Crop questions: Is this a problem?


11 Years
Mar 21, 2008
Collierville (Memphis), TN
We got our first chicks a little over three weeks ago. I have a blue cochin that seems to have a swollen crop.

Admission: after reading up on what would be good treats, we have given a bit of bread crumbs occasionally. Also, I told my husband that I read they would love some grass. He put an handful of, unfortunately, 4 inch blades of grass in to their brooder. The next day we noticed that she was swollen.

After reviewing this site, I got the grass out quick! I have been massaging her a few times a day and she either "gives up" a clear mucus or what appears to be partially digested starter. One time she "gave up" an intact blade of grass. Her crop feels like a water balloon and I cannot feel anything solid or gritty. I read that it could be a yeast issue, but I have checked her pretty thoroughly and can find no signs of it.

She seems to be normal, eating, drinking, pooping and loves to scratch like crazy. Should I keep massaging her to vomit or let her digest it? I sort of feel like I am robbing her of her food. What do I do?

Between this chick and one with a bad leg I am beginning to feel out of my element, so any direction would be much appreciated!
If you can give her some grit, like play sand or small rocks, it can help her digest it. My guess is she has some grass stuck in her system somewhere that needs to get passed or broken down. Best of luck.
I forgot to mention that I did put a plate of sand into the coop with them all right after I realized my "bad". They all seemed to like it. I will put more in, but should I keep "burping" her?
* I know she's a bit young and I want you to wait and hear what more chick-experienced members have to say b/f you go this route-- but, I would probably serve her a little bit of grit since she's had these treats and see if it won't help her 'chew up' that grass and process it through.
I personally wouldn't "burp" her because I'd be afraid to accidentally get fluid in her lungs which would be a bad thing. Someone else might have to put their input into that aspect of the chick. I am not really sure.

I'd just keep up with the grit and let them eat as much as they want.
Try pouring a little olive oil down her throat and massage the crop and the food should soften and pass. Or try and give the hen a drink of warm water and then turn her upside down and gently massage the crop to try and release the blockage. Good luck.
I don't know about pouring oil down the could go into the lungs..BIG problem.

soak a little piece of bread in the oil and give her that.
or, using an eye dropper...get it WAY back in the throat..look for the little holes at the back of tongue and get it pass them.

do not allow her to have any grass, or any grains.

keep a close eye for the crop getting bigger..sometimes long blades of grass can form a ball around other foods..more serious situation.
watch for droppings to change to more loose and liquid, and change to green color.
watch that she is actually eating and not just pecking.

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