Barnvelder chick has enlarged full crop

by Carolina Moon
(Portland OR usa)

Question

I did not feed this chick grit for the first 7 days I had her. I thought it was mixed into the crumbled organic chicken food I bought at a reputable feed store.

Two days ago I noticed her crop was enlarged, and I could feel it's bulge. She is eating, and I offer her a tiny bit of plain, organic yogurt 4-5 times a day; she will take very little.

She drinks little from the water source so I also force her to drink some warm water from a spoon.

I gently massage her crop. Her waste is dark and her tail is clean. Is there anything else I can do to help her and is this a very serious condition?

(The other three chicks survived the missing grit in their diet, and are having no complications.)

Answer
The yogurt is good, but if that lump is still there, I would withhold food and get her to take as much liquid as possible. Continue massaging the crop.

It sounds impacted and may have soured, you may have to get it as soft as possible, turn her upside down and milk it out of her.

Once it goes sour, (growing too much bacteria from remaining in the crop too long,) it can become toxic.

Mixing a tbsp of raw apple cider vinegar in a ¼ cup warm water can help break down the crop contents with good enzymes.

Any new feed that mixes with the old becomes contaminated and is of little nutritional value.

If the concentrated bacteria remains in the crop too long it can actually break down the crop lining and cause more serious problems.

I wouldn’t feed her any dry food till her crop is emptying normally again, but soak her feed and mix in some grated apple or applesauce and a little yogurt.

The dark stool color is probably from sour food moving through her, like food poisoning. More likely than the lack of grit, she probably just ate too much feed and didn’t drink enough water.

Some chicks are over zealous eaters. Keeping her hydrated is important. Giving a little Gatorade or a pinch of salt in ¼ cup warm water or fruit juice can perk her up.

I hope she pulls through this.

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Barnvelder chick's crop is emptying

by: Anonymous

Barnvelder chick's crop is emptying: Thanks for the encouragement offered on this site ... and I am offering a suggestion to owners of baby chicks whose crops fill from probably gorging on food and drinking too little water and then the crop fills and remains packed.

I took away the dry food from our 9-day old Barnvelder chick entirely for two days and fed her plain, organic yogurt to provide additional enzymes to help break down the food packed into the crop.

I had to spoon feed water as well, she wasn't drinking much. I would warm a dry washcloth in the microwave, wrap her to keep her warm, and gently massage her crop often. She let me do this as though it comforted her.

I even offered apple juice and gatorade to perk her up. It was suggested I offer some raw apple vinegar, but the avian doctor in our area cautioned me that it may irritate her system.

It's with great delight to report she is doing well and her crop is nearly back to normal. I plan to feed her very little at a time to keep her from gorging ... and continue the yogurt for awhile.


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