Suddenly large crop clears fine- problem, no problem?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by GopherBrokeFarm, Oct 19, 2016.

  1. GopherBrokeFarm

    GopherBrokeFarm Just Hatched

    May 5, 2016
    Hello All,

    This is pretty long so thank you in advance for reading.

    I have six chickens all approximately six months old. They are kept on pine shavings in a 50 ish square foot coop and taken out in a tractor when the rain isn't driving sideways. The weather in my area has been absolutely lousy for the past week so the ladies had been in their enclosure for 4 or 5 days. I tossed in a few boredom breakers for them...scratch in a soda bottle dispenser, a stack of newspaper to shred and lastly and most problematically a generous handful of dandelion greens along with the last of the summer tomatoes. About two hours after the greens were given I noticed one of my egger hens had a very distended crop. I probed it and it was rather firm and about the size of a handball. She seemed to feel fine and ran around with the others during 30 minutes of free ranging although I noticed she couldn't seem to lift off the ground. Worried she might be getting impacted, I gave her a dropper full of warm water and a massage before bedtime. She required an assist to get up on the perch. I removed the feed but left water for the entire group.

    I stayed up half the night reading about impacted crop and was prepared for the worst but this morning her crop was empty and all I could feel was her keel. To be on the safe side I fed a meal of wet mash to the entire flock and held back their usual free choice layer pellets. Thirty minutes later the egger hen is distended again. Everyone ate but she is the only one overly full, this time understandably with a soft cop. It's smaller than it was last night but still much larger than the others. She has recently become the top hen in the group and seems to eat the lions share of everything but I have never noticed her gorging herself as she appears to be doing now. If it makes a difference she was the first hen to start laying and has been consistently providing an egg a day for the last few weeks. I added oyster and recycled egg shells in a separate dish when she began to lay.

    These are the questions I can't find answers to:

    How large is a normal full crop?
    Does pendulous crop present this suddenly and without impaction?
    If the crop clears properly is it a problem that it is larger than the others?
    I recently switched from crumbles to pellets...should I switch back?
    Is there any way to discourage this chicken from stuffing herself?
    Am I missing anything obvious or not so obvious?

    Any advice is appreciated, I'm new to chickens but have a lot of experience with horses who seem to be born trying to kill themselves. Nothing will surprise me.

  2. PeepersMama

    PeepersMama Living in a galaxy far, far away...

    The scratch could have done it. If they don't usually get a whole lot of treats, then she could have gorged herself on scratch. Since her crop emptied fine, I would just keep an eye on her to make sure she keeps acting fine. [​IMG]

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