Large "Lump" on Hen's Chest

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by gfletch, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. gfletch

    gfletch Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 2, 2011
    Long Island, NY
    As a newcomer to the whole chicken thing, I may be concerned about nothing, but in the event it is something serious, figured I'd run it by some experts ... Today I noticed this large "hump" or protrusion on the chest of one of my Japanese Bantam hens. I hadn't spotted this before, and none of my other three birds have this "shape" to them. It's not just her feathers, it's an actually bump. Hopefully, the two photos attached show what I'm talking about. Is this something to be concerned about? (They birds are about 4 or 5 months old at this point, if that makes a difference.

    Thanks for any comments, advice, assistance anyone can offer. I may also crosspost this to the Japanese Bantam thread (hopefully there aren't any stringent rules about cross-posting, if so, I'm sorry!).



  2. hokankai

    hokankai Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2010
    SW WA
    Don't worry, that's just her crop [​IMG]. That is where food is stored until it makes its way into the stomach for digestion. It usually starts out empty in the morning and is filled to bursting at night. She just looks like she filled it a little early [​IMG]
  3. BarnGoddess01

    BarnGoddess01 I [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]

    Looks like she found a LARGE tasty treat - and didn't care to share [​IMG] !!
  4. AZBootsie

    AZBootsie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 10, 2010
    Congress, AZ
    My Coop
    [​IMG] and it looks like she really pigged out!!
  5. Ozchicken

    Ozchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2009
    Queensland, Australia
    Birds can pig out and get a really big crop, however it could be a problem with her crop. A bird's crop is like a bag that holds the food they eat. It is held there and moistened and gradually fed into the next stage of the digestive process. Normally the crop is full in the early evening when the bird goes to roost and it empties overnight while the bird is sleeping. If you check a crop early in the morning before the bird eats again it should be empty or almost empty.

    If there's a problem I would guess that your bird either has an impacted crop, or otherwise a pendulous crop. I would feel over her and see if she's skinny and losing weight or if she is well covered. Also feel the crop and describe what it's like. People on here will no doubt be able to head you in the right direction.

    An impaction is when the food gets matted up and forms a lump in there that won't break down and pass. Long grass strands can start this off, but sometimes it just happens. The first thing that I would try with an impacted crop is giving the boil some olive oil, leave it for ten minutes, then firmly but gently massage the crop and see if the mass breaks up a bit. You can do that a few times a day to see if the impaction will break down. In extreme circumstances you can do a crop surgery to remove it, but people lose as many birds as they save. I would always try massage and oil first. I would also stop the bird eating long grass or hard grains while trying this. I would give soft foods and I would also put vitamins in the water as the bird may not be well nourished.

    The second possibility is pendulous crop. That is where the crop is actually stretched and saggy. This means that food catches and balls up in the lower part and doesn't ever move through. These can't be cured although people try things like surgery or even a 'crop bra'. Surgeries don't tend to work as once a crop is saggy it tends to go back like that even after a surgery. I've never tried a crop bra, so go for it if you feel like it, but I don't really have a lot of faith in it. When I've had pendulous crop cases here I've found that they can hang on for quite a long time living normally. Usually the day comes eventually when their health is compromised and they don't tend to be long lived.

    If the crop goes down to a normal size overnight then you know she was just a pig.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2011
    1 person likes this.
  6. gfletch

    gfletch Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 2, 2011
    Long Island, NY
    Wow! Thank you, gang. Big relief -- I feel a lot better. You know, I did give them some cucumber scraps from the garden before I left for work this morning. Looks like Tammy got most of them!
  7. florida lee

    florida lee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 6, 2011
    Enlarged crop. Could be several things. Feel it, it should not be hard like a rock. It may be that she ate too much. their crop will fill a they eat, but should go down overnight. I have a pullet that's crop is almost always large, I worried about it for a while. But in her case that's just the way she is. If the crop is hard then the filled crop may not be passing food. then in that case the blockage will have to be dislodged. Check it first thing in the morning. If it fills during the day and empties at night then shes ok. Does she have access to grit? She must have grit to grind up the food in her crop. is she still eating and poo-ing?
    If its squishy it could also be sour crop or just full of food and water. if her breath is really bad then its sour crop. her ph is way off.
    I give ACV about once a week in their water.... only use the kind with mother in it to help keep their ph in line.
    I gave mine a little bread soaked with olive oil and massaged her crop. realized later that she was really ok and it was just food ( she is gluttonous). But she really liked the attention and would come over to me every day for her massage and olive oil bread.

    Hope she is ok and just like to eat, like mine.
  8. Big backyard

    Big backyard New Egg

    Jan 22, 2014
    I just saw a egg sized lump on my hens chest, right side. I looked to this site first for info and, like usual, you guys were very informative. Thank you!

    I really appreciated the photo too!
    2 people like this.
  9. K-12 Chickens

    K-12 Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 6, 2010
    I once had a leghorn hen who's crop would sometimes be nearly the size of a baseball (one time she swallowed a long piece of a banana peel), yet it would be almost empty by morning. I wouldn't worry about it unless the crop remains unusually full for more than a day.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2014
  10. Wild4wyandottes

    Wild4wyandottes New Egg

    May 28, 2014
    Hi, I was just wondering, my chicken has an impacted crop, at least, I think she does, she is skinny and I thought at first it was because the other girls where pecking her but she has the lump on her chest and all... So is it serious? I mean, will she die from it? I will try an treat it, but I just wondered.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by