crop issue, loosing weight, and runny pooh

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by embrown, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. embrown

    embrown Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 18, 2009
    I have been reading about crop issues for two days, but just can not figure out what to do as I have tried some things I read to no success.

    Here's the problem:
    1. 18 month old Bard Rock hen, has seemed to be loosing weight. Now just under 4 LBS.
    2. She began having bad pooh about four days ago. I added vitamins to the water two days, and ACV to the water the other two days. No change.
    3. I can prominently feel the keel bone and noticed the weight loss about two days ago. Not sure what her prior weight was, just know that she now feels like a bag of bones.
    4. I do not think she is laying, but everyone is slacking off and showing signs of a light molting, so it is hard to know when she laid last.
    5. For two days I have been giving her scrambled egg, yesterday she gobbled it, today, she only nibbled about half of it. I have been giving her layer crumbles mashed up with warm water and about a tablespoon of full fat, plain yogurt for about four days. She also has access to the crumbles and fresh water and is housed in a pretty large coop with two other hens. She has access to grit and shell, free choice. She is able to have access to outside, mostly dirt as it is fall and all grass is gone. There is not standing puddles or vegitation left to sower. The coop is very cleaned and recently had a full change of beeding, straw, and the like.
    6. I am bringing her inside tonight so I can monitor her out-put, if she is laying, and manage what she consumes.
    7. I believe it is an impacted crop possibly sower crop. The crop is huge, and if I press my finger into it it leaves a dent, it feels thick and sludgy.
    8. Here is what I did tonight based on all the info about crop issues. Gave her about 2.5 ml of olive oil, and then tried to message that around. Then I made the solution of 1/2 baking soada in a pint of water and gave her about 9.5 ml of that. We tried to to the upward message to press it out, but though we heard a slight gagging sound, she did not bring forth any liquid, oil, or contents of the crop at all. I am not sure how much more water solution I should give and I do not want to hurt or upset her anymore. I am bringing her inside so I can monitor exactly how much the crop changes. I am planning to give her scrambled egg in the morning, plus yogurt, and acv in the water. I have the baby vitamins I can give her. I think I will give her a day of acv and then a day of electrolites in the water.
    9. Wondering if I should give the apple sauce, or if I should give her the molasis and water treatment to see if I can flush things through. I am wondering if I should give her any crumbles, in the past with sick chickens I ground it real fine in the coffee grinder, but I am wondering if I can wait and just feed water, egg and yogurt. Should I try to get some nystatin from the vet. Her breath does not smell but I sometimes smell a pooh smell but can not tell whether it is coming from her beak or her bottom. Pooh, just dropped on the floor is soft to runny and appears greenish on the papertowel used to clean it up. I do not want to cut open the crop. And, I could use any additional advice.

    The chicken is moving about, is still going to roost. She clucks a complaint if we pick her up. She is not as lively as normal and is the lowest gal in the ranks so she is kind of pecked so I think the separation will take away the stress also. Any help would be appreciated, I am afraid she is losing weight very fast and may not last too much longer if I can not get this crop cleared.
  2. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2010
    I would hold off on the food for a bit so you can determine if the crop is emptying, keep water availible a little gator aid and some molassas or suger for electrolites and energy.

    If it is truely not emptying just putting more food in it won't help. Sounds like you are all ready on it but first thing I would try would be get what ever is in the crop to go down a little olive oil and masage may help to break up and move what is in there. If it will not go down than it needs to come up.

    If you can get the crop working even a bit then I think I would worm, Piprazine/Wazin17. If the intestines get irritated and blocked up with worms digestion can basically stop and back up the crop. Some people say worming is hard on them if they are sick, but if you can't get at what is causing the crop problems it will just go on until the bird dies of malnutrition/dehydration. I saved a young EE last moth by getting the crop empty and getting worming meds in. The chicken was skin and bones less than 1.25lb at about 10-12 weeks since then she has beefed up to almost 2.5lb in a month.

