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Egg bound / Crop bound? Emergency!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Erinxflc, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. Erinxflc

    Erinxflc In the Brooder

    Mar 21, 2013
    Hi, I'm new to BYC and am looking forward to asking a lot of questions about my poultry. :)

    First question:
    My hen has had a swollen abdomen with her tail down for a while now. I noticed she was having problem pooing and had something like 'pasty but'. I thought she could be egg bound so I gave her a warm bath, which she loved. I kept her vent submerged for about 30 minutes, no worries. Then she perked up a bit and decided it was time to get out. She slept inside in a warm, dark cage as suggested. The next day, nothing had changed except that she was cleaner.

    I felt her crop and it was a bit bigger then a golf ball and hard, which led me to think she could be crop bound?

    She still has an amazingly greedy appetite but hasn't laid for months. She is almost 2 years old.

    Her symptoms;
    Stands around and doesn't move much, swollen abdomen, swollen crop, waddles and is slow to move, tail down, sometimes stands in an up right position (like a penguin).

    Please help! She is such an amazing friend!

  2. amnich

    amnich Chirping

    Mar 6, 2013
    If she is egg bound, you just need to try to get the egg out... I don't know if there is really a sure way to do that. Just keep giving her baths and keeping her clean. Usually egg bound hens don't make it past the first 48 hours :(

    If she is crop bound, you can kind of treat her for it. Make sure you remove scratch from her diet until she gets better - scratch is one of those things that doesn't break down easily and can really bind up a crop. Give her soft foods like oatmeal or hard boiled egg that break down easily. Give her grit (which can be found at any feed store), which can help break up whatever masses have already built up in her crop. You may also want to try giving her a little bit of olive oil so that bits broken up by the grit will slide through the crop into her digestive system.

    Hope she gets better!
  3. Velvet Sparrow

    Velvet Sparrow Chirping

    Mar 2, 2013
    One way to test her crop is to remove food and water overnight while making note of how big her crop is when she goes to roost for the night. In the morning, check her again--her crop should have emptied overnight, if not she may have an issue. Regardless, return food and water first thing in the morning. If you open her beak and there is a bad odor, it may be sour crop.

    A crop impaction may be due to long strands of grass getting balled up in there, or some other mechanical obstruction, and may require crop surgery to remove it.

    Egg-bound hens have a very definite 'penguin' stance they do--very upright and they will strain to lay every few seconds, usually squeaking a bit as they strain--there is no mistaking it. If she is straining, get eye level with her bottom and see if you can see an egg crowning. In older hens, sometimes they retain fluid in their abdomen--I've had two old ladies suffer from this. Other than draining the fluid and getting some Lasix from the vet to help the fluid buildup, there isn't much you can do about it as far as I know. If the swollen abdomen feels squishy and soft, it's likely fluid. If it's hard, it could be an egg or a growth of some kind.

    Another possibility is a soft-shelled egg that she can't pass. I've had hens that eventually passed them after getting some warmth to their backside, a bit of olive oil gently delivered via Q-tip to their vent and an oral dose of unflavored yogurt mixed with a bit of olive oil (oil for slip, yogurt to replace calcium in straining muscles to help pass the egg). The last hen with a soft shell walked over and laid it on my bare foot, thank heavens it didn't break. :)

    I've successfully cleared eggs from egg-bound hens before, but it's harrowing and was a last-ditch effort after doing everything I could to get HER to clear it.

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