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swollen crop - why??

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I have a 5 month old HiLine - she has had a swollen crop on one side for about 2 months.  Bridget seems healthy, has shiny feathers and seems to be eating drinking and pooping ok.  She is smaller in size and her comb has not fully developed compared to our other chicken and has not started laying yet.  I have tried massaging her crop and she vomits up bile like fluid.  Today she puked up bits of grass then the vomit smelt foul but the swelling has not gone down.  Knowing nothing much about chickens can someone give me some advice please?  Is this normal? I'm a bit afraid how far and how much I should massage her crop - am I hurting her?

post #2 of 9

I hope  someone can give you better information than I can.  But in the mean time, I would keep her crated so you can really watch her, give her mush food, or pieces of bread with olive oil in it, and don't be afraid to message.  I like to feel that it's something like a ball of clay, and I break it up with my fingers .  Massage from high to low.

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post #3 of 9

I agree with the post above.  Don't be afraid to message the crop fairly vigorously a couple of times a day and give her olive oil via a syringe to help lubricate the mass in her crop and help break it up.   The sour smell from her crop is normal for having some impaction in there.  The normal poop is a good sign, if it turns watery, then the crop impaction is getting worse and/or she has an obstruction in her digestive track.  It has taken me as much as a week to 10 days to work an impacted crop free.  Good luck

post #4 of 9

Is it an impacted crop or sour crop?  do a search for both.  Only reason I mention is that olive oil may slow down digestion in a sour crop.

 

if sour crop I would:

 

1. seperate (dog crate works) and withhold food for 24 hrs only giving her access to acv water (apple cider vinager - the raw unfiltered kind with "the mother".  I use Braggs brand)  that should help kill the bad bacteria fermenting.

 

2. on day two give her yogurt to help get the good bacteria back into her crop.  My girl didn't like the yogurt so I mixed some probiotic capsules in warm water and dropped it on her beak.

 

3. on day three I would make her some soft food, scrambled egg, oatmeal.  I made my girl some mash by mixing layer feed with water and another probiotic capsule, she ate it up!

 

I would keep her seperated for a few extra days to make sure the crop is back to normal and only give her soft foods. Also, some people "vomit" their chickens by tipping them up-side-down.  I did not as I was afraid to suffocate her.  totally your call.  just continue to massage the crop pushing downward to help move whatever is causing the blockage through. 

 

Good luck!

 

 


Edited by top of the hill - 1/11/12 at 8:12am
Mama hen to 3 RIR's, 3 Ameraucanas and 3 new BR chicks!!- finally, first egg came Sept 16th, just shy of 21 weeks, way to go Big Red (RIR)!!!!
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Mama hen to 3 RIR's, 3 Ameraucanas and 3 new BR chicks!!- finally, first egg came Sept 16th, just shy of 21 weeks, way to go Big Red (RIR)!!!!
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post #5 of 9

First thing you need to do is feel the crop in the morning before they get going for the day. Sometimes chickens are pigs and will over eat during the day. The crops should be empty by morning. If the crop is still full in the morning, there is definitely a problem.

 

Is it soft and squishy or a hard lump? 

 

A hard lump is an impacted crop. Could be from something the chicken ate, especially grass. Chickens love grass, but often it causes impaction. So if it is impacted, you need to separate her and  withhold food for 24 hours. Squirt some olive oil down her throat with a syringe, about a teaspoon or so and massage the crop for about 10 mins. Do this several times a day. On the next day, you can offer soft foods only, like hard boiled eggs. No hard seeds or anything that is not water soluble.

 

If her crop is soft and squishy, it is a soured crop. You mentioned she barfed up some smelly stuff. A BIG clue to soured crop. Which means she has a yeast/fungal infection in her crop. Could be from anitibotics or just her system out of whack. The crop needs healthy bacteria to digest food and like humans, need probiotics to get it back on track.

 

So, in the sour crop situation, first thing is to offer up all your chickens raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar. Mix 3 tablespoons to one gallon of water. It will help all your chickens. The apple cider will help stop the fungus from multiplying and keep the chickens system acidic. It will help kill off the crud in the crop. And it doesn't hurt to offer this up once a month as maintenance. 

 

Next, only let her have soft foods...hard boiled eggs, yogurt, (which is good for the probiotics...also ACV has probiotics in it also), wet her mash down so it is soft. NO seeds, hard anything that has to be worked at digesting.

