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Overly full crop, aspirating

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Let the hens out into the yard today from their coop/run and one didn't come out right away.


RIR has very full crop, had some gut gurgling noises. Immediately brought her in the house into a bin to rest and try to recover.


She stood in the bin or a while, not really moving or interested in the water I left in there with her. Could hear the gut noises every so often, and she'd occasionally act as if the liquid got into her mouth and she tried to reswallow it. Didn't want to induce vomiting in case of causing her to aspirate, but after an hour and a half or so she sat down, which I assume added pressure on her crop. Soon after I started hearing gurgling noises; I think she ended up aspirating on her own.


That was about an hour ago. The gurgling has since subsided and shes back to sitting down. She still swallows (drink-like movement) every once in a while and I may hear a gurgle even less often than that.


I called four different emergency vet clinics and all the local ones are unable to deal with any sort of avian respiratory issue, let alone with a chicken. The closest that could deal with her is an hour away, and I think the drive would stress her out too much.


Is there anything I can do for her? The house AC is set on 79 and I don't have the ceiling fan on. I put a blanket over her bin to try to help contain her body heat without adding to her breathing/crop difficulty. I could put her in the garage but I have to work (from home) today and I'd rather be able to keep a constant eye on her, not that I can do anything if something happens.


If it doesn't get better by morning, if she makes it, I'll go to the local vet that will deal with chickens and hope they aren't exorbitantly expensive. 

post #2 of 6
I had a chicken that way last week. Her comb was even starting to turn purple on the tips. I added organic apple cider vinegar to her water, fed her small amounts of plain yogurt (with scrambled eggs), and massaged her crop in a downward motion only. She made a full recovery in just a few days. I removed all food and water at night so I could check her crop each morning to see if it was going down.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Did she act sick/lethargic at all, or did he act normal except for the really full, liquidy crop?


I've dealt with sour crop before but I could detect a faint sour-ish smell on the bird's breath and she ate and drank like normal, just had a minor impaction that turned into sour crop. Did what you did feeding eggs and yogurt and I think she recovered...was several years ago.


Darkie has pretty much stopped the gurgling noises and has been standing quietly with her eyes mostly closed since I first posted.doesn't want to drink water though. Haven't offred food yet because I wanted to see if the crop would empty at all...not positive, but I think it has, slightly.

post #4 of 6
My hen was not herself, she stood around with her feathers puffed up and looked sleepy. She wasn't even interested in her favorite treat. I discovered the enlarged crop when I examined her to figure out what her problem was. Fluid came out of her crop when I picked her up or if she bent her head down. I didn't think she would make it. She was miserable with her crop so enlarged.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hmm. How did you get her to eat if she wasn't even interested in her treats? Did you syringe or tube feed or did she eventually gain her appetite back?


I think mine might have an impaction underneath all that maybe a mushy ball of grass etc. now that most of the liquid (though not all) has subsided I can feel something with more substance than just liquid.

post #6 of 6
I noticed her enlarged crop late Friday so I am not sure how many days she was struggling with it. When I discovered it, I realized why she was acting so sickly. It was still huge Saturday morning, so I bought plain yogurt and mixed it with scrambled eggs and she ate like she had been starved for days. She would not eat just the yogurt alone. I guess the eggs made it more appealing to her. I fed her the mix twice a day and massaged the crop downward and within about 3 days it was back to normal. I never felt anything in the crop that I thought could be causing the problem. I hope you are able to save your hen as well.
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