advice for impacted crop needed

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by trameghan, Jan 15, 2015.

  1. trameghan

    trameghan Chirping

    Oct 6, 2012
    I posted on her last week about a 9 month old hen with an impacted crop. I have been flushing it twice a day for 5 days now. I also have given her olive oil several times. Tonight she got her 3rd dose of colace and I gave her wormer on Saturday. It hasn't gotten any better. I was hopeful yesterday after her second flush when she had a small poo with solids in it about the size of a fingernail. Today her poo has been yellowish and watery with green in it. Her behavior has not changed. She's still standing and walking around sort of listlessly and half-heartedly pecking at the yogurt and mushy feed i have for her. The crop size hasn't changed. When I fill it with water and massage it, it feels like its got scratch or pebbles in it. I hesitate to do surgery. I don't want to mess it up and hurt her worse. What if I do surgery only to have her crop impact again? My big question is this: at what point do I decide she's not getting better? I want to do everything i can to help her but I don't want to make her suffer. She's one of my favorites and normally has a ton of personality so this is very hard for me. I would love to hear your advice.
  2. krista74

    krista74 Songster

    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.
    I can only tell you what I've experienced with my girl.

    She is a 1 year old Buff Orpington hen, a mediocre layer at best, and currently in moult so actually not laying at all.

    That being said - she has the cutest little fuzzle-butt, is the head hen, the rooster's best girl, and has a fiery temper which I love! Her name, aptly enough, is Fire Ant [​IMG]

    Fire Ant was good one day, then a bit 'off' the next. She didn't look sick per se, but she was not showing any interest in eating and ignored my calls for the scrap bucket. Normally she would be the first one in, pushing the others out of the way.

    She was also standing (never sitting, just standing) in the middle of the pen, staring off into space. It was really quite odd, so after watching her for a half hour I rounded her up to examine her.

    Her crop was about the size and feel of a tight tennis ball. I knew that was not good, so off to the vet we went.

    The vet prescribed paraffin oil which I fed to her on some corn kernels. After gently massaging the crop, she did pass a fair bit of food overnight from the roost, but not what I had expected to find. Her crop was no better the next morning, so she went for surgery.

    She went into the vets at 8.30am and came home at 4pm that night. She had 4 days worth of antibiotics (twice daily) and a pain killer once a day as well. She very much needed the pain killer, as every morning she would wake me up 'crying' in what I can only assume was pain. It certainly was not normal behaviour for her to do that.

    She could not roost afterwards (I guess that was uncomfortable for her) so she slept on the cool dirt during the day, and in a nest box at night. I made the exception for her since she wasn't well! She had to stay in isolation that whole time so the others wouldn't pick at her.

    I fed her vegetables - cucumber slices, cabbage, tomatoes. She had access to layer feed but was not interested for about 6 or so days. I did not give her any grain or whole wheat. She lost some weight but only about 300 grams.

    We are now 2 weeks post surgery. She is back to her regular, firey self! Her crop feels normal, but as you said - there are no guarantees it won't block again. The whole thing cost me $280, which included the antibiotics, pain relief, and having her stitches removed 10 days later.

    So....Would I do it again? On her, no. If she re-impacted, my guess is that it would be a waste of money as she would obviously be at risk of it happening continually. On another bird? Yes, if she was my 'special girl.' For a $5 regular run-of-the mill average layer - no. It's too costly, and at some point you have to weigh up cost vs benefit.

    It's really something to consider on a bird by bird basis, and only you can make that decision. What I can tell you is that I have lost a bird from a sour crop once before (sort of like an impacted crop, but with water involved) and it was a terrible thing to watch. In her instance, she was suffering, and despatching her was the kindest thing. It did not sit well with me to do nothing and watch her suffer.

    I wish you all the very best in your decision, and hope your girl gets better for you. Please do keep us posted, and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

    - Krista
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: