Chicken gorging herself to the point of sickness

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by bowchickawowow, Jul 16, 2016.

  1. bowchickawowow

    bowchickawowow New Egg

    Jul 16, 2016
    Hello BYC!! I can't tell you how much this site has helped me in the last few months with answering all my chicken questions. So first a big Thank You! But alas, I have a problem I can't find in the forums. The situation started about 6 weeks ago when my chicken was about 4 weeks old. She got a really full mushy crop that I quickly identified as sour crop. As a last ditch effort I vomited her and she threw up a bunch of pine shavings... lots. We treated the fungal infection and she was back to normal. I switched the bedding to sand because she kept eating the shavings... same thing happened- she gorged herself on sand and I again had to empty out her crop through vomiting. I switched the bedding to paper towels. She ate them too and plugged up her crop again. Then I switched to straw. All was good for about 10 days but here we are again...a big mushy crop (which I am pretty sure is pendulous by now) and about half a cup of straw vomit. She is clearly feeling better with that out but I just put her outside for the first time and she is going to town on the dirt and her crop is already full to capacity. Ack! I am sure she is malnourished (she is significantly smaller then her sisters now since each "episode" lasts a few days to a week to clear up) so maybe she is overeating to compensate? I don't know... I am feeling very helpless. I am eagerly awaiting any suggestions. Thanks in advance.
  2. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    That is really strange. Sounds like pica, I believe it's called. People can have it too and they eat really strange things, I'm not sure if it's mental problem or/and a nutritional deficiency. Does this chick ever eat regular chicken feed? I would re-post on the "emergencies, diseases, injuries, cures, " thread at once.

    Google "PICA" and see what comes up. If the ER folks can't help please take her to a vet or cull her. She will die anyway if she doesn't stop eating junk.

    At first I thought you had a Cornish x meat bird, they will literally eat themselves to death. But, they don't eat sand, and dirt and straw- they eat like crazy because they are bred for explosive growth. If they aren't processed early, they die because their organs can't support them.
  3. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2014
    Yorkshire, UK
    My Coop
    Hi :welcome

    Glad you could join the flock! I'm afraid I've never heard of this but I see you have posted in the emergency section. I'm sure members there will be able to offer you some advice.

    Wishing you the very best of luck :fl
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] This is a first for me too… The only thing I can think of doing is removing anything that she can find edible and offer her only food and hope she grows out of this strange eating habit?
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello and welcome to BYC!

    What comes to my mind is this...she is being bullied away from the feeder and is starving to death so she eats what ever she can. There are cases of this exact situations...they will even gorge on oystershell, dirt and anything else to satisfy their hunger.

    So I would try putting out MORE feeding stations.It is very common for the lowest birds to be bullied away from feeders, being the smallest in the group. I have several feeding stations as I do water stations as my lowest is always being run off. But with more places to find food, she keeps a healthy weight. Also, sneak your bird here a bit extra to help her gain weight without the others around.

    I would get this bird on vitamins too. She is no doubt lacking to the point of possible damage to internal organs. But get food into her somehow.

    Keep us posted! :)
  6. bowchickawowow

    bowchickawowow New Egg

    Jul 16, 2016
    Thanks everyone! Following your advice, and the folks over in the health section I am going to seperate her into a beddingless crate and see if we can break the cycle. We only have four chickens and I would say she is the most aggresive at the feeder so I don't think it is a bully problem but maybe the rest just behave when I am around. I will set up another feed station just in case. If it does end up being a pika problem I might have to get creative with the flooring of the coop- bigger rocks or maybe a raised wire floor- sounds like a mess! With all this care and cuddling she has gotten in the past several weeks she has become my favorite so I hope we can beat this. Thanks again for your ideas and suggestions!
  7. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Welcome to BYC! It's great to have you.
  8. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)

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