Every day my hen's crop is enormous!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by RubyRIR614, Nov 4, 2015.

  1. RubyRIR614

    RubyRIR614 New Egg

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    I began to notice about two weeks ago that my Rhode Island Red had a huge bump on her front right chest. After a little help from BYC I learned that this is her crop and it's normal. However, her crop is huge EVERY day. I was worried at first that she was getting too many treats so I backed off for a while, but there is no change. I'm just wondering at what point should I be concerned or if this is normal? Thanks!
     
  2. redsix

    redsix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I assume she has a source for grit?
     
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Is the crop squishy? Sometimes if birds have been kept from feed for a length of time they will over eat and stretch the crop. When the crop is empty, they are hungry.
    Grit won't affect that. Grit only serves a useful purpose in the gizzard. Food and grit pass through the esophagus, stored temporarily in the crop so they can eat quickly, then to the proventriculus or main stomach where digestive juices are added. From there it goes to the gizzard or mechanical stomach where food gets ground. Appropriately sized grit will get lodged in the gizzard to aid in digestion.
     
  4. redsix

    redsix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The grit that I have been buying for adult chickens is very fine ground granite. I questioned the feed store if it was only for baby chicks and was told it was fine for adult birds. Should I be looking for coarser grit?
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    All feed store employees know where the feed is located at the store and what products they sell but 90+% of feed store people know nothing about chickens.

    This will give you an idea of grit particle size needed. http://www.tccmaterials.com/pdf/CSpoultrygritdata.pdf
    Approximately 5/16" for adult chickens so that it will actually lodge in there. Chick grit may assist grinding some while in the gizzard but will pass right through with the food.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2015
  6. JanetMarie

    JanetMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Be concerned if the crop is still full in the morning. If so, then it's impacted and needs treatment.
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    X2
     
  8. RubyRIR614

    RubyRIR614 New Egg

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    Thanks everyone for the feedback! Her crop is typically pretty solid. She has never been away from feed for any extended period of time, maybe only a few hours at the most. I do NOT have a source for grit for them though. I'm new to being a chicken-owner and had thought giving them crumbled feed would suffice. Should I add grit directly to the food??
     
  9. JanetMarie

    JanetMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    At night when the hens roost all the food from that day empties from the crop and is digested during the night. Her crop should be empty every morning. If it's not there's a problem. First thing in the morning before she has a chance to get off the roost to eat, go check her crop.

    Do your chickens have a run that is outside or free range on the ground, as in soil, grass, etc.? If so, then no need for grit. They instinctively find small pebbles to eat when needed.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2015
  10. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    That plus, as I said, the grit won't affect the crop anyway. And if they only get chicken feed, they don't really need grit though it does help to develop the gizzard. If offered, it should be in a separate container or put in a little pile on the ground where they can find it.
     

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