Not-so newbie needs some help.

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by ChickenMan2017, May 25, 2016.

  1. ChickenMan2017

    ChickenMan2017 New Egg

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    May 25, 2016
    Hey guys, let me start off by saying that this is my first day on Backyard Chickens. But, I've had birds for years. My problem is, that we just got 7 new hens, 5 Red Star, and 2 RIR. The RIR have been with us for closer to a month, but the Red Star are still pretty new, less than a week with us. Well, I noticed last night both of my RIR had squishy, stinky crops. I of course assumed sour crop, because it's actually not the first time I had noticed this in both of their crops, quarantined them for the night, and this morning crops had emptied. For the past week or so this is the case. It has happened with some of the Red star too. Is this common? This is probably a silly newbie question, but I'm just not sure what it happening here anymore.
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] Glad you joined the flock! Before we can advice, we need a bit more info. What are you feeding your hens? Do they get any treats (non-chicken food like table scraps etc)? Do they have access to grit/soil/outdoors?
     
  3. ChickenMan2017

    ChickenMan2017 New Egg

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    May 25, 2016
    I feed them 22% layer pellets. There's always granite grit available in the coop, but they free range during the day, so outside grit is available, but they get no treats. Just pellets and whatever they eat in the yard. I haven't ever had this problem in the 3 years I've been doing this. Im just lost.
     
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    O.K. let's hear what @TwoCrows thinks. She's the crop expert here [​IMG]
     
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    Hello and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Crops are supposed to be full during the day and especially at roosting time. Generally they will stuff themselves heavily before bed time so the bird has enough calories to get through the night. So if you feel a crop at roosting time, it should be pretty full. Some birds go to bed with a thick feeling crop, others will feel loose and squishy.

    It takes anywhere from 4 to 8 hours for a crop to fully empty, depending on what the bird has eaten and if it needs to stop over in the gizzard to be ground down a bit more. However a crop should be fully empty EVERY morning. If you feel crops first thing in the morning before the birds have eaten or drank any water, the crops should all be flat to the breast. If there is something in them, there is a problem.

    So all this being said, you can never judge a crop during the day. Some will be empty, some will be squishy and some may even have a smell depending on what the bird has eaten. The ONLY time you can judge a crop is first thing in the morning, period. The bird needs to eat and drink all day long and crops will feel funky all day long. But they should be completely empty every morning and if your birds are emptying their crops each morning, there isn't much to worry about.

    BUT...good crop and intestinal health starts with good bacteria and a healthy immune system. So you might offer up probiotics in the water once a week and some Apple Cider Vinegar once a week as well. Remove and clean out all waterers 24 hours later after offering these up. And always use plastic waterers for either of these. These two practices will help immune systems stay pumped up and good bacteria all throughout to ward off toxins and pathogens that can harm your birds.

    And if you do this regular enough, should they still turn up with a crop issue, most likely it is due to some other health issue such as egg binding, internal laying, reproductive cancer or some other internal affair that is slowing the entire digestive system down enough their crops are not emptying.

    So keep checking those crops! I am a crop checker...everybody gets a feel first thing in the morning. The faster you catch these things, the more likely you will save the bird.

    Good luck and let us know if you are still having issues with your birds!

    Welcome to our flock! :)
     
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  6. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
     
  7. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    2 Crows has given you the straight talk, so I will just say Welcome to Backyard chickens, so glad you joined the flock [​IMG]
     
  8. ChickenMan2017

    ChickenMan2017 New Egg

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    May 25, 2016
    Thanks everyone for your help. 3 years in and still Learning something everyday. Good to hear from everyone!
     
  9. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    The learning never stops. My birds teach me something new every day! Ha! But seriously, you can never know everything and there is SO much to know.

    Enjoy your flock! :)
     

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