Crop That Won't Empty


5 Years
Aug 21, 2014
Hello Fellow Chicken Lovers -

We have a Blue Easter Egger, whose crop we cannot get to an emptty state. We first noticed a few weeks back that she was making funny head movements. Always having quite healthy chickens, it was about a week ago that we finally figured out she was having a crop issue. We have been researching and trying to get her crop empty for a week today, and it is still not empty.

-Her crop is *not* impacted, as it is not hard.
--It is more doughy, unless she just drank, and it's a bit more squishy.
-It is not empty, like the other chickens in the morning.
- She is pooping, usually doughy poops. (Not a lot, but we haven't been feeding her much.)
- Don't flip.....but we have had straw up there in their run, because they love to scratch through it. We haven't seen any of the chickens eating it, but it's possible she may have.

Here is what we have been doing and have tried.
- The first day or 2, when it seemed like a squishy sour crop, we did burp her once morning and night. (We know this risky, but we were safe as possible.) But it never resolved the crop.
- She has been kept separate in our hospital-coop on the deck during the day, so we can watch and treat her, and keep her from eating. At night she goes in the big coop with the others - no acccess to food.
- We did not feed her at all for the 3-4 days. Only water with ACV in it.
- A couple of times we gave her yogurt, with grit on it.
- Yesterday I gave her a scrambled egg, cooked with olive oil on the pan.
- We also tried a treatment for couple of days that we found online for emptying a crop that is not impacted: giving her a 1cc syringe mixture of cinnamon, chili powder, ginger, baking soda, a squirt of lemon juice and water. It does make her poop, but hasn't emptied her crop yet.

Her head-movements are much less often, and she seems otherwise ok. She is not losing weight or lethargic or anything else. But the crop is still not emptying. Since she IS pooping sometimes, we know something is getting through. And yet, something is not right. After a week of no real food, and all we have done, we figured this would be resolved by now.

Honestly, we love her, but we're not really wanting to spend much money on a vet.
Any other ideas of what is causing this, or what else we can do to resolve her crop issue and get it empty and functining properly again?
The correct amount of the herbal for doughy crops is:
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
squirt of lemon juice
2 Tbsp water
Give the ENTIRE amount 1/2 ml at a time until you've given it ALL. Then massage the crop well (I usually start massaging as soon as I've gotten a ml or two in and then with each ml after that til it's all been given), this is what helps break it up and hopefully make it passable. And you do this 3 times a day. I've had success clearing doughy crops this way, HOWEVER it may just recur depending on what the underlying cause is. It could be a partial blockage and would resolve in the event it was eventually passed. But there are diseases that can cause everything to slow down (cancer, tumors, Marek's, infection for a few) and that can cause the doughy crop, and it will recur as long as the underlying condition is there. And depending on the cause it can be very hard to diagnose. Most blockages that are below the crop are not really treatable unless it's a blockage that is able to be passed. An x-ray might give a clue, but I know you said you didn't want to do the vet. So in that event I would continue trying to clear it and monitor the birds weight. If things don't change and she begins to lose weight, or develops further symptoms you will need to consider other options. Feeding only water soluble foods would be a good idea, and mixing water into her feed will help soften it up, give her more hydration, and hopefully make it easier to pass. Be careful with the yogurt, if it's sitting in the crop it can become sour crop, the lactose will encourage yeast growth. Best of luck.
Hello Plymrocker. How is your girl now? I am having a very similar problem with one of mine. I hope you managed to sort it out.
Hi Coach723 - We had actually given her that recipe a few times before I saw your post here, and again after. Not the same frequency though, and it was really hard to get it ALL in each time we did do it. She's holding her own, but still not well. We're moving on to actual probiotic and Monistat 7, I guess.

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