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Cross beak hen impacted crop?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by brittfish, Apr 30, 2017.

  1. brittfish

    brittfish Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I did post this on the cross beak thread but wanted to make it more general.

    I have a crossbeak ameracauna (easter egger) hen named cinnamon. She eats wet down layer crumbles and lives in our house. She has been sick this week. She hasn't eaten anything substantial since Tuesday. She does this from time to time and usually resolves within the week. We usually tube feed her with baby bird formula and some nutri drench and meta cam. Last time we found that her chest feathers were caked with food so we weren't sure if that was what was causing it all along so we gave her a good bath and she started doing better.

    This time on Tuesday I checked her feathers first and she was a mess so I gave her a good bath. She still didn't start eating so Thursday, Friday and Saturday (yesterday) We gave her a dose of metacam squirted into her beak. Still didn't start eating. Was walking around interested in pecking things, drinking water and sitting on us. Yesterday evening we decided her poops were looking like she needed food so I mixed up baby bird formula with warm watwr and nutridrench and tube fed her. She seemed to do fine last night and had some better looking poops. This morning her crop is really full, feels firm and she is drooling. Sounds like she is having some difficulty breathing. Keeps shaking her head to clear the saliva. Doesn't smell bad though.

    I'm so worried that I injured her crop with the tube when tubing her last night and it's infected. Not sure how else she would have an impacted crop because she can't eat anything other than wet layer crumbles.

    Also the tube I have used before and it is not sterile I always run water through it and whip it out but maybe she got something from that?

    Being a cross beak is so different from regular chickens and their symptoms. Any thoughts?? Going to bring her to the vet tomorrow but everywhere is closed today!

    Side note she is a little smaller than our other normal ameracauna hens that live outside. She had laid eggs very regularly until she laid a couple soft no shell eggs late last August when she molted and never started back up. We attribute her size to her disability and her egg laying stopping to her size and also the fact she lives inside where it's and ways 70 degrees so she laid more during the winters than the other hens. She's an extremely happy and normal acting chicken usually and goes outside to scratch in the dirt every couple days, whenever she wants.

    We love her like family any help is great. Thank you.
     
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I'm sorry you're having trouble.

    Are you using the Metacam for inflammation when you tube feed her?

    It does sound like she has a slow crop. I'm not sure exactly what needs to be done since you are tube feeding her. Can she eat on her own at all?

    I understand that she only has wet feed/baby bird formula, but is there a way to introduce a very small amount of poultry grit (crushed granite)?

    Also, most crop issues are a symptom of an underlying cause like Cocci, worms or internal laying/reproductive disorders. Since her last eggs were soft/shell-less and she has not resumed laying, she may have some reproductive problems, like Peritonitis, Salpingitis, cancer, tumors or Ascites.

    Keep us posted.

    Take a look at @TwoCrows article in the "doughy crop" section.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/impacted-slow-and-sour-crops-prevention-and-treatments
     
  3. brittfish

    brittfish Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We were giving the metacam because we think she hurts her neck eating. She has to scoop up the mush then jerk her head back and forth to get it down her throat. We tubed her the one time yesterday but I'm now thinking maybe she started having a slow crop because she hadn't been eating and maybe the bird formula I gave was too thick so she drank water this morning to dilute the solids in her crop. We've been massaging it and it is much smaller than it was earlier. She's preening and acting more normal right now. Thanks for the reply and the great article. We are going to get some grit. Hopefully she will start eating again after this episode. We don't tube her routinely just when she goes without food for a while. Usually helps her get back to eating. I thinkas long as the grit is fine enough it might work. She's a tough case.

    Thank you so much for the reply and the link to the article that's super helpful. So glad there's other chicken people out there willing to help it's so hard not knowing what to do.


     
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  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    I am so sorry about your baby. Tube feeding can cause swelling from the routine tube abrasion. And many times birds with cross beaks do have other internal issues and failures. Have you stopped by our BYC thread "Diary of a Crossbeak" ? (I would copy and paste it here but I am having all kinds of glitches today on my system.) Just use the BYC search bar at the top and you will find it. It is a wonderful thread of others that keep crossbeaks, how they care for them, troubles they have encountered and over all basic care. You nay find more help there from others with the same or similar troubles. Good luck with your girl!! :)
     
  5. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I'm glad it's reducing in size. Dehydration can definitely impact the function of the crop, so try to encourage her to drink or tube fluids into her to see if that helps.

    I hope she starts to get better soon, keep us posted.
     
  6. brittfish

    brittfish Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for your suggestions/responses. Glad to report cinnamon is doing well. I'd say about 80-90% better. Back to eating almost normally. Her crop returned to normal the next day. Our thinking is that the baby bird food we tube fed didn't fully leave her crop overnight so she drank a lot of water when she woke up and it was coming back up a little making her drool. We massaged it often and let her relax and do her thing. It gradually went down. She still didn't start eating well until Thursday (5/4). Gave us a good scare. Keeping our fingers crossed she continues doing well.
     
  7. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I'm glad to hear she is doing better! Thanks for the update[​IMG]
     

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