enlarged crop - need advice ASAP

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by rescuefirst, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. rescuefirst

    rescuefirst Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 20, 2010
    Oxford, PA
    Hi, to all chicken lovers!
    I have a red cochin frizzle that's not doing well. She has an extremely enlarged crop and it's really affecting her health - as you can see she's losing feathers and her coloring is muted. I tried the treatment of bringing her into the "ICU" - aka "cage inside" - where I could monitor her closely. I used warm water in a syringe and used it to get water down her beak, then massaged the lump, held her upside down a bit. (only a few seconds) Gave her grit and got her off the long strands of grass. I fed her meal worms for protein and tried to get her back to her "usual" happy self. She seemed to get slightly better, however never fully recovered. So, I put her back outside since she was going stir crazy and her lump is drastically increasing in size again and as you can see from the photos her health is deteriorating fast. Any suggestions? I've never had a chicken with this problem before and I need to act fast to help this little one! She's a sweetie and I need to get her better! Any advice is greatly appreciated?

    Poor "Hannah" needs help ASAP...please help us with some suggestions on how to get her better; I don't know what to do...[​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011
  2. Hippie Chicks Mom

    Hippie Chicks Mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2010
    Near Old Forge NY
    Looks like you may need to get her to a vet if you can afford it. It needs to be surgically cleaned out. Good luck.
  3. MarieNC

    MarieNC Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 10, 2010
    I agree with the vet visit. My hen has had two crop surgeries due to a congenital crop defect and she would not have survived otherwise. You could try feeding olive oil soaked bread to help move things along, massage the crop frequently and consider a "crop bra". I got mine at a placed called Crazy K Farm called a Birdie Bra) but others here have made their own or used that self sticking bandage type wrap. What it does it bolster the crop up into a more proper alignment so it will empty properly. I would feed your baby small meals of soft foods that are easily broken down. But I really think a vet visit is in order. Good luck!
  4. rescuefirst

    rescuefirst Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 20, 2010
    Oxford, PA
    Any vet suggestions? I live in PA (Chester County)
    In the meantime, I'm going to keep up with the olive oil and massaging with the hopes I can get her better... poor hen.

    Thanks for the advice...

  5. florida lee

    florida lee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 6, 2011
    I had a similar problem, bread with olive oil, massaging crop and Apple cider vinegar with mother.....now shes doing mush better, crop is way way down. However my hens crop, through enlarged greatly was never rock hard. I think she ate long grass and feathers.

    Good luck
  6. rescuefirst

    rescuefirst Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 20, 2010
    Oxford, PA
    Well, Hannah the frizzle bantam cochin is still not doing well.
    I brought her back inside and trying the massage/ olive oil technique. I noticed this method temporarily helps. I kept her off regular feed for 24 hrs and as soon as she goes back to eating a small amount of food, bread with oil or even grit - her crop gets filled again. I've contacted a few experts to see what can be done about this. Hopefully, I'll talk to them soon and can help this little bird out. She's one cool chicken and it's sad to see her not getting the nutrients she needs.

    Again, feel free to post any advice!
    Does this cycle of the crop enlarging ever end?


    Thanks for everyone's feedback...
  7. rescuefirst

    rescuefirst Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 20, 2010
    Oxford, PA
    Just an update on Hannah's treatment. I contacted: http://www.firststatevetsupply.com/ - Peter brown aka "Chicken Doctor".
    He was so very helpful; responded to my emails promptly and called me with knowledgable advice on treatment.

    So, since then I've brought Hannah inside:
    1. use syringe and get as much water as possible down her beak
    2. hold her feet and let her hang upside down (all of this make take two people to do it safely and with care for the bird)
    3. while holding her upside down vigourously, while being gentle - massage the stuffed crop down - the idea is to get the chicken to rid the substance that is blocking her from digesting food properly

    I did learn that feeding grit at this stage is NOT the right option, since grit only helps if the food makes it to the gizzard (which is extremely small).

