Does my impacted-crop-prone rooster need a special diet?


In the Brooder
11 Years
Feb 7, 2008
My 1 yr old RIR rooster has suffered two bouts of crop impaction since December. He became emaciated, lethargic and dehydrated. Now that is appears he'll survive the second bout, I'm wondering if there's something better to feed him than layer pellets. I currently have him on a pretty soft diet (he turned the corner about a day ago) of oatmeal w/ Activia yogurt, chopped hard boiled egg, finely chopped honeydew or grapes, blueberries, and some pellets wetted w/ electrolyte solution. He's been out in the yard the past two days and has had his fill of worms, grubs and who knows what else.

I'm not sure why this particular bird develops crop problems - maybe it is just him. I plan to keep ACV in his water and offer him yogurt weekly. He gets plenty of black oil sunflower seeds just hanging out under the bird feeders. Any ideas out there for a daily ration other than layer pellets, black oil sunflower seeds & ACV'd water?


*Bells, do you supply chkn grit to your birds?? If not, you need to do so. The only other thing I noticed in your post that may be contributing is letting your roo eat from under the bird feeder. Wild bird droppings could carry many diseases/bacteria/parasites that could transmit to your chickens.
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Offer your bird a grower ration or anything other than a layer (which has >3% calcium which will cause in the longterm kidney damage and gout.)
Thanks for the replies. I guess the best thing is to get him off layer pellets and offer him another ration. He normally shares a coop w/ 4 hens so I guess I just leave it up to each chicken what to eat if both are available...?

I have a roo and hen. I have both wild game bird maintenance food (does not have the calcium that layer has) and layer offered 24/7. If the hen chooses to eat wild game bird maintenance she can supplement with oyster shell, also available at all times. She seems fine - nice eggs, perfect shells, to date anyway!I always see her chow down on oyster shells the night before she lays an egg (she must feel the need for calcium replenishment as another egg is about to leave cookie).

Diana's (dlhunicorn) advice is the reason I make sure roo has an alternative to layer food. I've had feed stores definitively tell me the food for roos is scratch and only scratch (scratch your head on that one), I had a certain hatchery you've all been reading about lately tell me they should have layer food. So it's hard to get the straight scoop on roo food. I opt for Diana's advice as she has compiled some science on this.

p.s. my roo was in another's care for 9 months (long story) - they had promised to feed him the wild game bird maintenance food, sunflower seeds etc. that I even regularly supplied to make it easy for them to give him what he needed but they did not follow through, just filling their feeders with layer. It was supposed to be a forever home but I got him back and noticed his feet seemed to hurt. He was always curling one up and resting it.I began to feed him black cherries in case he had gout. His feet do not seem to bother him quite as much now but he did not have this problem before the strictly layer food diet..
You can feed starter/grower (unmedicated) to all your birds and have oyster shell available for the hens. It is lower in calcium and a little higher in protein. It also only comes in crumbles, which will be easier for your rooster to handle.

I am seeing the effects of arthritis in my older roosters who have been on layer feed with the hens all their lives... May have to change myself.

When my birds are recovering from an impacted crop, I feed them Kaytee exact Hand-Feeding Formula for Baby Birds . It is a powder you mix with water, and you can make it as soupy or firm as you want. It gives them all the nutrients they need without having to compromise their crop while it heals.
allen wranch- that is a WAAAY better baby-bird formula than our pet store carries: thanks for sharing that. When Penny had an impacted crop I bought some other stuff and it turned out it had a TON of sugar in it. She got sour crop, maybe as a result. The one you linked has much better ingredients! Thanks...

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