crop bound/pendulous crop

Lady Marion

In the Brooder
12 Years
Oct 24, 2007
I know this has been addressed before, but I can't find it. I have a three month old Dominique pullet with a very enlarged, hanging crop. It is soft, not hard. I have isolated her, and have given some olive oil, some probiotics, some digestive enzymes, and some fresh whey. It seems to have gotten a little smaller overnight. I want to avoid surgery! any ideas? (Or, could you direct me to an old post on the topic?




10 Years
Jul 15, 2009
Woodstock, Georgia
If it is soft (watery, squishy), I would say you still have a great chance of avoiding surgery. I just dealt with this myself. I noticed one of my chickens was acting very isolated and stand-offish, not showing an interest in eating, etc. After a few days her tail started to droop too (not standing erect like a normal chicken's tail does). I picked her up and felt a grapefruit sized "water balloon" in her chest. I immediately grabbed her feet between my fingers to hold her, and tipped her over (forward), and thick green slimey gooey fluid poured out of her mouth. After that I isolated her by using a metal dog cage inside the run (so she could stay with the rest of the flock but I could control her access to food).

It took about 4-5 days for her crop to go down. You want to monitor it until it goes all the way down and stays down (not watery or squishy) for at least 12 hours (I read 24, but I just couldn't wait that long). During that time, give her access to water only, and on occasion you can give her about 1/4 piece of loaf bread drizzled with olive oil, or 1/4 cup of plain yogurt just to keep something in her. Both of those foods aid in combatting the sour crop as well as giving her just a bit of calories to keep her from getting too weak.

During that time of isolation and monitoring, check her many times throughout the day, massaging her crop and tipping her forward to drain out the excess goo. My girl only drained green goo for 24 hours, and then started draining clear (I assume water she was drinking). After 2 times of draining clear, she didn't drain any more, although her crop was still watery for a few more days. During that time I would pick her up, massage her, try to drain her, but when nothing came out I didn't aggressively try to get more out.

I would also release her back with the rest of the flock in the evenings (in a covered run with nothing but dirt floor, no access to grass or leaves, etc.) I would first put up the food given to the rest of the flock, so that my sick girl couldn't get any pellets. I wanted her to continue to be part of the flock while she was recovering.

I'm happy to report that a few days ago I noticed her crop was completely empty and tight against her chest when she came down off the roost in the morning. I put her in the dog fence for a few hours, fed the others, and then let her out with them. She's been back with the flock, eating pellets, etc. for a few days now and no problems.

You can do it! I'm crossing my fingers for you!
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