softball size crop that's squishy

mini moo farm

10 Years
Sep 29, 2009
just noticed this and am wondering what to do about it if anything. doesn't appear to hurt her at all when touched.
thanks for any help
First of all,

I got really scared when I first felt a chicken's crop and thought it might be impacted. This is what I was told:

Hope this helps.
Is it like a water balloon? It may be sour crop (or it may be nothing at all too
). Does her breath smell sour? If you massage it in a downward motion (not upward since it can push stuff up her esophagus and cause her to choke if she inhales), it can hear gurgling if it is sour. She may even burp something foul.
not sure about the sour smell never thought to check but will when i put them to bed. it is much larger than the others crops and i have seen those larger at night.
glad you are out there to help us new eggs!
wow, sorry it has taken so long to get back here.
there has to be an easier way to learn this thing.
checked the hen last night and this am, no sour smell no burping, just alot of pouch happening, hasn't gotten any larger or any smaller.
Had she eaten by the time you checked her this morning? If it is normal, then it should have gone down some over night. Add some apple cider vinegar (preferably raw with mother) to the water. If you use a metal waterer, switch to a plastic or glass bowl temporarily (AVC reacts with metal and can sicken the birds...or worse). ACV should help some. Is she lethargic or anything? What is her poop like? Has it rained there recently? Did their food get wet (or did they peck around in wet areas such as compost)? Wet food and compost piles ('cause of mold) can cause a yeast infection in their crop (hence sour crop). If you massage it (rubbing the palm of your hand downward against the crop), does she start to push against your hand as if it feel good? Not sure if it is common, but my hens will push against our hand during a crop massage if they have sour crop.
You said it is squishy, right? Like a water balloon or just big? (Carri, a moderator on here, has a chicken who LOVES to eat and her crop just hangs like a pendulum

If it doesn't go down and you still think it is abnormal, I would suggest bringing her inside giving her ACV diluted in water (a few tblsp per gallon...but I usually put in a dash in the bowl to make life easy). If you have an irrigation syringe, fill it with 2/3 ACV and 1/3 water and give it to her while massaging the crop. Be careful to not give her too much as she can aspirate if she inhales it (like we can).
I am new to the forum and I also have 2 chickens (Ameracaunas) that have softball-sized craws. They don't seem to be in any pain and are growing and eating fine. I really appreciate the comments about sour crop, as I had never heard of this before and we have also had rain for the 3 weeks and everything is a bit "moldy". I am going to check them in the morning for "sour breath". I also have a question about Apple Cider Vinegar and Metal waterers...why is this bad? Thanks for you help.
The Apple Cider Vinegar is acidic and will causes a reaction with the metal. As the metal corrodes, it becomes dissolved in the ACV-water, which the chicken end up drinking (and can be toxic). Plastic, wood, enamel, glass, etc are safe though. Stainless steel is ok too as long as it is all stainless steel.
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