1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

how large can a "normal" crop be

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Gloria's Gang, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. Gloria's Gang

    Gloria's Gang Out Of The Brooder

    74
    0
    39
    Apr 22, 2009
    Atkinson, NH
    A few of my hens crops seem to get large and hard and then soften up only to go back to hard. By large I mean like about the size of a tennis ball. They all eat very well, poop and are active. How do you know if it becomes an issue? I have 14 hens and two young roosters and sometimes it is hard to make sure everyone is eating their share. Some of them may even be considered overweight. Can I give them some cod liver or olive oil as a preventative? I give them a mix scratch thrown on the ground along with a complete layer in feeders and the ground. The nest boxes have hay. We have a large pen and I put down hay in a couple spots that get muddy when it rains. They love to scratch around in this. They also get table scraps and greens daily. Thanks for your input!
     
  2. chkn

    chkn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2010
    It should empty completely over night I believe. What it sounds like is that she has some grass in there. Don't let her eat any more grass for awhile. There have been some threads here about massage and olive oil I believe to move the stuff out. Depending on how bad, some folks have even done their own surgery. However, yours may not be at that point (YET) so do some searching on clearing out the crop issues before it gets out of hand.
     
  3. AndreaS

    AndreaS Chillin' With My Peeps

    485
    1
    123
    Mar 5, 2010
    Hurdle Mills, NC
    Also, a lot of people have found that hay in the nest boxes can be problematic if the hens eat it. The hay is hard for them to push down from their crop and will sometimes build up into a hard ball. Have you seen your girls doing this? My bird's crops get huge during the day (tennis ball size) but they always go back down.

    Do make sure they have real crushed granite grit available at all times. Pebbles from your yard are not enough.

    Once a week at night I close my girls into their coop with no food. In the morning I feel each crop to see if it has emptied. It always has. I only have 5 hens, so this doesn't take much time. With a large flock I suppose it would be more trouble.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2010
  4. Gloria's Gang

    Gloria's Gang Out Of The Brooder

    74
    0
    39
    Apr 22, 2009
    Atkinson, NH
    Thank you for your insight. I will try taking away the food one night a week and give them a feel in the morning and see what happens.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by