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My favourite hen's crop isnt emptying...

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Hello!

I have 5 ex battery hens that Ive had for 2 months, but they are wonderful and it's like theyve been here forever.

Yesterday I noticed that my favourite hen Ginger's crop was full at lunchtime, but I assumed she'd just been overindulging. This morning at dawn they trotted out of the coop into their run, and they all had empty crops except Ginger. Whose was still full, like a firm cushion, not rock solid but quite firm.

I massaged it for a while, she didnt mind at all (she is the one hen who comes to their name and sits on my lap voluntarily) but it didnt seem to help.

So, I gave her vitamins (since the vitamin drops seem to be miraculous in getting sickly hens functioning again), I added an extra drinker with ACV in the water in case that helps, and put out a big pile of extra grit in case she hasnt been taking on enough lately (tho thats more for gizzard than crop, right?)

She seems fine in herself, and doesnt smell, so Im thinking its impacted but not sour (yet anyway). She hasnt eaten anything different to the other hens, I give treats equally and theyve only had greens, courgette, mealworms recently etc in addition to their normal food (which is freely available via a treadle feeder).

Any advice? I read that she should be isolated and only given water for 24 hours. I could fence off part of the run and stick a cat box there with some straw in it and the drinker with ACV water in it, but Im a bit concerned about doing that as she looks well in herself, and she has gone from 2nd in the pecking order to 4th of 5 recently (and has a bald head from being pecked) so if she is isolated she'll end up even lower down and more bullied afterwards, surely?

Any advice please?

Thanks for reading!
post #2 of 3
Thread Starter 
Ive checked her, her crop is now a lot less full (half full?) - a little fuller than the others but not much, and soft like the others'.

However, her neck and belly is a lot hotter than usual and hotter than the other hens.

She still seems absolutely normal in herself, but Im a bit concerned in case the crop is now turning sour, or she has some kind of infection.

Advice please! She is the cleverest loveliest hen and I dont want to lose her.

(Obviously Ive done all the checks - yesterday I did their weekly exam of their bellies, vents, etc - all fine and in this warm weather Im getting an egg every day from each of them, amazingly. I cant give them away fast enough!)
post #3 of 3

Crops can become slow or non-functioning during times of illness. Feeding vitamins with electrolytes in her water, and giving plain yogurt for probiotics, and chopped or raw egg while the crop is not working well may help. Fluids are most important, and stop any whole grains for now. Massage the crop several times a day. Here are some good links to read about crop problems:

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/impacted-slow-and-sour-crops-prevention-and-treatments

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/702383/impacted-crop-symptoms

http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/04/answers-from-chicken-vet-on-impacted.html

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