    It is also possible the crop is blocked up with junk (grass plastic ect) that won't process, in that case if it can't go down and can't come up it would need to be removed by surgery, likely a vets job but some have done it on their own.
  3. embrown

    embrown Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 18, 2009
    bummer, this morning, there is no pooh in the box at all. Well, Okay, as I am writing this there is a bad smell and she let go of some watery pooh with a tiny bit of solid. I can not tell you much about the appearance except that the pine nuggets soaked it up. The solid was very small, I would say the amount is very insignificant.
    There is water with vinegar in the box with her, no food at all. This morning, her crop is just as full, but is more fluid feeling like a water balloon. It no longer leaves a dent when I push with my finger. She does seem to be drinking. When I put my hand in the box to pet her, she gives off some little clucks and moves away from my hand.

    Now what? Please suggest things I might do next.
  4. DaniLovesChickens

    DaniLovesChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2010
    If her crop isn't rock hard then it isn't an impacted crop. Is she had sour crop you would know. It's an unmistakable, disgusting, sour smell.

    Is she molting? If she's not molting and not laying eggs then maybe she is egg bound?

    I would be careful using hay in the coop. The crop surgery on here shows a chicken that had a crop filled with hay. It can harbor mites as well. That's just my 2 cents on that though.

    If her crop is indeed impacted, you need to try a couple cc's of oil (I prefer mineral oil) a couple of times a day. You can then also give a very small amount of wet mash with oil. Yogurt is good no matter what's wrong with her.

    Good luck!
  5. embrown

    embrown Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 18, 2009
    The crop was nearly hard last night, very firm, but when I pressed on it my finger left a dent. I did give 2.5 CC's of olive oil and moved it around in there. Tried to push things up with no luck. So, then I gave her over 9 CC's of baking soda and water solution and still could not push up anything. In the box she went with pine nuggets on the floor, a perch and some water with acv in it. This morning the crop is even fuller, but more watery. About the hay...I only put straw in the nesting boxes. Very little is lost from there as there is a 2 inch lip on the box and a covering flap of material...for privacy, of course. Otherwise the coop floor has pine nuggets, that were recently changed. Their run is mostly dirt, no straw.

    I am going to give her a tablespoon of yogurt now, and a scrambled egg in an hour or so. And...wait for others to make suggestions as to what to do. No more pooh in an hour, relatively unusual for a chicken, I think. It is hard to say whether she is beginning to molt. It would be time, and I did see a handfull of feathers in the area she usually roosts, that was about ten days ago. But her feathers are a mess because the others pick at her so much it is hard to tell. Her head, and back are fully feathered. So, if it is a molt, it is really light, and I am not aware of the crop largeness issue as it relates to a molt. And, I hoped that losening up the crop with oil and baking soda solution might have broken up the crop material, but she does not see to be pooping that out.

    For me, right now, I am concerned about:

    1. The fact that her crop has remained tennis ball sized for about two days and has not gone down. Although I am encouraged that it is looser in texture today which may mean things are loosening up.
    2. She has lost A LOT of weight in the past few days. The keel bone is very prominent. .
    3. She is not pooping as I think is normal either as it relates to amount, or as it relates toconsistency. And if the fact that it is more water even though she had food until midnight. .
  6. FinsUp

    FinsUp Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 10, 2010
    lake oswego flats
    If she is not passing anything solid, I would hold off on the oil. Since you have runny poo - seems to be working getting movement. The vet I talked to when mine had a similar situation suggested all the water they want (she is not a fan of ACV, especially if it is something new to them) 1/4cup of their food, maybe made into a bit of a mash, and 1/4 cup of yogurt with live bacterias. The yogurt will help stave off any yeast that may be building up in the crop. Too much oil with no passing could go rancid in the crop - creating even more yeast.