    Therefore, it's imperative to get the crop clear of blockage. It could be a piece of grass, a small piece of wood, food - who knows? However, whatever is blocking her from digesting and taking in food and, here's the key: expelling it properly - needs to leave her system.

    4. This may take several treatments of the water/ massage...
    5. She's to be on a liquid diet until the problem is completely cleared and she's eating, digesting and dispensing of foods like normal and the enlarged crop is completely gone.

    Note: by liquid food diet - this means, plenty of water (of course) and creating a "mash" out of regular chicken feed by adding water, adding yogurt, mushed apples without the the peels, mushed bananas, etc... anything with nutrients that is mashed and in liquid form. From what I'm told chickens actually do very well with this type of diet...

    Just some interesting facts. I'll keep you posted on how everything goes, if anyone is interested.

    Right now, we're up to water/ massage treatment number #3. We've had some expelling of food; however I still think whatever is "blocking" her is still holding strong. So, will continue our treatments and remain optimistic. She did have a small bowel movement last night - which is a first. So, hopefully this is a good sign that she's retaining some nutrients with the liquid diet and we're closer to getting this problem "expelled" and onto a healthy path again. It may take time though. She can't go out and graze until the problem is 110% cleared up.

    I highly recommend this site: http://www.firststatevetsupply.com/ - Peter brown aka "Chicken Doctor - very reputable, expert that you can trust and great website and supplies. Check it out!

    Let me know if anyone's interested in how Hannah's coming along and I'll continue to post updates & pics. It's good to know in case anyone has a similar problem.

  8. Aimless Farmer

    Aimless Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 25, 2007
    N. Central MA
    Instead of olive oil, my local chicken vet recommended Laxatone (cat hairball remedy) or plain Vaseline. Food oils get digested, and the lubricating properties are lost. The blockage may be further down the digestive system, and petrolium/petrolatum products are not digested, so they lubricate all the way out. Try mixing it into the mashed/liquid diet.

    Also, you need to be very, very careful with the crop draining procedure, as their wind pipe is right behind the back of their tongue, and if they aspirate (breathe in) any of the stuff you are bringing up, they will get pneumonia.

    Good luck and keep us posted!
  9. Wyo Chick

    Wyo Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Keep posting I would like to know what is blocking it. Hope all goes well.
  10. rescuefirst

    rescuefirst Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 20, 2010
    Oxford, PA
    Well, Hannah is still inside. The water/ massage techniques expelled some of the food - however, there must be a blockage further down. (as some of you suggested!- thanks for the info, by the way! ) [​IMG]

    Therefore, since the above treatment wasn't showing the signs of improvement I was hoping for - I reached out to the "Chicken Doctor" again. He once again was SUPER helpful.

    Here's the suggestion: feed her with a syringe, her usual feed mixed w/ water (so it can be syringed into her beak - if she'll take it and eat it). Now, here's the key - add 1/4 teaspoon of Turmeric. (yes the Indian spice/ herb)

    So, last night I did her first feeding. She tolerated the feed and got it down. So, I was happy about that. This morning, she had expelled lots of chicken poo! One in particular was very dark in color - not the norm. I know, going into detail here - however, it's just the facts.... I'm hoping (fingers crossed) that was what needed to leave her body. However, time will tell.

    This morning I did another feeding with the Turmeric added to her feed in the syringe. She tolerated it. I'll keep you posted how she's doing after this second feeding.I did leave her an additional cup of her "watered feed mash with the special ingredient" in her cage" since I'm off to work now. She has plenty of fresh water at all times of course.

    Hopefully this treatment works. Already I noticed her crop was completely down. However, we'll see after she eats a bit more today what happens. The "Chicken Doc" said if this treatment didn't work, we would quickly switch to another remedy. Her health was going down hill and she needed nutrients.

    I'll post later with an update.

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