How do I know if my chickens have an impacted crop?
Chickens that you suspect may have an impacted crop can seem depressed with little or no appetite, and have a firm, enlarged crop. If the chicken has an enlarged crop it is important to ensure it has not recently eaten as, after feeding, chickens often have an enlarged crop which shrinks back down as the food is digested. To check whether the chicken has a crop impaction versus a normally enlarged, post feeding crop, owners should remove access to food and monitor the size of the crop over several hours to establish if it is impacted.
The best time to check the crop is early in the morning, when the chickens are let out into their run and before they are fed as the crop should be empty at this time. If the crop is firm at this time, then you should suspect an impaction but always seek advice from your vet as this will need their intervention and treatment.