Big lump below throat!


In the Brooder
8 Years
May 20, 2011
Both my chicks have a large mass below their throats. Is this dangerous or normal? It is soft, but firm (not hard and rigid) about .5-1 in in diameter. Should I remove the sawdust from the brooder and replace it with newspaper? I am worried they are eating the sawdust.
You may be speaking of the crop. It is on the right side of the breast area. When chickens eat, the food goes there first before it passes through to the gizzard. Lots of first time chick owners mistake a full crop for a tumor. You're not alone.
I agree with the above post.

Look at your chickens first thing in the morning (assuming that they do not have overnight access to food). The crop should be empty.The crop then expands after food.

Hopefully this is all that it is.(i.e completely normal)
I was hoping that was what it was. What should I look for that could potentially become a concern? So it is ok for them not to have their food at night? I thought they were supposed to have access to it all the time. Just water is ok then through the night? They are 10 and 7 days old.
Ok, it is the first time their crop has shown. They have had access to plenty of food and fresh water day and night since being taken from the bator, but this is the first day I let them outside to explore. I heard that there can be problems sometimes with the crop. What do I look for to know when they need help?
When their crop is large and hard(impacted) then you need to give a few drops of olive oil and massage crop gently, sometimes repeat in a few hours. When large and soft it is sour crop...common after impacted. So to be on the safe side I always feed pro-biotics after impaction. Yogurt is my choice of pro-biotic....and my chickens...they love strawberry yogurt. Hope that helps!
Yep, babies have very small reserves to live on, but they do not eat or drink in the dark of night. They are light reactive, and constantly forage, when awake.. You should not be afraid to check crop fill, to find they get enough to eat. After a bit, you will know what MT or Full or STUFFED feels like, and when you find it, an impaction can be discerned. Usually an impaction will show with a listless bird, just looking a bit off. I just dealt with a small impaction issue on some new birds from another farm, weight way off, a hard but mobile lump, that did not leave by morning, the dead giveaway. Chickens have a high metabolism, and run food out of the crop rather quickly, and it will be mostly MT in the morning. If it is large and lumpy, it is a pretty good bet, they are stopped up, and require some personal attention. Messaging the lump to move it apart can work, along with a shot of a little olive oil. Close attention is key, and hours may make a diference, particularly with small and jeuvenile birds.

I am newly back in the chix mix, but it is fun if you have the time. Others have much more experience here than I, but thats OK. We care about our birds.
I'm also dealing with crop problems in a 9-wk-old pullet. I've had her isolated with no food, only ACV in water, the little bit of oil I can get down her, and lots of gentle massaging of the crop. She has been pooping normally and is feeling much better. Her crop is smaller but still "there", soft and pliable. When is it safe to offer her some food, maybe yogurt? Thanks for any advice, Martha
I love this website. I was so worried when I noticed this on my smallest chick. I thought she had a growth or a clogged up throat or that her food was being misdirected to some weird pocket haha Thank god for you all! It makes perfect sense now that I've thought it through. We just gave her some seeds and scratch so it's all that stuff that she JUST consumed.. I feel much better.

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