I'm Embarrassed to Ask...

Aunt Angus

Free Ranging
Jul 16, 2018
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Alright. I've had chickens for a few years now. I've helped nurse sick chickens back to health. I've done minor surgeries, tube feedings, and coaxed out reluctant eggs.

However, yesterday I was hanging out with my chickens when I noticed my little Silkie just kinda being slow. She laid an egg just fine that morning. Her crop was full. She was eating and drinking, no prob. But she wasn't herself.

I brought her in last night to be able to observe her and check her crop. Hef crop was very full and hard, so I thought maybe impacted crop. This morning, she'd pooped all over the crate - good, normal poops. Some a little dry. And her crop was mostly empty. It felt like a teensy amount of sand/grit in there.

So... that question I'm embarrassed to ask: How empty do crops get?

I know squishy/liquidy is no bueno, but what about a teensy amount of grit material? Are there some chickens who don't fully empty their crops?
 

Eggcessive

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I would say if the crop was mostly empty, that would be okay. You could try feeling of the other’s crops in early morning for a couple of days to see what normal is for your chickens. It might depend on what they have eaten, and how late they ate as to how long it takes to empty. If they are only eating chicken feed, it may empty more completely. If you have concern about one not fully emptying, you could always separate in a dog crate, and feed only mushy feed, and perhaps yogurt and egg. Then check it in the morning again.
 

Eggcessive

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I agree about possibly starting to go broody. My broody hens typically have puffy slow crops. My silkies would go broody year round. They would lay eggs for about 2-3 weeks and go broody again. So, they constantly needed to be broken, LOL.
 

Aunt Angus

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Jul 16, 2018
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She might be starting broodiness and with my hens first signs are slower food processing and slowly increasing size of her poop pile.

As Silkies often suffer from a problem with vitamin B uptake, she might as well be in need of a little supplementation.
I agree about possibly starting to go broody. My broody hens typically have puffy slow crops. My silkies would go broody year round. They would lay eggs for about 2-3 weeks and go broody again. So, they constantly needed to be broken, LOL.
What? Silkies go broody?! This very well could be true. This one is very seldom NOT broody. Lol!

My flock gets all flock pellet mixed with grower. I give fermented feed every once in a while maybe 1x/week because they love it so, and gut health and all that). But they forage for a few hours every day, so it's a mix of both.

I didn't know about the vitamin B uptake. Thanks. I can supplement. It won't hurt my other birds, I assume, as long as I don't overdo it.

Any advice for how to supplement or how much? I can give mash with liquid B complex, if that would help. They love their mash!
 

Aunt Angus

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Jul 16, 2018
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I must be paranoid after Magnolia passed. I took Violet out to the coop this morning, and she made a beeline to the nest box and laid an egg. I've been out in the chicken yard building the duck house, and she is running around as goofy and wild as ever.

I wonder if her crop was kind of slow yesterday and bringing her in and fussing over it helped move it along. She was standing still yesterday. Violet NEVER stands still. Or she might realize I'm watching her and is thinking, "I better run around like a crazy chicken so she doesn't bird-nap me again!"

Either way, I am relieved.
 

LaFleche

Crossing the Road
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Sep 22, 2012
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What? Silkies go broody?! This very well could be true. This one is very seldom NOT broody. Lol!

My flock gets all flock pellet mixed with grower. I give fermented feed every once in a while maybe 1x/week because they love it so, and gut health and all that). But they forage for a few hours every day, so it's a mix of both.

I didn't know about the vitamin B uptake. Thanks. I can supplement. It won't hurt my other birds, I assume, as long as I don't overdo it.

Any advice for how to supplement or how much? I can give mash with liquid B complex, if that would help. They love their mash!
When using a B-complex, be careful not to overdo it. Use according to the directions and feed Violet an extra scrambled egg every other day.
 

Eggcessive

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Glad that she is back to normal. B complex tablets are economical and can be crushed into food or dissolved in a spoonful of water. 1/4 tablet or 1/4 ml per chicken daily is plenty. You probably would only want to to give it a couple of days a week unless their is a deficiency.
 

Aunt Angus

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Jul 16, 2018
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Glad that she is back to normal. B complex tablets are economical and can be crushed into food or dissolved in a spoonful of water. 1/4 tablet or 1/4 ml per chicken daily is plenty. You probably would only want to to give it a couple of days a week unless their is a deficiency.
That's my plan. I was going to add it to the fermented feed I give them 2x per week.

I used to ferment all the time, but I quit doing it constantly because I was having to commute so far to my job, and I just didn't want to deal with it in the mornings. But I'm working from home anyway. They do love that fermented stuff...
 

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