Enlarged Gullet


In the Brooder
Jun 2, 2017
One of my laying hens has an extremely enlarged gullet. I picked her up and I can feel the Grain and food in it and noticed that the feathers are gone off the bottom of it, it is pink skin showing. I'm worried that she's not digesting her food or getting any nourishment. She seems to act just fine but her gullet is very obviously three times the size that it should be. Any suggestions?


Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Apr 3, 2011
southern Ohio
Check her crop first thing in the morning to make sure that it is mostly empty, which is normal. Some chickens eat way too much, and can lose tone in the crop, causing a pendulous crop. If her crop is not empty by morning before she eats or drinks, check to see if it is hard, doughy or puffy like a balloon. Sometimes massaging the crop several times a day, while getting them to drink water and limiting solid food for a day or two, can help them to move along their food. Long grasses can get bound up and stuck, then rot in their. Impacted crop is very serious. Sometimes the gizzard farther down can become blocked, causing the crop to not empty. That is hard to diagnose until they are opened up after death. Sour crop is a condition where there is infection, sometimes fungal, or sometimes bacterial, or both. It is more serious and hard to treat. Vomiting a chicken is very dangerous, and can cause them to choke to death if not done properly, so learn before you attempt it. I am not an expert on crop problems, but here is some reading for you:

Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Sep 20, 2015
Southern N.C. Mountains
Hi @Mimi'sPeeps :frow Welcome To BYC
Any photos?
How old is she?
What type of food/treats do you feed?

Have you checked the crop to see if it's emptying overnight? Feel the crop when she goes to roost at night - it should be full, then check first thing in the morning before she's had anything to eat/drink - it should be empty.

Some chickens do seem to have a full or more noticeable crop than others when they have eaten well. It should go up and down in size over the course of the day.

Having some feather loss at the crop could be from a number of things - she may be pulling them herself while she is nesting (laying an egg), feather picking is another cause and sometimes feathers can be rubbed off while roosting as well.

Here's more information on crop issues, I recommend reading the entire article and checking her crop function first before attempting any type of treatment:


In the Brooder
Jun 2, 2017
Thank you for sharing the article. It was very helpful. When I feel her crop I can feel seeds and food in it. It's not hard and it does not empty overnight.
And it's about the size of a baseball but squishy. Her comb is a normal red. I've separated her and given her the Dulcolax and now I'm just watching her. We'll see what happens. I will post the results. Thanks again

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