Crop stasis - resolved - what are the chances it'll "stick"?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Wynette, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    I've got a 17-week-old pullet that I noticed on Sunday was standing with her head/neck pulled in..and it was close to 90 out.

    I pulled her out to examine her, and found her crop to be enlarged, and not squishy as it should be. I put her in a crate, with no food and water, overnight - in the morning, her crop was still enlarged. GREAT. I've dealt with this before, so began treatments of vigorous crop massages, olive oil administered via syringe, yogurt, etc. (She most definitely did not have sour crop - it just wasn't moving.)

    Tuesday around 5 p.m., I was doing a vigorous crop massage and she spit up - some brownish gunk, and in the gunk was a wad of what looked like when a cat coughs up a hairball. I don't know exactly WHAT it was, and it was maybe 1.5" long and about the diameter of a pencil. I put her back in her cage with water/electrolytes/vits. only. By Wednesday morning, her crop was completely empty, except for some shavings she'd eaten...she must have been quite hungry. I gave her about 1/8 c of apricot yogurt, mixed with 1/8 cup starter feed and about 1 T baby bird handfeeding formula. After work yesterday again, her crop was empty, and she'd eaten all her food. I gave her the same mixture, a bit more, and by 9 p.m., again, crop empty and she'd eaten all the food. This morning, crop empty again. I gave her the same mixture, but more starter so it was drier, and increased the quantity.

    So - assuming she was just "plugged up" with whatever that wad of gunk was, I have a few questions:

    1) how long should I leave her in the crate? She can see her flock mates through the sides of the crate, but I'd like to get her back with them as soon as I can.

    2) what are the chances this was a one-time thing and she'll be fine for the rest of her days? I've dealt with this twice, and both times, the hen was fine for a few months, and then went through it again, and I ended up losing them. If that's what typically happens, I may just put her down so she doesn't have to suffer through this again. So, I'm interested in hearing if anyone's dealt with this and had no further issues with it later on.

    As always, thanks for ALL feedback!
     
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Both mine died, Wynette. I think if we had realized earlier that my Kate has this issue, the crop surgery we did on her would have worked and she would have survived. We did clean out the crop and she seemed to be much better for a few hours, eating and drinking, but died the next morning. My girls' crops were doughy and the feed just sat in there and didn't move, even though the proventriculus was clear. What came out of Kate's was almost like play dough.


    You know, that thing that came out of the crop sounds like the shape of the proventriculus, the hole at the back of the crop where it empties. Could have plugged that up and formed a cylindrical shape.
     
  3. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Hmm...well, that sure doesn't bode well for my girl, then. She's been doing really, really well since she spit up that small wad of gunk, and it WAS more narrow at one end and wider at the other...I'm going to cross my fingers and HOPE that she was just plugged up, and getting it out fixed it. But, if she's prone to getting clogged up, I can see where it would possibly happen again. I gave her some free range time this a.m. to see how she'd act, and she went to a mud puddle and prompty gorged on 2 or 3 large beakfulls of mud. [​IMG] I know that often when they are not feeling well, they'll eat unusual things to try and make themselves feel better, but she sure acts like she's feeling fine. She stumbled a bit when she turned quickly when I went to pick her up - she's lost a lot of weight, adn I'm sure is weak. She'll remain in the crate for another full week so I can monitor her and so she can get her strength back up. Thanks for your honest feedback, Cyn.
     
  4. adoptedbyachicken

    adoptedbyachicken Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    The one and only I have done the crop surgery on (for McD monopoly game cards the kid next door gave her to eat) lived for years afterward. So if it's really a crop blockage they can do well, but the question in this hen is what plugged her up? If normal chicken eating stuff plugged her then she may have an issue with the size or shape of the outlet. She may be fine if always kept in to eat only layer ration but not so good if allowed to free range. If your goal with her is breeding I'd tend to 'test the waters' with her and see if it happens again after a decent recovery time. If she has a trait you don't want obviously don't use her in your breeding program.

    As for crate time I'd only keep her in there as long as it took for me to be sure she is back eating and drinking normal ration. No added yogurt or special prep. Not to say I might not grab her and give her extra once a day to help her recover but I don't think lock up is best unless they need the protection. If the flock is accepting her and not beating her down she is best to continue interacting IMO. They just don't seem to do well in lockup for me.
     
  5. tulie13

    tulie13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a chicken that is prone to sour crop - she's my last Speckled Sussex - all of the rest died from a severe and sudden coccidiosis outbreak (new chicken house syndrome) with clostridium complications. The antibiotics contributed to sour crop (fungal overgrowth) and I think all of my SS had "weak crops" genetically - no other chickens died in my flock with this mess except the SS!!!

    Anyway, the last one I have left has had occasional issues, we purge the crop and feed her yogurt, and squirt some ACV down there, and she clears up. She's good for weeks/months and then it can crop up again (pun intended!).

    One thing I would recommend is ACV continually in the water supply if you can do it, if you are on an automatic watering system you can't really do that. So if you think she's prone to some sort of crop issues, you can just grab her occasionally and give her some straight ACV, just a dropperful or so would be good to dose her with now and then.

    Good luck! [​IMG]
     
  6. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    tulie - I'm so sorry you had to go through that - it must have been heartbreaking! [​IMG]

    Thanks so much for the feedback; with this girl, I bred her for my breeder pen, so she'll likely now go into my layer pen. I work really hard not to bring any birds with any sorts of weak genetic makeup into my breed pens, but she'll be a lovely layer for my eating egg pen! I just hope she's able to hold her own, gain the lost weight back, and remain healthy! Thanks again for your input.
     

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