Sickly chick and trouble with crop not emptying


Jun 8, 2020
I have six 1.5 week old d’Uccle chicks. I bought them from the feed store at 1 day old. They're on straw for substrate and eating medicated chick food made into wet mash. Most of them seem very robust and their crops get full and empty pretty normally. I’ve noticed a few gag every once in a while but nothing chronic and 5 of their crops empty nicely every morning. I started removing food at night 2 days ago because I was particularly concerned about 1 chick who’s crop didn’t appear to be emptying like the rest and it generally just seems kind of sickly in comparison. Its crop gets bulging pretty fast and feels much harder than the other chicks’ crops. It also doesn’t seem to empty all the way by morning time, there’s usually still a small hard nodule to the right side of the chest whereas the other chicks won’t have any visible or feel-able crop by morning. This 1 chick also has panted periodically or gasped or gagged throughout the day. It’s one of the smaller chicks but it’s also by far the slowest to develop. Its beak and feathers are days behind in development from the rest of the chicks and I know it’s the same age and breed because they all still had their egg teeth when I first brought them home and they all share the same breed characteristics. It’s right eye is also frequently crusted shut, I usually have to wash it a little with a warm damp Q-tip to get it to open back up. It’s energy seems pretty ok, and appetite is good. It’s clearly gagging and gasping less when I make it fast in between meals throughout the day but it has a little less energy now that it’s eating less overall I think. I’m just wondering if it has an impacted crop or something, and what I should do about it besides fasting at night and separating it from the rest of the chicks when its crop seems too full. I have found 1 of the other chicks with stray down it’s throat and I pulled it out, I guess it thought it was a worm. I didn’t see my sickly chick trying to eat the straw at all over the past 2 weeks though.


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Aug 22, 2013
S.F Bay Area
How is the chick doing now?

Are you offering them chick grit? I would get them off of straw. If your chick ate some straw, that could easily cause an impaction. If the chick is not eating well because of it, that would explain the slower growth. Chicks grow fast.

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