Chicken crop empty for last 2 days?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by TheWolfRaven, Feb 13, 2015.

  1. TheWolfRaven

    TheWolfRaven Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 11, 2015
    10-12 week Australorp girls (3)
    Just started mixing in a grower feed with their starter crumble. They're eating that all up + grasses, bugs and mealworms I bring out to them every day.

    Since I started adding in the grower (a scoop for every three of the crumble) they're crops have been empty. I check at about 4pm each day (there let out at 6am) and there is no food in there whatsoever. Only one hen had anything in her crop and it was smaller than a grape (whilst usually they fill up to a plum size).
    Could the new food be doing this? If so, how to I introduce the new food?
     
  2. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you're offering hard foods, are you also offering grit or give them access where they can eat rocks and pebbles?

    If they're eating and growing and pooping normally, I wouldn't worry too much. :)

    Happy to hear you have some BAs. I'm quite partial. [​IMG]

    MrsB
     
  3. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are you limiting the amount of feed you give them each day, or do they have free access to as much as they want to eat?

    As birds grow they need an ever increasing amount of feed - if they are eating everything you give them and their crops are empty in the evening then they need more feed. (Think about teenagers - they eat as if they have hollow legs - growing chickens are no different!)

    However, if their bowls still have feed in at the end of the day, then there is something else going on.
     
  4. TheWolfRaven

    TheWolfRaven Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 11, 2015
    Not yet offering grit, but they've never had a problem with that before- they're outside and they pick up their own grit- but I'll probably go grab some just in case.

    I think they have a 8kg feeder, and I only ever fill it up so the bottom is full. That usually takes them a couple days to finish up, and if they don't finish it within a 2-3 days I dump the old food and replace it.

    I've noticed some bright orange, sticky poop in the coop, but only ever one or two of these.
     
  5. TheWolfRaven

    TheWolfRaven Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 11, 2015
    **quick update**
    So I went to go change the food out, and I realised underneath the food bucket (not elevated) mild was growing everywhere! Apparently the chickens managed to kick food under the container and well.... Damp ground after rain+warm weather+food = mold.

    Luckily enough we have a portable chicken tranctor (coop+run) so once the rain clears we'll move it far away and kill of the moldy bits.

    I've covered the moldy bits with a plastic container that also elevates the food- the chicks are chowing down no problem so I'll check them later on tonight to see if everyone is better.

    Going to have to find a more suitable thing to elevate the food/water however. I might try using some of the big flat rocks lying around...
    Hmm.

    I'll keep you guys updated on their progress!
     
  6. TheWolfRaven

    TheWolfRaven Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 11, 2015
    Did my end of the day check, and everyone is happy and full!
     
  7. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I elevate everything - water and food bowls - on a couple of bricks or flat stones, but I still check the space under the feeder every few days, especially when it's damp, as even a few pellets that fall under there will quickly go mouldy.

    Good to hear. Full chicks = happy chicks! [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  8. TheWolfRaven

    TheWolfRaven Out Of The Brooder

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    Yeah, I'll definately have a look for something more stable to elevate them both- I've been meaning to for ages, and this is a bit of final motivation!

    I was wondering if you've had any experience with your chooks being put off their food when there is mold near the feeder? I'm 99% sure this is the cause, but only time will tell!

    I've also noticed their crops are a bit lower on their chests than before- is this normal for a chick who has been off their food for a couple days, or...?
     
  9. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My girls always have a choice of three feeding stations - only one of which has the possibility of getting mould around it - so I couldn't really say if it puts them off eating. Having said that, this is chickens we're talking about, so just about anything is possible! [​IMG]

    The only problem I had with a chicken not eating was when I changed the brand of feed. The new pellets were smoother and shinier, and one girl didn't like them. She still went to the feeder, so I thought she was eating, but when I did my regular monthly weighing I found that she'd lost weight. When I watched her I realised she was pecking at the pellets but then dropping them back in the bowl, not actually eating them. I changed back to the original brand and she put the weight back on! (Yes, my chickens are extremely spoiled girls!)

    If your birds haven't eaten much for a couple of days and then have stuffed themselves wth food, then maybe their crops are just a bit fuller than usual, which is making them hang lower. Keep an eye on it, but I am sure they will go back to normal.
     

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