sour crop or over feeding? newbie here

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by cooler04, Oct 23, 2014.

  1. cooler04

    cooler04 New Egg

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    Oct 23, 2014
    Middle Tennessee
    Hi all,

    newbie here to chickens- 3 weeks new! I got 6 hens for free and they have been great fun. Lady I got them from said they were 6 months old and the 6th hen wasnt laying yet. She said she got them all in the spring. About a week and half ago I started getting 6 eggs a day so i think she was truthful. She gave me a huge container of mixed foodnwith pellets, oyster shell, and might have grit too but not sure. The hens had been fine till the beginning of the week. Since I wasnt sure about the grit I bought some and the gobbled up what I put out. I didnt put any more out for a couple days. Monday I noticed that they had large bulges- all of them, some bigger than others. I built a poop board and roost over the weekend also. Half of the time they roost on the poop board...grrrr. but anyways there is plenty of poop every evening when I clean it out- I scoop it into an old pitcher and dump it in compost and each day it is about half a pitchers worth. However I cant compare since issue started at the same time.

    They seem to be happy hens, and I get 5 to 6 eggs a day(red sex links as far as I can tell). They run around the yard when I let them out and even fly to catch up if a few get seperated. They love the treats, which I also started thisnweekend- cheerios. Hey, they didnt like grapes or carrots! I also started adding regular kroger apple cider vinegar this weekend.

    so- poop is ok, they drink a gallon of water a day, they are all happy. Theeir crops are large- tennis ball size- and squishy. I dont smell anything funky from them but havent opened their beaks to check, and it the crops are noticeable in the morning, even after the poop. I didnt feed them wednesday and they had gone down a little. They devoured the food I put out this morning. Is it possible I am overfeeding them (a couple of large scoops a day, free range in backyard 30 min a day)? Or do u think I have sour crop issues on all of them? Could the feed be old per in such a big container? Not enough grit(I gave them some tonight)? I cant afford a vet visit for another few weeks so your ideas will be helpful!
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    southern Ohio
    Welcome to BYC. It could be that they weren't used to being on grass, and they have been gorging on long strands of grass that can be clogging up their crops. The crops should be mostly empty by morning before they have eaten. They also may well be eating and getting huge crops, but they should go down by morning. I would not limit their feed on a daily basis, but if the crops don't empty by morning, I would try feeding them liquids with probiotics and some egg. Just a note--apple cider will work as a laxative, so I would not give it to them. The feed should not have grit and oyster shell mixed together, but all should be in separate containers so they can take what they need. One way to not worry about the feed would be to get a new bag of good quality layer pellets. A 50 lb bag will be around $15. A good probiotic, such as Grow2Max or Probios Dispersible Powder used in the water twice a week would be good also. Here are some links to read about crop issues and one on probiotics:
    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/04/answers-from-chicken-vet-on-impacted.html
    http://www.tillysnest.com/2012/01/crop-issues.html
    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2013/02/probiotics-natural-choice-for-healthy.html
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014
  3. cooler04

    cooler04 New Egg

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    Oct 23, 2014
    Middle Tennessee
    Thanks for the tips! I just went to check on them and it looks like one hen had thrown up on the poop board. Hopefully I am not too late for treating them. I didnt like the idea of the pellets and oyster shells mixed together and not even sure what the feed is so I like the idea of buying new and starting fresh.

    I didnt know about the long grass...just this afternoon I thought how silly a hen looked running towards me for treat time with a long blade of grass dangling from her beak!

    I just gave out two dozen eggs today with the intent of getting people hooked so they buy the eggs from me and thus pay for their feed, so I dont want them to get sick. Thanks again for the help and links.
     

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