Grit for chicks with impacted crop?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by cheepsforkeeps, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. cheepsforkeeps

    cheepsforkeeps Out Of The Brooder

    52
    0
    39
    Apr 24, 2010
    My three chicks are 7 and 9 days old. Live inside on wood shavings and only have eaten chick starter. A couple seem to be getting really full crops. They have plenty of fresh water. I am nursing back one chick that had a really large impacted crop from yesterday. It was gone this morning, so I let her eat and she wanted to gorge herself also looks like it's uncomfortable to swallow. (Maybe from syringe yesterday?) Well her crop fills up so fast and starts to make a lump again. Is that normal? I'm paranoid now. After working with the chick for 14 hours on and off I don't want to start it up all over again. Someone mentioned adding small grit is that something I should be doing??? HELP!!!!!
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    20,646
    4,159
    526
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Adding grit could certainly help. It is possible those particular ones are filling up on shavings and without grit, can't get them through their system. I'd suggest putting them on paper towels for a while and give them some grit. For chicks that age, coarse sand like construction sand works well, or you can just get something to use from a gravel road or driveway. That's what I do. If the road is salted in the winter for ice, don't use that. They cannot handle the extra salt.
     
  3. cheepsforkeeps

    cheepsforkeeps Out Of The Brooder

    52
    0
    39
    Apr 24, 2010
    I'll do that right now! The shavings I have are great because they are very low dust, but they are also a lot smaller! Thanks for the help!!![​IMG]
     
  4. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    20,149
    299
    401
    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Grit will NOT help an impacted crop. Grit works in the gizzard, which is past the crop in the digestive system. Put paper or regular towels over the shavings, or just use the starter as bedding. Or put them on wire.

    However, I am not really sure that you are having impacted crop problems. It is normal for a bird to fill up and have a bulging crop. That holds the food as it is digested. Chick starter, or at least most of it, is made so that digestive juices will break it down. Only if the birds are getting grains or similar hard foods is grit needed.

    Syringe feeding can be tricky; it is very easy to aspirate a bird, in which case they will die.
     
  5. cheepsforkeeps

    cheepsforkeeps Out Of The Brooder

    52
    0
    39
    Apr 24, 2010
    OK... removed small grit. One of my chicks yesterday had a golf ball size crop and wasn't moving around much. I worked yesterday and last night and she is much better, I am just keeping an eye on it to make sure stuff keeps moving down. Started to get paranoid with each bulge!
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    20,646
    4,159
    526
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Quote:I was under the impression that the gizzard can get full of wood shavings which cannot be digested fast enough even in the high-acid gizzard without grit to grind it up, thus backing up to the crop. In any case, I think you will agree that giving them grit will not do any harm?
     
  7. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    20,149
    299
    401
    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Well, if the crop is impacted, grit will not get through to the gizzard, and will simply add more junk to the already impacted crop. I think the real question is whether or not the crop is actually impacted. If it is, then it needs to be emptied. If it is not, then the bird simply needs time to digest its meals.
     
  8. cheepsforkeeps

    cheepsforkeeps Out Of The Brooder

    52
    0
    39
    Apr 24, 2010
    The crop is a large lump that I can move around. Is that impaction? What else could it be? Every time I get it cleared out and let it eat, it fill back up to a hard ball.....
     
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    20,646
    4,159
    526
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I did some research. Sonoran is correct. Grit will have no effect on an impacted crop. When a chicken gets an impacted gizzard, it does not back up to the crop. An impacted gizzard will kill a chick, so I still recommend grit, but not for an impacted crop.

    A chicken is a prey bird. One of its defenses is to eat quickly, store it in the crop, then go to a safe place to digest the food. If the crop is empty in the morning, it is not an impacted crop. It has digested its food, is hungry, and will fill up its crop again.
     
  10. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

    4,273
    81
    271
    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    Your young chicks don't have impacted crops. They are just little piggies. Please don't do anything to their crops. I'm not sure what you did with the syringe but just leave them alone and they will be fine. It's perfectly normal for them to pig out till they can't hold another bite, sleep it off, then gorge again. They don't need grit at that age if they are only on chick starter. It is normal for their crops to look like half a golf ball and be hard.

    It's important that they have food & water available at all times - it helps to keep them from gorging themselves when food is placed in brooder. But, even if they gorge themselves, they'll be fine. Trust me.

    Relax and enjoy them.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2010

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by