Enlarged Crop - Please Help

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Pampered Hen, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. Pampered Hen

    Pampered Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 8, 2009
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    I need help finding out what is wrong with Thyme, my 8-month old Speckled Sussex pullet.
    A couple days ago I noticed that she had an abnormally large crop. The crop feels soft and mushy as if it was filled with too much liquid. Today, when I was giving treats of spaghetti squash inerts mixed with yoghurt, a milky-watery liquid came from her beak while she was going for the snacks. She did eat the treats and also took scratch. She is less active than her flock mates, but the color of her comb seems normal. I have a feeling that she is in some stage of discomfort though and that she has been dealing with something long before I have noticed. When I inspected her crop I also noticed that she had lost some weight – her breastbone was more pronounced than that of her flockmates. I have seen some strange watery poop, but at the time I didn't notice any of the girls acting strange or looking ill. I assume the poop was Thyme's but can't be sure.
    I have read a bit about crop issues, but am not clear on what I'm dealing with here and how I can help her get better.
     
  2. cnj-tx50

    cnj-tx50 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am dealing with the same thing - going on day 2. My BO had a very swollen chest/crop and when I picked her up to check her out she threw up. Since them she has been in sick bay with olive oil and bread and a little yogurt mixed with olive oil. Today her crop is only about half the size it was Friday night. I am also gving her ACV in water and massaging her crop 4-5 times a day.
     
  3. Pampered Hen

    Pampered Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm pretty sure now I dealing with sour crop. I went out and massaged the her crop and she vomited a number of time, but there is still fluid left. I did not feel anything solid while massaging the crop. The vomit smelled awful and very sour. It was mainly yellow-beige colored slimy liquid with few specks of solid material. I put her back with the flock and need some advice on how to take it from here.
    THANKS!
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2010
  4. Country4ever

    Country4ever Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pampered hen,
    You need to separate her and quit feeding her for a couple days. Let her have water though. Take note of her poop for the next few days too.
    I think massaging is good for an impacted crop, but doesn't seem to be that helpful in a big squishing crop.
    Some people put a solution of soda bicarb down into the crop and flush it out, but you do risk aspiration if you're not used to doing it.
    Don't let her eat anything for a day or 2. Then give her plain yogurt (small amounts).
    Has she had access to grit? If you give your chickens scratch, I would really back off that. I had lots of crop problems when I gave my girls scratch.
    Put a little grit in her crate too.
    Patience is the key here. She won't die of starvation in 2 days, and her GI tract needs a rest.
     
  5. cnj-tx50

    cnj-tx50 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 19, 2009
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    My girls crop is slowly getting smaller and the smell is getting better. Boy that first one was ...... I did give mine a small amount of yogurt this morning but nothing since. She also seems thin. I am hoping that by tomorrow she'll be able to eat a little more.
     
  6. Pampered Hen

    Pampered Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the advice, Country4ver.
    I have a logistical problem separating her from the flock: Vermont winters tend to be very cold and, at the moment the girls are well acclimatised to the current conditions. I could put her into the "summer coop" that retains not heat at all, or I could take her inside causing her to loose her acquired cold hardiness. I also could try to cram a crate into the coop and keep her there. The crate is only 21x13 inches. It that not too small?
    As an alternative, I have already stopped giving scratch for treats (boy, are they disappointed!). I further could remove the free choice layer pellets and instead feed them multiple times daily while keeping Thyme away. It would be harder to monitor her poop though.

    What would the sodium bicarbonate do for her? I read this in a couple posts, but am not sure why this is done. Also, should I not try to get her to expel all of the fluids in her crop?
     
  7. Country4ever

    Country4ever Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't think that's too small a crate, for a short time. I agree with you that it wouldn't be good to bring her into a warm house, and then take her back out to a cold coop.
    Even if you removed her while the others ate, I'm sure she might find loose stuff on the ground to eat, and she needs to not eat.
    I think the bicarb is to neutralize an acid crop, and also cause foaming, which might help to bring stuff out. Usually, its done with a tube and syringe.

    But personally, I would just stop feeding her, and let her body deal with the gunk.

    When I've had hens with alot of liquid gunk in their crops, I would turn them downward and it would just pour out. But.....sometimes they can aspirate that stuff and it goes into their lungs. But personally, I've never had trouble doing that. One hen I had would bring up alot of slimey fluid when I would tilt her downward. But then she would just make more. There's so many different things that can cause the same symptoms.
    I would just put her in a crate, and stop feeding her (but provide water). I wouldn't even give yogurt for a day or 2.
    Do you think your chickens get plenty of grit?
    Mine are in a run, and I forgot that the soil is years of just straw and poop, and had very little grit in it. So I've learned my lesson the hard way to be sure to offer them grit all the time, in a little bowl in the coop.
    Instead of giving my girls scratch, I've changed to black oil sunflower seed, which they seem to tolerate much better. But recently I had to back off that too, since Kiwi (my hen whose crop got stretched out last year) started looking too big again. They sure do get upset when you don't give them the treats they're used to!
    Keep us posted!
     
  8. DonnaBelle

    DonnaBelle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 15, 2009
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    I thought I read on here that chickens would not "overeat".

    Is that true or not??

    DonnaBelle
     
  9. Country4ever

    Country4ever Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think some of them do.
    But I've noticed that there seems to be a disorder. I'm not sure its just over-eating. I think their over-eating might be in response to other problems. What I mean is, if they have a tumor down-stream in their digestive tract and food can't get through, and they're essentially starving, their brains keep telling them to eat. Sometimes they eat anything they can........like their bed shavings.
    I've read that if their crops stretch out too badly, then there's no longer any nerve connections there and no muscle involvement in propelling the food down the digestive tract, and it just sits in the crop, and they starve to death. I had that problem with one of my hens.
    For whatever the reason their crops stretch out (no grit, tumor, crop impaction, sour crop) , its very important to fix it quickly so that their crops have a better chance of going back to its original, healthy functioning size.
    I have an easter-egger who is overweight. She's healthy in every other way. But she's always been the "low man on the totem pole" in the flock. I've always wondered if she over-eats out of depression!
     
  10. Pampered Hen

    Pampered Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I broke down and put a heat lamp into the coop... 125 watts high up enough so the girls don't get hot, but get a break from the mean cold. I "compared" the crops of my girls and Thyme's is much smaller than it was this morning but still softer than everybody else. I removed the layer pellets for the night and will check her crop in the morning.
    Country4ever: I'm sure they have grit. The coop sits on piers and the flock likes to hang out in the "basement" which is free of snow and ice. They have been living in that area for less than a year and just before winter broke in in dumped a bunch of pebbles into this space. I'm sure there are enough little rocks available.
    As for scratch (which I'm withholding at the moment), I actually mixed it with black oil sunflower seeds. It is about a 1:1 ratio of scratch (cracked corn and whole barley) and sunflower seeds. The dozen hens get between 2 and four handfuls a day which really doesn't amount to a whole lot for the individual hen.

    If her crop is extended again tomorrow morning, I will help her expel the excess fluids and put her in isolation in the crate. If she looks ok, I will keep her with the flock. I just feel that isolation might add emotional stress to the physical issues.
     

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