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Cawing chicken w/ hiccups?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I have a one year old Buff Orpington that is making what sounds like moans and then loud hickups.  She sounds terrible.  I noticed her making the sound this afternoon, but thought she was just talking funny.  When I went to close the coop I noticed she was still making the sounds.  She has access to hay and straw.  Could she have some stuck in her throat or crop that is causing her difficulty?  She is breathing okay as far as I can tell and isn't gasping, but every breath she makes a cawing sound and every 15-45 seconds she makes a hiccup sound.  Any ideas?  She is fed scratch in the a.m. and feed.  I have leaves in one section and they have been broken up pretty well.  Her crop is full.  She doesn't seem to be in pain otherwise, but the cawing sounds are really awful.  Any ideas?

post #2 of 7

Is she staggering too?  wink  Did you leave a bottle of something alcoholic lying around at chicken level? lau

Seriously, I'm not sure what is wrong with her, but I bet someone around here will!!  fl

Up to 17 Birds!! Pet Quality BCM's, Mille Fleur D'uccles, and a whole mess o' barnyard Mutts!   
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Up to 17 Birds!! Pet Quality BCM's, Mille Fleur D'uccles, and a whole mess o' barnyard Mutts!   
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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

There is nothing in the chicken yard or coop that would cause a problem.  No alcohol for minors.  I'm really starting to think she ate too much hay or straw or a leaf and it is wedged in her throat.  She is calming down since being inside for 20 minutes or so.  Her level of distress has lessened as the cawing is sounding better.  I'm in my office just 30 feet or so away from her crate.  She is still making the sound, but not nearly as loud as when I brought her in from the coop.  I may try rubbing her crop a bit and see if it helps.  Any other ideas?

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

My hen seems to be doing a little better.  I gave her a bit of olive oil and rubbed her crop.  It is a hard knot.  She is still cawing and has what looks like a spasm instead of the hiccups.  The knot is located above the right breast and not exactly centered.  It feels hard and full of straw.  I hope the oil helps.  Any other ideas?

post #5 of 7

I think you're right, the hiccups are a sign of crop impaction.  Check my sick hen link below for some guidance...cool

http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=7693-sick-hen


Edited by LynneP - 3/30/10 at 12:26pm

Focussing on the black Australorp.  Facebook page under Linda Pattison.

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Focussing on the black Australorp.  Facebook page under Linda Pattison.

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post #6 of 7
Hi to all desperate chicken owners! I was having a problem with a loud cawing Sussex. I tried most things mentioned, treats, cuddled, entertainment, etc. I too was worried that neighbours would start to complain. The case seemed to be whilst my other birds were in the nest box laying or when she decided it was time for tea! I had the idea of using an old rabbit box to put her in when she started crawing. I leave her in there until the offending bird has finished laying. This has worked and I thought I'd pass on the good news.
post #7 of 7

This happened to my chicken too. She was running around as usual but making a loud wailing moaning sound with every breath, with occasional hiccuppy noises. After looking this up online I separated her from the flock and fed her olive oil from a dropper against the side of her beak, then massaged the front of her neck gently and her crop more firmly, all the way down to her belly. I could feel lumps on the right side of her breastbone that softened as I prodded them. She was still noisy afterwards, but the sounds were different and quieter. After doing this three times within about an hour she was silent, drinking lots of water, and looking fine. I let her rejoin the flock that night and next day she was her usual self. As far as I can tell it was a plumbing problem. Correct me if I'm wrong but it seems that when the crop gets clogged up food doesn't move through the bird, so it thinks it has to eat, which makes the clog worse, and eventually its crop gets so full that it has trouble breathing. I think the problem happened because an egg broke in the coop the previous day. I found just a smear of egg, and I suspect that this hen ate the whole thing, including large pieces of shell.

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