Hi everyone. I hope I find you well. I am looking for some guidance and answers as to one of my hens condition. Constance is over 2 years of age and is a large hen. Last Saturday, April 30th, I went out to get the girls up and going and noticed that one of my hens was not feeling well. During the overnight under her roost she did not pass any droppings, other than some white urates. I also noticed a wet patch under where she was roosting and later identified that she must have been regurgitating during the night.
I brought her into the house immediately where she was drinking a lot of water and noted that she was regurgitating again. This passed within an hour of bringing her into the house and to my knowledge she has not regurgitated since last Saturday. She also was passing very small dark, dry and pasty droppings shortly after she began drinking. The odor was very offensive and not the usual odor associated with a healthy dropping.
The regurgitation stopped shortly after she began drinking and later that day she began to eat some food. However, on Sunday, she was not eating and I had to help her drink. When she did drink, she was able to pass again some dark, almost black colored droppings. If she drank a lot of water, they were more or less runny. If she drank a little water, they were dry and pasty. Sunday morning I also noticed that her crop had not fully emptied, so I began massaging it and she was able to pass a couple more small droppings, pasty and dry.
Usually emergencies seem to happen only on the weekends, I was able to get a vet appointment on Tuesday. While at the vet he agreed with the diagnosis of a sour crop. During her examination he placed her on her back and was able to get her to vomit the dark grey black liquid that I saw on Saturday.
The vet sent me home with instructions to put her on grass and it should take about 3 days to allow nature to work out the sour crop. Due to the number of predators here I did not feel comfortable putting her out on grass unattended while I was at work since we have bald eagles and bears and everything else in between. In addition, we wanted me to put her on a "mash" diet. The local feed store had to do a special order for me since they do not normally carry it, so in the meantime, I have been giving her a wetted layer feed. The mash feed will be in on Monday.
On Friday while I was at work, she passed some sort of what appears to look like a worm. The pictures are above. I tried to identify the type of worm, if it is in fact a worm, in my chicken books and online. Most worms that chickens have are usually white. This worm is a dark grey to black. The largest of what appears to be a worm is just under 2 inches. The smaller one is just under 1/2 inch.
It is Spring here and the earth worms are coming up to the surface and we allow the girls to free range while we are home. I do not know if she possibly ate this worm and she was unable to digest it and this led to the sour crop or if in fact she has worms. While at her vet visit he did take stool samples that I brought in for testing. As of today the results are not yet in.
Presently she is not eating anything of significance. I have offered her yogurt, scrambled eggs, baby fresh greens and the wet food.
I spoke again with the vet this morning "Saturday", since she has not eaten anything of significance. He told me to offer her raw eggs and raw tomatoes. I offered the raw egg and she has been picking at it at the present. I also have picked her up the raw tomatoes.
Any help with this would be appreciated. I am at a loss here. I do not know what kind of worm this is, and if in fact it is a worm. Any help on getting Constance on the road to recovery would be appreciated. Thank you everyone! A special thank you to TwoCrows who has been helping me and suggested that I post in the emergency forum! All the best, Martha