Chicken gorging herself to the point of sickness

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by bowchickawowow, Jul 17, 2016.

  1. bowchickawowow

    bowchickawowow Hatching

    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. BuffOrpington88

    BuffOrpington88 Non-Stop

    Mar 20, 2012
    Hi and welcome to BYC! I haven't experienced anything like this before, but I figured I'd take a shot at it until someone else with more info comes along. You said she was malnourished-- it is likely that the other hens are keeping her away from the food and she is eating odd things because she doesn't have access to normal food. I would suggest separating her for a few days in a dog crate so she can gain her strength back by having immediate access to food and water. Maybe as an experiment you could put her in the dog crate with just an old towel for a few days and no bedding and then back to shavings and see if she stops eating the shavings, showing that it was simply a lack of available food, or if she continues, which could be a habit/pica. I think that would be a good start. Hope this helped, and good luck! [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  3. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Free Ranging

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains

    I would separate her for sure so you can monitor her food/water intake. It sounds like she may not be getting to the food/being kept away from it. Offer her chick starter/grower crumbles (I'm assuming by your timeline she is still young), free choice, let her have all she wants, give fresh clean plain water and grit. As suggested, place her on a towel, no bedding that she can eat and see if she improves.

    Photos are always welcome[​IMG]
    A few questions:
    What breed is she?
    How old is she?
    What type of food/treats do you normally feed -- is it free choice (available at all times)?
    Does she normally have a source of grit available?
    How may chickens is she housed with?
  4. bowchickawowow

    bowchickawowow Hatching

    Jul 16, 2016
    Thanks for your quick feedback! She is an Aricauna (supposedly), 10 weeks old and she has free reign of chick starter and grit. There are only 3 other chicks in there with her and I have observed her push the others out of the way to get a better place at the table so I don't think she is getting bullied. I am going to take your guys advice and seperate her for a few days in a lonely old crate and see if we can't get ahead of this problem. It helps to know I am not doing anything obviously wrong and she is just a weirdo. I keep reminding her she is a chicken not a pig!

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