impacted crop vs piggy little chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by bibliophile birds, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. bibliophile birds

    bibliophile birds Chillin' With My Peeps

    i've read the threads on impacted crop but i still have some questions. my 3 week old chicks have recently been moved to the basement so they can have the run of an entire bathroom, but it means i see them less each day than before. i noticed the past 2 mornings when i was playing with my favorite, Blondie, that it's crop was really full. it's not "rock hard" like some threads said impacted crop was, but it is maybe approaching the "modeling clay" feel.

    i checked a few of the others and they seem to be the same. my confusion lies in the fact that i'm mostly handling them around feeding times now, so i think it might just be that they are total little piggies and fill their crops up before i check them.

    so, questions:
    can a recently filled, but not impacted crop, feel like an impacted crop?
    can completely healthy seeming chicks (still eating, running around, alert) have impacted crop?
    how long should it take, from feeding time, for the crop to feel empty again?
    should i go ahead and take their food out and start treating them or should i stop worrying quite so much?

  2. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I'd say stop worrying so much! [​IMG] Chicks that age with a full crop can look overly full but they're fine. I wouldn't take their feed out.....that age needs access to their food all the time since they're growing so fast. I seriously doubt that they have a crop problem.
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Take it from a relative old-timer on BYC. Reading the emergency and illnesses category too much will make you a paranoid mama hen. [​IMG]
    I don't go around feeling my chickens crops during the day. I didn't when they were chicks either.
    If the crop feels full at the end of the day and I check it again first thing in the morning and it's empty, I believe all is well. [​IMG]
    I have seen my favorite, smallest hen walking around with a crop so full that it parts the feathers on her breast and she looks as if she will topple over at any moment.
  4. bibliophile birds

    bibliophile birds Chillin' With My Peeps

    thanks! that's really what i needed to hear. my gut said they were fine (they really are total little pigs) but my head, filled with info from the all TOO helpful ALL THE THINGS THAT GO WRONG threads, was saying i should be concerned.

    i feel much better now!
  5. silkiechick05

    silkiechick05 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 27, 2009
    North Texas
    where is the crop and what should it feel like?
  6. bibliophile birds

    bibliophile birds Chillin' With My Peeps

    naturally, all is well. checked them tonight and all their crops are smaller than before (still not empty, of course). thanks for the calming advice.

    silkiechick05: the crop is a pouch on the chickens chest, a little below where the neck meets the body, under the skin. if it's empty, it feels kind of like they swallowed a bumpy, uninflated balloon. after they've eaten, you can fill the shape of it and sometimes even the bits of food. i wouldn't go poking too hard, but mine totally don't seem to mind when i gently prod them to check. as gritsar pointed out, you don't need to check them regularly. i'm just getting mine used to handling (and have been a bit more anxious since they are out of sight a lot more).

    [​IMG] *from
  7. [​IMG]

    Momma hens will encourage her chicks to eat like little pigs and then gather under her for the night.

    Just today wild momma hen took her babies out for the day and they foraged and played.

    She then brought them all back to the "little house" and they ate their starter for at least half an hour.

    Then off they went inside to snuggle up with mom for the night.

    They all looked like they were going to topple over thier crops were so full.
  8. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    My four week old silkie chicks are draining a one quart feeder every other day (with their mother). Basically, all they do is eat when they're that age. i've never read about a young chick getting an impacted crop. i think that happens when they're older and have access to things that could create an impaction, such as straw-like material.
  9. silkiechick05

    silkiechick05 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 27, 2009
    North Texas

    i have silkies too

    when i pick one up, he "bicycles" and i hear this weird sort of hollow noise

    is that the crop?

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