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Chicken with huge, wobbly crop

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by redfrog11, Mar 8, 2017.

  1. redfrog11

    redfrog11 Just Hatched

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    Mar 8, 2017
    Hi everyone,

    My 1.5 year old silkie has a huge, wobbly crop. She is having trouble walking (her crop swings as she walks) and is hunched over. She hasn't been eating/drinking much either (though she doesn't eat/drink much when she's healthy either). There's no feathers on her crop. All of her friends are healthy.

    I tried taking away her food for a day then giving her yoghurt to see if the crop would go down but she wouldn't eat any and there was no difference to her crop.

    I'm not sure how long she has been like this as she dislikes people and they free range so the only time I see this one is when I put them to bed at night. Today she was sitting in her coop on a stool to rest her crop, so I think she's in pain. She didn't complain when I tried to move her which is very unusual (normally she'll flee for her life!) so I fear she may be quite ill.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    I've tried googling, but I keep seeing conflicting advice as what to do. Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you!
     
  2. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    Hi

    Isolate her, and remove access to normal food and bedding. Place her on a towel or similar in a box or crate where you can monitor her poop. Massage is the least intrusive thing you can do and will help to break up the mass. She may even enjoy you massaging her crop once she gets over the terror of being handled. Don't be surprised if she is just skin feathers and bone. If it is an impacted crop it will have been slowly starving her for some time and despite the huge bulge at the front they are often emaciated. Regular massage for 5-10 minutes may help and then fluids.

    Can you tell us what it feels like? Hard or soft and pliable? Does her breath smell bad when you massage it? Try to get fluids into her, but be careful she doesn't aspirate.

    I have to head off now but will be back later to check for answers to the above questions and suggest next possible course of action.

    Best wishes

    Barbara
     
  3. redfrog11

    redfrog11 Just Hatched

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    Mar 8, 2017
    Hi Barbara, thanks so much for your reply.

    I massaged her and put her in isolation. Her crop was soft and pliable but I didn't notice any foul breath. However when I was massaging her crop, there was a gurgling sound.
     
  4. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,790
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    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    Hi

    That sounds very similar to one of my pekins that came down with similar symptoms a couple of months back. I've had success with massage 4x a day, occasional and very careful vomiting and small sloppy feeds in the past but the last one I had to do surgery on and removed a huge wad of soggy straw and hay the size of a tennis ball that was never going to come up or go down....and that was a from the bantam.
    What is your silkie's body condition like? Does she feel really skinny and bony or does she still have some flesh on her bones. I would get some poultry nutri drops and try regular massage and small liquid feeds for a few days but if it doesn't clear or she persists in not eating then you will need to consider veterinary treatment or possibly doing surgery yourself. I know that sounds really, really scary but I did it with no medical training. She was at deaths door so there was nothing to lose and she recovered so quickly afterwards it was amazing!

    But lets start with the simple stuff for a couple of days first....so massage and fluids. Nutri drops or whatever similar product you can get and maybe a little yoghurt. My girls crop was soft and gurgly too but there was no bad smell either which usually indicates a yeast infection. I was surprised as I would have expected soggy vegetation that had been sat in the for a while to stink but it didn't smell bad at all.

    What sort of bedding do you use?
    Has she pooped at all since you isolated her? If so, what does it look like. I had to keep mine on newspaper because she would eat any other bedding I put down which is why I suggested a towel or something that cannot be ingested. She will also benefit from being brought into a warm place if you are in a cold climate. No food going through the system means that she has nothing to keep herself warm from the inside, so bringing her into the warmth of the house will help her a little and is more convenient when you are needing to give regular massage treatment....think of her like a little live stress ball.[​IMG]

    If you cannot get any fluids into her and she stops pooping then you need to seek veterinary help or if that is not possible, consider doing crop surgery yourself. It really is not difficult...just the thought of it is scary. I will post a link of the You Tube video which was really helpful to me, so that you can be prepared if that course of action becomes necessary. I can say that super glue worked brilliantly in closing up, so don't worry about having to stitch anything.

    Good luck with her and I'll be here if you need any further info or advice. Hopefully it will resolve with a bit of massage and fluids.

    Regards

    Barbara

    This is the You tube video I found really helpful.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017
  5. redfrog11

    redfrog11 Just Hatched

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    Mar 8, 2017
    I haven't noticed significant change in her body size and she still has some fat on her (but she's always been tiny!).

    I use straw bedding. She pooped this morning and it was separated with black stringy bits (here's a picture if you want to see http://prntscr.com/eho8t4 ). Is it possible the black bits are what's clogging up her crop?

    She hasn't complained about her massages and with some encouragement she drank some water, which she wasn't doing yesterday so hopefully it's a good sign.

    Thanks for the link, I'll have a look at it (hopefully it doesn't come to surgery though!).

    Thanks so much for your help!
     
  6. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,790
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    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    Good to hear that she is drinking and pooping and coping with the massage. My experience is that they usually find the massages quite pleasant once they get over the fear of being held and handled.
    Is it my eyes or is there a green tinge to the black bits in that poop? If she free ranges, I'm wondering if she has gorged on some long grass and that has clogged her up.

    Does she have access to grit? I would ensure she has access to it in her isolation box and since she is drinking a bit on her own, I would try her with very thin gruel, made by soaking some pellets/crumbles in warm water until they break down to a mush. You are aiming for a consistency that would pass through a sieve because that is essentially what the fibrous material in her crop is. Adding Nutri drops or similar will help give her the vitamins to support her body during this difficult period. You can give her this thin gruel in place of water. You can also try a little white bread soaked in warm water as that will usually tempt them to eat and it will break down easily and some should pass through her system and a little live yoghurt if she will take it. The important thing is to keep fluid and a bit of nutrition trickling through her system without clogging it up further, so little and often is the key and giving it after each massage rather than before, because hopefully the massage will push some through her system and allow room for her to take in some fresh.
     

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