Swollen crop from overeating? Or something else?

Thepriceofbeauty

In the Brooder
Mar 1, 2018
29
10
34
Thornton, CO
Hey guys, our little 6 day old Australorp seems to have developed a large growth on the right side of her chest. It has been noticable for about 12 hours. After researching on here seems it could just be a swollen crop from eating too much, however after looking at diagrams it seems like it's a bit high? She seems to be acting/eating/drinking normal, no signs of pasty butt. I just added a little apple cider vinegar to the water. Any other insights?
 

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RodNTN

Hatchaolic
8 Years
May 22, 2013
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The Volunteer State
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Is it squishy or hard? Is there a foul smelling odor coming from her beak? Does she have diarrhea? Chickens with impacted crops act quite, lose their appetite, listless, etc.

What kind of feed is she eating?
Does she have access to grit?
Have you been feeding her any treats?
What type of bedding are you using?
 

Thepriceofbeauty

In the Brooder
Mar 1, 2018
29
10
34
Thornton, CO
No foul smell as far as I can tell. She is using pine bedding. I wasn't instructed to give access to grit at this time. First time chicken mom here.
Is it squishy or hard? Is there a foul smelling odor coming from her beak? Does she have diarrhea? Chickens with impacted crops act quite, lose their appetite, listless, etc.

What kind of feed is she eating?
Does she have access to grit?
Have you been feeding her any treats?
What type of bedding are you using?
 

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HoopyFrood

Songster
5 Years
Mar 21, 2016
481
597
201
Maine, USA
My Coop
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Hey guys, our little 6 day old Australorp seems to have developed a large growth on the right side of her chest. It has been noticable for about 12 hours. After researching on here seems it could just be a swollen crop from eating too much, however after looking at diagrams it seems like it's a bit high? She seems to be acting/eating/drinking normal, no signs of pasty butt. I just added a little apple cider vinegar to the water. Any other insights?

My fingers are crossed for you! Keep a very close eye on (him/her? I'll just go with her)... watch for signs of lethargy. Monitor eating and drinking. Definitely offer chick grit as soon as you can, just in case.

How is her breathing? Is it the same rate and depth-of-breath as your other chicks?

Do you have any poultry Nutri-Drench? That is a lifesaver to have on hand. You can find it at most Tractor Supply Co's.

I don't want to be alarmist, so please do NOT panic. But that looks exactly like what one of our Australorp chicks died from last year at only six days old. It started when she was three days old. So I just mention this to know one shouldn't be overly complacent...

We never concluded exactly what it was. I originally thought it was something she ate. But I later came to believe it was a congenital problem.

Monitor the swelling carefully to see if it increases or decreases. In our case it ebbed and flowed for one day, but then just kept getting bigger. After the third day she stopped eating entirely and we knew we had to act. As it progressed her breathing got slower, deeper, and more labored than other chicks (normal chicks take what seem like fairly rapid breaths to a human).

We tried feeding her Nutri-Drench via eye dropper. But towards the end she had a very hard time swallowing and twice regurgitated what looked like bubbly saliva, but it had a consistency almost like liquid rubber cement.

Rats... I can't finish at the moment. Again I am NOT trying to be alarmist. It just looks too familiar to me. I'll add a bit in the next 60-90 minutes...
 

HoopyFrood

Songster
5 Years
Mar 21, 2016
481
597
201
Maine, USA
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All right, back now...

As the swelling increased she started doing what we called a "penguin" torso wiggle. On the last day when she stopped eating and drinking we knew we had to take action.

We dug up threads where people had discussed using a fine hypodermic needle to puncture the skin above what were "air pockets." Of course if an air sac was inflamed we wouldn't want to puncture that! But it visually looked similar to this "air-pocket-under-the-skin" thing. We thought the swelling was pressing on her air sacs and making breathing difficult. After a few unsuccessful hours of trying to get her to eat or drink (she refused) we decided to act. We knew she wouldn't survive if we did nothing. We tried. It was not a success.

When she passed she expelled a huge mass of that sticky saliva-looking substance. To this day I have no idea what it was. But I believe that viscous substance was in her respiratory system (hence the air bubbles). And because it was so thick and sticky... passing air through it would be almost impossible, no wonder she struggled to breath...

Sorry I got the number of "days old" wrong in my last post. The pattern of her illness was like this:

At 4 days old (on her 5th day) she began showing signs of lethargy and swelling. We used Nutri-Drench and by the end of the night she perked up. At 5 days old (her 6th day) she was improved and the swelling seemed to go down during the day. In the evening it began to increase, though she was still eating and drinking. At 6 days old (her 7th day) she woke to MUCH lethargy and increased swelling. She refused to eat or drink. After 5-6 hours of us trying to get her to eat/drink unsuccessfully, we decided to attempt the procedure. She was very lethargic with very labored breathing and was very uncomfortable.

So that is the tale of beloved Katy and it was one of the hardest things either of us has ever dealt with. I'm sure many people would find that ridiculous. By the way, we were/are first time chicken parents. So we got hit with this right out of the gate...

Don't lose hope! But perhaps our experience can help you gather clues in order to decide on the best course of action.

Best wishes to you and your little one!:hugs
 

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