Distended crop/ real big lump on chest

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Rica, Aug 24, 2007.

  1. Rica

    Rica Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 25, 2007
    Australia
    Hi all,

    Just wondering if anyone has come across this before in meat birds. One of my meat hens has a very enlarged crop. It has always been a little larger than the other birds, but i have recently noticed she is also lagging behind in development. I only have 5 birds, and they are 6 1/2 weeks old. Since i am processing them in the next fortnight, i am reluctant to put the bird through too much stress in case she loses condition further.
    I am wondering, however, if when i do process her the meat will be suitable for consumption?

    The lump itself is situated slightly to one side, and matches the other birds, however hers is about 3 times the size. It feels fluid filled. She is eating and drinking normally, my birds are housed in an outdoor run with a sheltered nesting box. There are perches available, but the chooks are too lazy to use them. : )
    They are eating commercial chick crumble, supplemented with kitchen scraps. They are allowed to free range (with supervision, i don't trust my cats) and they bed in pea straw.

    I'd be keen for a fix, as long as it is going to be beneficial in a short enough term.

    The other thing to consider is that these chooks have grown VERY quickly, even on the more natural varied diet i give them, they have reached about a size 16 in just 6 weeks.

    Thanks,
    Veronica

    Here's pics:

    Sorry for the quality, i did the best i could without stressing her out too much. The third picture best shows the size, it rests in the palm of my hand quite neatly. And i have large hands.

    [​IMG]

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  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    She might have an impacted crop if you take away food at night and it doesn't shrink. Chances are though she's being a meat bird and just keeps on eating. As long as she's not lethargic, she should be fine. If she get's lethargic, I'd eat her early since she'll start to lose weight. The meat will be fine.
     
  3. Rica

    Rica Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 25, 2007
    Australia
    Fantastic - thanks for that.
    I'll watch for any changes in her condition. I have taken to restricting their food at night anyway, as all they ever want to do is eat. If i left them to it, no joke they would eat several kilos a day. And we're only talking about 5 birds here. I've been supplementing with other foods to keep it interesting, and to control their growth. They love pretzels!
    I guess she will be first to go with the roosters then, 9th of September is the big day! That will leave 2 hens as company for each other, going to fatten them up till about 10-11 weeks.

    Thanks for the advice. I'm glad there's no sensual crop massage involved. : P
     
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Haha, if you are giving treats though, be sure they have access to girt or some dirt since treats can get stuck in their crop and cause blockages.
     
  5. Rica

    Rica Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 25, 2007
    Australia
    Yeah they are in a tractor, so finding dirt and grit isn't a problem. I imagine if anything some more free ranging wouldn't hurt, but with several cats around, it's pretty time consuming supervising them. Thanks again!
     
  6. Rica

    Rica Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 25, 2007
    Australia
    Just following up on this post-

    Since I first wrote, the chook in question is still with us, and the situation hasn't changed. I tried some home remedies, namely:
    Applesauce - She loved it. No change.
    Yoghurt - The chooks thought this was great, but no change.
    Crop Massage - yeah, I can get her to throw up, but this didn't have any long term effect and it stressed her out.
    Crop Bra - It took her less than a day to get out of it.

    So, all in all I can only conclude that since she has always had a larger than normal crop and still seems to be eating OK, and hasn't lost any body weight, this must just be pretty normal for her. She is about half the weight of the biggest chook, but the biggest chook would be about 3 - 3.5Kg.

    I have watched what she eats, and she does tend to be pretty indiscriminate. She will eat anything with food stuck to it, leaves, straw, and has a real thing for drinking from muddy puddles instead of her waterer. Maybe her large crop is just the result of her bad dietary choices!
     
  7. adoptedbyachicken

    adoptedbyachicken Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Sorry, I tried to fix your picture links but still can't get them working, however I can see the pictures by hand loading them.

    I have had this and your right it's from them eating things like grass and straw. I had one that ate some game peices from the neighbour's kids too! Anyway as a meat bird your best to just support her in living with it till processing date. I'd keep her off the grass if you can and limit her choices of things to eat to crumbles so she gets enough food through the blockage to have her grow. Also seperate you can monitor her poops a bit and if she stops or they go green indicating she is not getting enough through just go ahead and process her.

    When you do process her watch form contamination from the crop or gut as she will be dificult to get empty. Withhold food as normal but know that she is just not going to clean out properly.
     

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