Impacted crop in 1 1/2 week old pullet


11 Years
Mar 10, 2008
Orlando, FL
I just brought home 6 Rhode Island Red pullet chicks last weekend, and the tiniest one is not doing well. She had been feeding alongside the other chicks and drinking, but getting kicked aside somewhat because she is a bit smaller that the others. Now she closes her eyes a lot and her crop is hard to the touch, while the other chicks are soft- is there anything I can do for so small a baby? I've pulled chicks through other things, but never dealt with this. HELP!
I'd pull her aside and offer really wet starter mash. It may be that she's getting food, but not enough water.

I had that issue with Hoppy - when she did eat her crop would be very hard. Her poos were very hard and formed too - I suspected dehydration.

I began pulling her out of the brooder 2-4 times per day and offering a small amount of chick starter with quite a bit of warm water - made it pretty runny at first. That way I knew she was getting food AND fluids and it seemed to help.

Good luck with her!
Thanks! I just followed your directions, and she ate for a few minutes. Her droppings (3x in the time I fed her and held her on my lap) were more formed than I think they should be, so the fluid should help. Her crop doesn't seem as hard; is gentle massaging helpful to move the food along?
Massage is good. I think you can also give a few small bites of bread soaked in olive oil. A little apple cider vinegar in her water (1 tablespoon per gallon or 1/2 Tbsp. per 1/2 gall. etc.) will prevent sour crop.
Thanks so much- I'm so grateful and relieved to get replies and help so quickly for this little tyke. I'll work with her and hopefully she'll be OK. After hand rearing/feeding newly hatched doves and straightening chick legs, etc., I was thinking "No problem!" with brooding these chicks when I brought them home. Thank you all for being out there "on call!"

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