Please help! Can young chicks get impacted crops???

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by teach1rusl, Sep 18, 2009.

  1. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I'm really nervous. My husband thinks I'm overreacting.
    I just got mail order chicks this week...just 5. I put pine shavings in their brooder, but then read that it was better to use paper towels at first. I didn't take the shavings out, but rolled out paper towels on top, which I was changing daily. Yesterday, I noticed that they were finding pieces of shavings and pecking at them. They were eating well from their feeder, so other than removing the pieces they'd discovered, I didn't think too much of it. But today, I notice that a few have lopsided puffy chests. Here on the site, I've seen posts about impacted crops in chickens, but didn't really pay attention...just browsing. But now I'm worried that maybe they ate a lot of shavings???? I did some online research on the topic this evening, and what I read scared me (although none of it talks about chicks...just adult(ish) birds).
    They are all eating and drinking well, and all pooping, but some of the poop is on the dry side...not more liquidy like the first two days. I've rubbed their chests, and at least two have a hardish lump, maybe nickel size or center.
    I've never had chickens or chicks before, and am becoming a little panic stricken. Is this something I just watch? As long as they are eating, drinking, pooping, are they okay? Two had puffy chests, but were soft. Two had hardish "lumps."
    Please advise me...I'm really stressing...
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2009
  2. Amethyste

    Amethyste For Love of Boo...

    sounds like the crops [​IMG] Its all good most likely... lol

    The crops when they are full, will be a lopsided swelling on the side of their chest, facing the front under the throat and down a bit.

    Its ok....I panicked too my first time with chicks [​IMG] I thought for sure all my precious feathered babies all had cancers or tumours on their chests lol Now I know...
  3. ella

    ella Chillin' With My Peeps

    I suppose it's possible. But I bet your chicks are fine. Having a full crop is perfectly normal. It's where they store their food. If they are having issues you would notice lethergy and wierd poo almost immediately.

    I have dealt with impacted and infected crops before and I traced it back to my galvanized waterers. Once I got rid of those I didn't have anymore problems. Yeast and bacterial infections in the crop are almost always the source of the impaction. Healthy chicks and chickens don't have too much to worry about.

    Chickens are designed to eat whole foods including small rodents and lizards. If they can handle bone, skin, and fur I don't think pine shavings will do them in. [​IMG]

    All of my chicks have tasted the bedding, some have eaten quite a bit (silly birds!) and I've never lost a baby. So just keep an eye on them, I'm sure thet'll be fine, they tend to grow out of eating bedding after a few days.
  4. juliawitt

    juliawitt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 9, 2009
    Don't worry....I put my peeps on paper towels for 24 hrs; then switched to pine shavings. They scratched and pecked, but all are just fine and 5 weeks old. My husband snuck them a couple of grasshoppers at 1 week..(I wasn't happy!) but....not a single problem. Been giving them an occasional mealworm since 2 weeks old...nothing bad happened. I let them out in the yard (in a little pen) and they scratch around and eat bugs and grass. That worried me, so I started sprinkling a little bit of grit on top of their food. Still, no problems and everyone is just fine. fIt is a lot of worry and fun to be a chicken parent; but all worth it![​IMG]
  5. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Gosh you two...I was so scared!! So as long as they are active, eating and drinking well, it's all pretty normal??? My DH told me I read too much on the internet!!! I'm just trying to do things right, and I was sick thinking maybe I'd done something to harm them... Thanks so much for responding!! I'll keep my eyes open, but will consider the lopsided chest normal as long as everything else is okay... [​IMG] least one did seem to enjoy the chest it was in a trance.
  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Quote:Love the fun part...but the worry is turning me
  7. ella

    ella Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yeah, you will sure read about every possible problem here, but you will only experience a few if any, especially in their first year.

    And you'll be able to deal with anything that comes up, you have a huge support system here. [​IMG]
  8. Germaine_11.20

    Germaine_11.20 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 6, 2009
    I am glad I read this post, because I just noticed some engorged crops myself today. I was starting to worry and going to post.

    But they are all active and hopping around like normal, so I won't worry yet.

    How do you know that it IS a problem?
  9. ella

    ella Chillin' With My Peeps

    If the crop is still enlarged early in the morning before they have a chance to feed you may have a problem.

    If they become listless and have bright green (bile) poo, means nothing is getting through. You will know, it looks like jello and has no real substance.

    It doesn't take more than a day or two of crop stasis before they start to deteriorate. If you are watching them you will notice and have no doubt that there's something wrong.
  10. Freckle Face Farm

    Freckle Face Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2009
    When I first got my chicks I thought the same thing and was freaking out...At night that just means they have a full belly..In the morning it should be gone.. Good luck with your new chicks [​IMG]

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