Chickens have their own language – and so do chicken people! Do you ever wonder what a word in Your Chickens means? Here’s Hattie to the rescue with her own hencyclopaedia! The Crop When a chicken swallows food it goes into a pouch at the base of its throat. The food stays there until the chicken is ready to start digesting it. When your chickens have had a good feed, you’ll see their crops bulging.
If a chicken eats the wrong food there may be problems in the crop. These can be serious and the chicken will have to go to the vet. Mouldy feed can cause an infection called sour crop – the chicken will have bad breath and seem unwell. Long grass (or string) can block the crop and stop food from being digested. The chicken could starve if this isn’t treated.
Check your chickens’ crops regularly. The best time to do this is in the morning when the crop should be empty and loose. A blocked crop stays swollen and feels firm, even if the chicken hasn’t eaten for a while.