Pelleted Feed and Impacted Crops

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Peaches Lee, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. Peaches Lee

    Peaches Lee Songster

    Sep 19, 2010
    This winter I would like to make the switch from mash to pelleted feed to keep the water bowls cleaner. However, it seems like every time I have tried pelleted feed, my birds end up with crop impactions. I was wondering if anyone else had this problem and the best way to deal with it?
  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Hmm, I feed my birds pelleted feed almost all the time. The only time they eat crumbles is when they are chicks. I haven't had any problems. Are you sure that its the pellets that are causing the problem? Or, does giving them pelleted feed coincide with other factors, like letting them out to eat long grass, etc?

    Hopefully, someone who has experienced your problem chimes in, and give you some suggestions.
  3. CedarAcres

    CedarAcres Sunny Side Up

    Mar 18, 2013
    My Coop
    I only feed crumbles for this reason. My vet (avian vet who treats a lot of chickens) and I had a discussion about this and she said that she sees more crop problems in birds fed pellets, so she usually recommends people use crumbles or mash. I think mash is very messy, but I like the crumbles, so maybe switch from mash to crumbles? And you can also adjust the height of your feeders and play around with it until it seems like you're loosing less feed. Or also move the waterer further from the feeders.
  4. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Crowing

    Jul 8, 2008
    Fleetwood, PA
    I've fed pellets off & on for 20 years. Never had a chicken with a crop problem. Who knew? Have no idea why pellets would be any worse than anything else. It all goes to mush with water.
  5. sepaditty1

    sepaditty1 Songster

    Mar 29, 2008
    South Carolina
    My little rascals have started throwing all their food out on to the ground. I'm going to try changing the height. That's a good idea.
  6. If feed is thrown out the feeder and left lay on the ground try feeding less feed. They will clean the pellets up then.
  7. pollo disco

    pollo disco In the Brooder

    Apr 2, 2013
    Rio Rico, Az.
    thats what I do. In the afternoons, if there still is feed on the ground, I usually dont give scratch or mealworm treats. On the weekends I can watch what and how much they eat better, then the treats come out. BTW...they love italian food and side salad! lol
  8. Peaches Lee

    Peaches Lee Songster

    Sep 19, 2010
    The crop impactions definitely coincide with the pelleted feed. Mine are little piggies and tend to hog down their food, so maybe that is the problem.

    Perhaps I will try crumbles. The mash gets into the waterers via their beaks, I think they are placed far enough away.

    Thank you all for your replies. [​IMG]
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Crop impaction with pellets I have not observed. Immediately after consumption pellets break down into what is in distinguishable from mash or crumbles when made of similar formulation. I also effort to provide a plenty of water and a little fibrous greens along with intact grains like corn or BOSS which may keep mass in crop from binding up as easily. Pellets can still represent >75% of diet.

    Problem if real could be something in feed is irritating plumbing that empties crop.
  10. I have been feeding pelleted feeds to my hens for years. I have never had a compacted crop from pellets. I would suspect dehydration might lend a hand in causing pellet compaction.

    Both times that I had problem with an compacted crop the cause was a wood chip. I no longer use any type of wood products as bedding. I cringe everytime I read about posters using wood chips and sawdust in their brooders.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2013

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