25week old hen with slow emptying crop

mlmanjoney

Chirping
Apr 1, 2020
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So I have a 25 week old hen. 2 days ago she laid her first egg, soft shelled. not uncommon for a first layer, but she is a big talker and her voice sounded off.

Next day she still sounded off, but was eating, coming when called and pushing the younger pullets around.

This morning she was last out of the coop, another soft egg under her roost, and didn't go for breakfast. I picked her up and gave her a once over. Her crop wasn't empty.

She had two big poops that looked normal, but I brought her in for isolation.

Been massaging her crop gently. There is no hard lump that I could feel, nor any smell coming from her breath.

Being it is Sunday, the avian vet we see for our parrots is not open, so I am hoping for an appointment tomorrow.

Her color is still good, and doesn't seem to be in any major distress. not sure what else I can do for her
 

HeatherKellyB

"One day or Day one"
Premium Feather Member
May 31, 2019
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What kind of feed do you feed them? Do you offer grit and oyster shell on the side? If she were my pullet, I'd give her some extra calcium, since her crop is moving some. You can also give her some coconut oil for her digestive system. If you put some slivers in the freezer for a few minutes, you'll be able to easily administer them. This sounds like something for the wonderful and amazing experts on here, so let me tag some in hopes of getting the best advice
@azygous @Wyorp Rock @Eggcessive @LaFleche @MysteryChicken

Just a few of the amazing folks that I follow and always try to learn from.

I wish you and your pullet the best
 

MysteryChicken

Unique minded, open minded Chicken Lover
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May 31, 2018
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I had a chick with this same problem. He over gorged himself on food one morning. Apparently he also had a crop blockage too. I found a piece of plastic in the brooder amongst the wood chips. So suspect that was the culprit.

I managed to get the blockage removed after 2 days of Coconut oil, & crop massages.
He still had a huge crop, but wasn't functioning as normal. I was dealing with his slow crop for 4 days, until I finally asked for some help.
This is what he looked like.
16045002003355485800866675214967.jpg
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
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It's not true that shell-less eggs are considered "normal" for new layers. Shell-less eggs at any age is a sign of trouble, and it's wise to address it before it becomes a serious problem, or even life threatening.

This is one area that I've had a lot of personal up close experience with. Your new layer's crop backing up is an additional sign that the reproductive system is out of wack, and needs calibrating before she manages to get an egg stuck inside her. The full crop is a clue it may already be occurring.

The trouble with more than a single soft egg, is that they are exceedingly difficult to pass, and one may be so slow as to interfere with the next egg coming down the oviduct. The solution is to give her calcium, as in calcium citrate found in the vitamin aisle in the store. Give her one whole tablet that also includes D3 now, immediately, and one each day until she's laying normal eggs, one per 25 hour cycle.
 

MysteryChicken

Unique minded, open minded Chicken Lover
Premium Feather Member
May 31, 2018
28,519
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East, Tawas Michigan
It's not true that shell-less eggs are considered "normal" for new layers. Shell-less eggs at any age is a sign of trouble, and it's wise to address it before it becomes a serious problem, or even life threatening.

This is one area that I've had a lot of personal up close experience with. Your new layer's crop backing up is an additional sign that the reproductive system is out of wack, and needs calibrating before she manages to get an egg stuck inside her. The full crop is a clue it may already be occurring.

The trouble with more than a single soft egg, is that they are exceedingly difficult to pass, and one may be so slow as to interfere with the next egg coming down the oviduct. The solution is to give her calcium, as in calcium citrate found in the vitamin aisle in the store. Give her one whole tablet that also includes D3 now, immediately, and one each day until she's laying normal eggs, one per 25 hour cycle.
Didn't think of that. :thumbsup
 

mlmanjoney

Chirping
Apr 1, 2020
38
89
79
What kind of feed do you feed them? Do you offer grit and oyster shell on the side? If she were my pullet, I'd give her some extra calcium, since her crop is moving some. You can also give her some coconut oil for her digestive system. If you put some slivers in the freezer for a few minutes, you'll be able to easily administer them. This sounds like something for the wonderful and amazing experts on here, so let me tag some in hopes of getting the best advice
@azygous @Wyorp Rock @Eggcessive @LaFleche @MysteryChicken

Just a few of the amazing folks that I follow and always try to learn from.

I wish you and your pullet the best
So we feed an all flock crumble because we have a range from 30 weeks to 15 weeks. I do have oyster shell and grit available in the run.

So reading through the responses (THANK YOU) I do have some addons..

Bluebell, the slow crop, spent the day inside getting gentle crop massage and access to water. No food. By the end of the day there was only a little left in the crop and she was angry I wouldn't give her dinner. Figured I would start her on some scrambled egg with ground up eggshells in the morning.

She was NOT the one laying the soft eggs, my Easter Egger is. I saw her this evening hunched in the coop, brought her in for an Epsom salt soak and she had 2 soft shelled eggs back to back... I guess it would have been a double yoker if there had been a shell. She seemed much more comfortable. I checked for prolapse and things looked good. An hour later I offered her some layer crumble softened with warm water. She is also in a hospital cage because her bum was wet from the soak and it is in the 30s outside.

So thanks to Covid, I couldn't get to Walmart tonight and Walgreens only had this one, would it do until I can get to Walmart for the Calcium Citrate tomorrow?

I was planning on giving the two girls moistened layer crumble with unflavored yogurt in the morning. 16061010808735331444419959124389.jpg 16061011052181510807815098923330.jpg
 

azygous

Enabler
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Dec 11, 2009
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Sorry about confusing two chickens with separate issues.

Yes, use that calcium tonight. I'm going to link to an article I wrote discussing the reasons for calcium citrate for reproductive crises. https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...ng-from-vent-prolapse-oh-my-what-to-do.76124/

Since the reproductive tract intersects with the cloaca at the end, any blockage can affect the digestive tract and the crop can become backed up. In fact, more often than not, a crop issue is due to other underlying issues.
 

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