Crop problem? (pic included)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by emilysrad, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. emilysrad

    emilysrad Out Of The Brooder

    May 21, 2012
    Oakland, CA
    One of my Ameraucanas has recently developed a very loose and saggy crop. I fondled it for a while and it really just seems like loose skin with extra fluffy feathers (I think she was just molting recently, too). I was unable to find any photos of a bird with sour crop, and I don't think it fits the description (not balloon-like, unless you mean an uninflated balloon, and not filled with liquid or solids). When I fondled it, she didn't seem in pain, just annoyed with me generally for capturing her. I wanted to post this photo, though, just in case it is something to be concerned about. Do you think her crop looks "normal" for a bird/Ameraucana of age 3?

    I saw a few things I could try (like switching out their galvanized waterer to plastic, making her vomit, etc.) but would rather leave her and their stuff alone if it's just normal aging.

    Thanks for any input!

  2. GoldDogsMom

    GoldDogsMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 10, 2011
    Indiana, PA
    probably need some more detail as to what other symptoms she is displaying. Under emergencies/diseases etc there is a read this first that lists the questions you should answer to help someone help you.
  3. emilysrad

    emilysrad Out Of The Brooder

    May 21, 2012
    Oakland, CA
    1) What type of bird , age and weight (does the chicken seem or feel lighter or thinner than the others.)
    Ameraucana, 3 years old, looks a little thinner than the others but has been this way for a few months.

    2) What is the behavior, exactly.
    Seems totally normal, not shaking head, not in pain, just has saggy skin, which is new in the last couple weeks. When she is in between me and the sun, the skin looks very thin, especially right under her beak.

    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?
    A couple or few weeks, maybe.

    4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms?
    One other Ameraucana has a saggy crop, but is about half as saggy as this one. Our other birds all seem normal.

    5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.

    6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.
    I don't really know if there is a situation.

    7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.
    Eating and drinking normally. I have been feeding more scratch in the past couple weeks because I recently integrated 2 generations of birds and wanted them to have something else to do besides annoy each other all day. In the last couple weeks, the older birds have started eating chick starter. Other changes: it started raining recently. They also get kitchen scraps (apples, tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkin, etc.). They free range and have a pretty big run, so I don't provide extra grit, although I will pick some up today just in case.

    8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.
    The poop looks the same as it has looked for several months - a bit runny.

    9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
    I felt the crop to see if she was in pain and if it was distended, but that's it, and she's not/it's not.

    10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?
    Depends on my options. If it is sour crop, I could help her vomit and change her waterer, and get her some grit. I am sort of borrowing these birds so I would want to check in with mom. Likely not taking her to the vet or doing any super time-intensive treatment.

    11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
    Posted above.

    12) Describe the housing/bedding in use.
    They have a coop, which has pine shavings. Their run is alfalfa hay and clay soil. The garden is mostly dirt and grass.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2012
  4. Country4ever

    Country4ever Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 26, 2007
    In my experience, some birds can have a saggy crop and it doesn't worsen. In some, it can get so bad they die. Once it gets too stretched out, it can no longer move food along.
    Its hard to see that its sagging in your picture. Does it always feel like there's something in her crop?
  5. emilysrad

    emilysrad Out Of The Brooder

    May 21, 2012
    Oakland, CA
    No, it doesn't feel like there's anything in her crop. Just saggy skin.

    I gave everyone some grit today, and changed their galvanized (and a bit rusty) waterer back to plastic, with ACV in it. Just in case.

    Here's a "before" picture, taken a few months ago.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2012
  6. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2011
    Foothills of NC
    If possible, separate her in a cage of her own and offer her a bowl of her regular food. At dusk, bed time, feel her crop for fullness. You should definitely feel a full crop at this time of the day. Also note the amount of food eaten. Check the crop again the following morning.
  7. emilysrad

    emilysrad Out Of The Brooder

    May 21, 2012
    Oakland, CA
    I guess my main question is, do chickens' faces change as they age? Humans' skin sags and gets wrinkly, dogs turn white and their eyes get sunken in... so what about chickens? And related to that, does this bird look like she's just naturally aging? Or should I be looking for something else that may be going on?

    An aside, but potentially relevant: A couple months ago when she started to molt (I think it was molting, I don't really know) I was worried because a bunch of feathers on her cheeks, just under her eyes, were missing, with no signs of pecking or parasites.
  8. Chicks on DL

    Chicks on DL Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 1, 2012
    West Coast, Florida.
    Did you check her crop again this evening? Did she have a nice, full, normal crop in the evening? Also, have you wormed recently? My hen's skin looked saggy after she lost a lot of weight while recovering from an attack. Sometimes they will act like they are eating to keep from being picked on but really aren't. Keep a close eye on her. If her crop is not full before going to roost for the night something is wrong.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012
  9. delisha

    delisha Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 13, 2012
    Racine, WI -
    My Coop
  10. emilysrad

    emilysrad Out Of The Brooder

    May 21, 2012
    Oakland, CA
    I'll watch her closely over the next few days and then give you all an update. Thanks for your help so far!

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