was starting to sleep alot and soon become listless. I noticed the other chicks from the same shipment, also have similar symptoms.. all have swollen crops. One is starting to become listless. The other two act so hungry. In fact, the only thing that gave away that anything was wrong with them was the fact that even though they had heat, quiet place, food, and water, they were screaming out every now and then. This reminded me completely of a sick chick I tried to nurse back to health that all night long as it was dying it would peep 'scream' every once and a while, so I figured something was up. The only other clue that something was wrong was that they were hardly touching their food.

    I dissected the chick that died almost after it had died- in fact, it went so quick I was amazed- had been responsive about two hours before. When I cut her open, I noticed it crop was indeed full of 'meal'- whatever it consists of I am not sure. It didn't smell stinky- just smelled like wet chick feed. I saw no signs of impaction of where the crop empties into .. whatever it empties into. (A tube of some sorts) And the next thing I noticed when cut open the abdomen was a large organ that was hard as rock. I thought maybe this is the stomach? Do chickens have stomachs? Anyway, I cut it open and found more 'meal'.. same stuff and I looked through it and found what I'd say is a hard shard of pine chip... about 4 mm long, 2mm wide and maybe a half mm width. It didn't seem 'stuck' in any sort of ending of whatever that organ was- meaning it did not look stuck in transition, but it was in whatever that organ was. This organ had thick - muscular?- sides on both sides but not in the middle of this organ.

    I also found within this "meal" substance hard pieces of something- I really doubt it is feed. Is this chick grit? There was something else I found that felt gummy like cartilage, but similar to this 'grit' I found all throughout the tract.

    So essentially, this chick starved to death because the food was not passing through? Does anyone know how long a chick can survive without food after hatching? I thought it was three days... I have two other chicks that I bought from this shipment who are showing the same signs... I don't think doing any sort of crop impaction 'surgery' would help if this other chick had food already down into the 'stomach' (or whatever it was) They are pooping... so wouldn't that mean food is getting through? I've been feeding them yogurt, but both are doing the 'scream peeping' and when I put my hands in there they run to me like they are seriously looking for food even though food is in there. I didn't really see any fecal matter in the intestines.... if they were the intestines. Hard to know what you are looking at when you don't know much at all about chicken anatomy. Most of the organs looked healthy brand new pink.


    So does anyone have any ideas on what can be done for my other two sick ones? Keep feeding yogurt and hope for the best? Do you think that hard small stuff in the crop and 'stomach' was chick grit? Is that what killed her?

    The only other symptom that I heard was that when I was holding them I could hear clicking noise from their nostrils. I had read here online that that could just be moisture from hatching? OR should I be worried about something respiratory too?
     
  10. Bocktobery 10

    Bocktobery 10 Chillin' With My Peeps

    542
    38
    161
    Oct 8, 2010
    I should note, there was no sneezing, or wheezing... just a clicking sound.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by