 

Next, when she is doing the squiggle neck thing and is uncomfortable, you need to vomit her. So hold her like a football in one arm and lean her forward only. Never backwards. Support her body with one arm and while leaning her forward, massage her crop to let her vomit up the gunk. Only hold her like this for no more that 10 seconds so she can breathe. Flip her over again to get as much of it out as you can. You will never get it all out, but that stuff is toxic and needs to come out. Do this a few times a day.

 

She may be getting cold at night, and a cold chicken will not move their crops. So you may need to separate her at night and keep her under a heat lamp. A cold bird will not eat either and she is going to lose weight.

 

Keep this up for a few weeks. Yes, it takes awhile to clear up sour crop. But just keep at this and hopefully she heals. Good luck with your baby! 


Edited by TwoCrows - 1/11/12 at 10:09am

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Treating Sour Crop and Impacted Crop

 

How to Treat Egg Binding in Hens 

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Keep one eye on the past, one eye on the future and both eyes on the present. ~ a Raven ~

 

I miss my precious Miss Molly. sad.png

 

Treating Sour Crop and Impacted Crop

 

How to Treat Egg Binding in Hens 

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post #6 of 9

I have a slight disagreement. To be technical, digestion does not occur in the crop.  The crop on a chicken is just a muscular pouch that is an extension of the esophagus that serves to store food for regulating into the gizzard, proventriculus (stomach) and intestines.  To be sure, there is bacteria in the crop from decomposing food can cause a bad odor but I don't think adding some oil to aid the mechanical breakup of obstructions in the crop when messaging would hurt.

post #7 of 9

I agree with you Gullusdomesticus on the digestion process of a chicken in that the crop does not actually digest food. However with a sour crop, you want food to move thru the bird as fast as possible, so my reference to hard foods not being fed would allow the gizzard action to be skipped and food in the crop will have less chances of going more sour. The sour smell in a birds crop during sour crop issue is due to the yeast and fungal build up. Yeast stinks. 

 

And yes, oil does break up hard impacted crops, however should not be used on a soured crop as oil is very hard to break down and that is the last thing you want is a slow crop to get slower. 

Keep one eye on the past, one eye on the future and both eyes on the present. ~ a Raven ~

 

I miss my precious Miss Molly. sad.png

 

Treating Sour Crop and Impacted Crop

 

How to Treat Egg Binding in Hens 

Reply

Keep one eye on the past, one eye on the future and both eyes on the present. ~ a Raven ~

 

I miss my precious Miss Molly. sad.png

 

Treating Sour Crop and Impacted Crop

 

How to Treat Egg Binding in Hens 

Reply
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by twocrowsranch View Post

I agree with you Gullusdomesticus on the digestion process of a chicken in that the crop does not actually digest food. However with a sour crop, you want food to move thru the bird as fast as possible, so my reference to hard foods not being fed would allow the gizzard action to be skipped and food in the crop will have less chances of going more sour. The sour smell in a birds crop during sour crop issue is due to the yeast and fungal build up. Yeast stinks. 

 

And yes, oil does break up hard impacted crops, however should not be used on a soured crop as oil is very hard to break down and that is the last thing you want is a slow crop to get slower. 



I use oil, but I soak small pieces of bread in it.  I also think that water is important in this too, for moistening that lump so it can be broken up with massage in an impacted crop.

 

RUNS WITH CHICKENS               

 

            Marek's FAQ  Nambroth's really BIG one!

 

            How to send a bird for a necropsy    by Casportpony

         

             Poultry-Pedia                

                    

        

                                            

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            Marek's FAQ  Nambroth's really BIG one!

 

            How to send a bird for a necropsy    by Casportpony

         

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post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

thanks everyone for your advice - sorry I have not replied sooner - I've had computer problems.

 

As it turns out from all your advice I have accidently been doing what you have advised but not regularly enough - I have only been vomiting her every other day (I can't stand the smell besides it all landed on me in the wind and then I was sick!!) I have been giving her yoghurt and soft foods because I felt sorry for her thinking it would be easier to swallow and digest but I did notice that she was fairly hopping into the laying pellets yesterday morning then she was well and truly swollen today, consequently she was massaged til she had nothing left to bring up.  I hadn't heard of the Apple Cider vinegar before - so that will be going in the water first thing in the morning.  

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