What is normal for crops of three week old chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Finnie, Nov 29, 2014.

  1. Finnie

    Finnie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2014
    I tried to search this, but every thread that came up was about slow crop, or chicks with huge crops. My chicks have flat, empty crops. In the week that I've had them, they seem to be happy and growing. I see evidence of them eating, drinking and pooping, and they do not have any poop stuck to their vents. But I think it's very odd that every time I examine them, they seem to have no crop whatsoever.

    At first I figured it was just a coincidence that I happened to be checking them after their crops emptied. But it's been a week now, and I have not been able to catch any one of them ever with a full crop. If they were a budgie or a finch with this condition, they would be dead by now. I can't help thinking there must be something very different about chickens than about my other birds. I haven't been too worried, because they look and act fine. But now I'm beginning to wonder.

    Do I need to be worried? Could it be possible they are only playing with their food and not actually eating it? Could they actually go a week without eating and still look healthy?

    I really hope there is a logical explanation for their flat crops. But it does not fit in with everything I've learned from five years of raising baby budgies and finches.

    By the way, there are five of them, Lavender Ameraucanas hatched on 11-9-14.
  2. As long as you see them eating, and they are growing, gaining weight, and they always have plenty of chick starter--not layer feed--on hand, they should be fine. I can't remember being able to feel my chicks' crops until they were much older.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I was able to see/feel a full crop on the right side of the throat from a couple days old, kinda freaked me out at first.

    Try pulling the feeder for a few hours then put it back in, they should chow down, then feel for it 20 minutes later.
  4. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2014
    Yorkshire, UK
    My Coop
    Yes I usually see the crops sticking out and can feel they are full as aart said. I wouldn't be worried though if they are acting normal and growing ok. Have you tried checking at the end of the day when they have been feeding and active all day? I think I noticed mine more because I don't use lamps to brood chicks for the first few weeks and they have lights out at night time so they go to sleep and don't tend to feed so in a morning their crops are empty and I can see crops more at the end of the day.

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