    It could be some sort of digestive thing going on- usually what the crop issue is an indicator of. Be very careful with the massage/trying to get them to vomit. Their food and lung pipes are very close and they could aspirate into their lungs. When mine had this issue, I withheld food for 24-48 hours - just water. Then reintroduced the food/yogurt for a day. First time she didn't want to touch any of it, but later in the day, she ate a bit. By the next day, she ate even more. She had no scratch or treats for 4 days, just the food and yogurt. Now she is back to normal!

    Another thing with the enlarged crop is that the muscles have been stretched out so much, it takes time to go back down to properly squeeze the food through the crop. If at all. Monitor her intake to make sure she is cleaning out the crop.

    Good luck -
  7. wbruder17

    wbruder17 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2010
    Portland, OR
    I just noticed the first signs of similar behavior in my Brown Leghorn.

    1. She has not been eating as much as usual...she's usually a big, greedy stealing food piggo.

    2. Watery, white poop.

    3. "Groaning" a lot. And not as active, but not laying down. She's been roosting like normal and comes out of the coop every day with the other birds.

    I just brought her inside, and have a lamp for a little extra heat. She ate some scrambled eggs. Water available. She wants to be outside though, I can tell.

    What should I do now?
  8. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    An impacted crop does not have to feel "hard". The two I operated on actually felt more like a hackey sack or play dough.

    First - determine if it is impacted:

    Isolate/cage the bird and do not give food or water overnight. In the morning if you can still feel what might feel like a lump of play dough in the crop it may be impacted.

    Second - decide if surgery is really necessary:

    Has the bird lost a lot of weight - is the poo watery/thin (indicating no nurtients being absorbed) - is the bird still eating/drinking.
    It will be a personal decision on whether or not to operate but if you decide to - it's pretty easy - here's a link to my thread:

    Both of my birds had crops full of hay. The first one had to be turned upside down first to let all the black foul-smelling water run out. The second one didn't have that issue. When turning them upside down, be sure to extend their neck and hold their head firmly, with the beak open and do NOT let them lift their head while vomiting or it can go down the windpipe.

    Best of luck to all who have to do this surgery. If you lay them on their side, with their head covered, they are amazing calm and I've operated alone and sewn them up without them so much as flinching. Give them only soft/wet foods for a few days afterwards.

    AND...I do advise sewing the crop.
  9. True Grit

    True Grit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I have hay in the nest box and I think they play around with it and probably eat some. Were your birds broody when they were eating the hay or do you know why they ate it? One new layer I have seems to have a large squishy crop. I will check tomorrow to see if it emptied out. Should I replace the hay with shavings? thanks for your help.
  10. embrown

    embrown Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 18, 2009
    I am still in need of some direction. I am not sure where to go from here, but things are not better. Here is what is going on.

    1. The crop is still quite full. It is less than a tennis ball but bigger than a gulf ball. It still feels like puddy, but you can feel the textures of grit, food, seeds...I am not sure what it is...but it is not changing. She has had nothing except yogurt, water with acv, and some apple sauce since about midnight Wednesday.

    2. She is in a box with chicken wire top and pine nuggets on the floor. I can only see some very small amount of pooh, so it was probably watery with just a fingertip size of stool in it. She is in the main part of the house and I have only smelled pooh yesterday morning and not since, so not really sure she is going.

    3. If I am not smelling or seeing pooh this seems to say that she is not moving the junk out of her crop.

    4. Someone said not to do more oil, another said not acv but she is used to it as I use it fairly regularly so I am going to continue. I feel terrible not feeding a skinny boney chicken that needs meat on her bones, but I also do not want to back up her crop further.

    5. She did sit on the perch last night. when we approach the box where she can hear or see us she groans a quiet little cluck. If I take her out she wonders around pecking at stuff she sees on the floor. I would say she is not quite lithargic, but I would not say she is perky either.

    Please, I need to know what next. I do not think it is a muscle problem it is not stretched and flabby, I can feel solids in her crop and it is not seeming to be moving through. I had no luck making her vomet, I do not think she is moving it through on her own. What else can I do.


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