crop not empty?


6 Years
Jun 24, 2013
Buna, TX
At about 9 last night, i put my six week old chickens to bed and noticef a barred rock acting off. Kinda puffed up and moving in slow motion.

I looked her over as best i could in the dark, and put her to bed when i couldnt find anything wrong.

This morning she is still acting strange. Still puffed up and easily shoved around. I felt her crop and sure enough, its still full. I gave her some olive oil (she is now angry with me) and massaged it. Its soft, but you can definately feed grass or something similar in there. (There is no way to prevent thrm from getting long strands of grass or leaves-they are directly under several trees with squirrels in them and they fall in).

She didnt vomit. She did seem relieved when i finally put her down.

What now? Ive read to hold her upside down, drizzle oil down her neck until she vomits, wait it out.....any help would be appreciated. I may bring her inside after i walk my dogs.
I'm not a fan of massage. Sometimes it forces the un gound up food deeper into their system and then there is a real problem. If possible separate her from the others but make sure the others can still see her. If she is gone for more than a day they will attack her when she is reintroduced.

Make sure she has grit and oyster shell available. For the next 3 days only give her soft food. Cottage cheese, scrambled egg, chopped up mushed pasta, applesauce and anything that doesn't have any fiber. PLENTY of water.

Give her those three days to see if she can work the problem out by herself. If not crop surgery might be needed. Call around now to find a vet or prepare yourself to do it by yourself. Detailed instructions can be found here and many will answer any questions you have.

Oil and vinegar are not the cure for everything. I see it more and more here especially in situations where it won't remedy the problem.

Strands of grass and squirrels? If the grass is long the hens will forage and only snap of a small piece at a time. They usually don't eat strands of grass unless it is cut.

Please don't make her vomit. If she is crop bound that mass could be the size of an egg and that's not something you want to try forcing back up her throat. The throat is too narrow.
Shes 6 weeks old, pooped just fine and is drinking a little. I have no way to seperate her without bringing her inside. There are no vets within a 3 hour drive that treat chickens and i couldnt afford one anyway (i had to learn to relocate a luxating patella-would have been $200 at the vet.)

Her crop feels better after the oil (i didnt even read it, i just kniw it works on even the most stubborn hairballs). But shes still puffed up. She doesnt seem interested in food right now (at least not her crumbles or the cricket that found its way in).

Ill boil a few eggs and make sure she gets some. What should i be looking for before i say, "this is now an emergency," ?
She also gets the ACV anyway, its in the water. (Keeps the containers from growing algae). It also eeems to make a difference in the health of the rest of the chicks (they got downright dull after i ran out for a few weeks.)
Mix her crumbles with applesauce or or water or non sweetened yogurt to make everything soft. That's the key. She needs access to soft food so it can bypass the blockage (hopefully) and keep her from being malnourished. Get rid of the cricket. Too much fiber. Give her water and time. She needs time.

Do they have grit and oyster shell available to them regularly? If not make sure she has some to pick at.

Add a few drops of water to those eggs to make them soft. Mush them like baby food.

Treat her like you would yourself if you had a stomach bug or the flu. Soft, easily digestible foods, water and lots of rest. If she can get these soft foods to go through her system she will poop kinda normally. If it turns green or she seems worse or is loosing weight it might be time to put her down or do crop surgery.
If you use ACV to keep the algae down in their waterers you might consider cleaning them more frequently or sanitizing them by soaking them in a solution of a four gallons fresh water and 1-4 cup bleach. Clean each container well and soak for 15 minutes.

I know that a little algae left in the waterers grows into a lot of algae in the hot weather.
I have algae on my car as we speak -_- its crazy. And i clean them with soap every other day-one speck turns into a terrarium overnght it seems.

They do not have oyster shell-a small bag runs $35 here. They get fine crushed eggshells (waste not want not).

She turned her nose up at egg, applesauce crumbles, cottage cheese (cant blame her on that one...yuck), and yogurt. The cricket was not an issue, as the 40 other chicks swarmed like jurassic park.

If she wont eat on her own, she will have to be hungry until tonight when my husband gets home and then we can get a feeding tube. She isnt even remotely interested in food.
We have algae here too. You're right overnight it grows like a monster movie.

If at all possible let her eat on her own. You can even leave food with her so she can eat when she wants. Tube feeding is harsh and you don't want to get anything in her lungs.

Do they have grit? Egg shells are great for calcium. I save my shells, roast them and crush them.
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They live on grit (i keep some thrown out there so they pick it up while they scratch).

She seems more alert now, they are all laying down (nap time i guess-every day at 10:30 they all snuggle and sleep like clockwork), but she perked up when i came to the gate.

Somewhat related-i dont free feed because it seems to attract fireants (they even swarm on the scratch seeds-i assume due to the lack of rain their foid supply has been cut short). Theyget two coffee cans full a day (equalling about 12 cups of chick starter a day).

Now that theyre older and seem to mow through the feed like starving dogs im considering a third 6 cup can of food a day. Is there some way to determine how much feed they should get?

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