Cutie-Pie stands next to her enemy, a bale of straw!
Turns out Cutie-Pie's jerking and twisting WAS a sign of something potentially deadly. Pendulous crop, impacted crop or crop bound, depending on who you ask.
By the time we figured out what was wrong the only way to fix the problem was surgery. Whee.
So Jane took her in and the vet people removed QUANTITIES of straw and fermenting junk from her crop. When they got home Cutie-Pie was tired and very hungry--so hungry she tried to eat the waterer!
Today she gets strained oatmeal liquid and water, not the filling meal she desires but we have to give her crop time to shrink to normal size.
Currently she is moaning away in the mud room and squirting watery manure on our floor. "DDD, ddd, d, d, d..." She whines. Very obnoxious.
To prevent this problem in your flock, avoid straw. If your flock has green vegetables available all year straw might work. Tough, fibrous grasses are a lot of trouble. Hay might be better since it has leaves (chickens would choose leaves over stems any day).
We hope this information saves your chickens from a lot of discomfort and saves you some money as well.