10 Years
Jun 12, 2009
Hi everybody i just signed up and need some info urgently.

Got given some silke bantams.
Except one of them has a really full crop, its so big that i reckon you could pop it with a pin. It has trouble moving around cause its front end is so heavy.
Does anybody know whats wrong:/
You should wait until morning and check if it has gone down before you act upon any suspicions of crop impaction. If she's greedy little thing, then this could be perfectly normal for her! (When our bluebelle was just coming into lay, she ate so much that her crop swayed off to one side and got in the way when she tried to get to the drinker! She's calmed down a bit now she's grown and got into a laying routine.)

If her crop is still very hard and full tomorrow morning before she's eaten, then she's impacted.

Hold fire until then...
Okay, first of all, you need to establish if she's got an impacted crop or a sour crop. The treatment is different.

Impacted = hard, solid mass, no bad smell
Sour = sloshy, pendulous, bad smell from beak

If impacted, as you say, then you may be able to sort it out fairly easily, but it depends how long she's had it for.

1. Get some olive oil or other vegetable oil
2. Try and get her to take a couple or more mls of it (our BO who got impacted actually liked the taste of olive oil and lapped it up all on her own). If she won't take it of her own free will, you need to dribble it onto the top surface of her beak, and when it goes down the side, she should reflexively open her beak and swallow it. Do not force it into her throat - it is very easy to drown chickens by getting the fluid down the wrong tube!
3. Once she's had a few mls, use your fingertips to gently work the oil into the mass and try to break it up. Do not try to push it down through the bottom of her crop, and certainly don't try to force the mass upwards towards her beak - again, she could drown if some gets into her throat and goes back down into her respiratory system.
4. If you have some, ACV is also good for breaking up impacted masses of vegetable matter in the crop, so try and mix a little in with the oil you give to her.
5. Do this massage for about ten minutes, every couple of hours, and watch for improvements. Do not continue through the night, as she will need her rest. With any luck, her crop will go down a little with every massage and the problem may be solved by the morning.
6. Ensure she takes fluids on board, even if she will not eat. Their little bodies cannot cope for extended periods without water, but they can go without food for surprisingly much longer.
7. If she will eat, then give her very soft food only. Try mixing her layers pellets with natural yoghurt and milk and offering scrambled or chopped boiled egg. Don't worry if she won't take it though, as if her crop is full, she won't be able to make room just yet.
8. Through all of this, keep her isolated if you can, so you can monitor her poops and see exactly what she is eating and drinking. This information will tell you if she is improving or not.

Sour crop:
Different treatment - although it sounds like you think this is impaction rather than sour. For this one, people do seem to reccommend making the bird reguritate the crop contents and then replacing the lost contents with natural live yoghurt, as the sour crop is caused by overgrowth of candida yeasts and you need to re-establish good bacteria. I myself am rather uncomfortable with this technique, for the reasons mentioned above (I couldn't bear it if I accidentally drowned one of my girls), and have luckily never had to resort to it. Maybe someone else on BYC could help with alternative suggestions if you suspect a sour, rather than impacted, crop.

And then come back to us with an update as soon as you can! The very best of luck...
We recently went through this. Here's my account of our experience.

An update is that she is now back to her normal energy level, but not eating very much. She seems hungry, and is pecking around the run, and clearly wants me to give her food, but whatever I give her, she refuses. We'll see how this goes.

Also I want to say that in our case, what initially tipped me off that something was wrong with her was that she was gurgling when she breathed, but the crop and head area did NOT smell bad when I was first checking her out. So in our case, that didn't turn out to be a definitive diagnostic criteria. She had the gurgling and a very, very full, soft mushy crop. The thing was gigantic, low on her chest and slung off to one side.
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Added olive oil to her water and her crop is starting to reduce in size and she is definatly more active now.
Thankyou everyone who helped.

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