Enlarged crop

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by crooked stripe, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. crooked stripe

    crooked stripe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 14, 2008
    N.E Ohio- Suffield
    I have 1 BA hen that seems to have a large lump on her right side of her chest just below her neck. I have seen this for a few days but thought it was just the feathers out of whack. Today I picked her up and the lump was hard and the size of large egg. She seems just fine and is still laying, clear eyes and red comb. Seems healthy. What advise can you give. John
     
  2. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    Is it more hard or firm?

    If she's acting healthy and eating well, i would check her first thing in the morning before she has had a chance to eat anything and see if the crop is flat. If it is, there's probably nothing at all wrong. She just likes to eat. [​IMG]

    If it is still full and hard and has not shrunk by morning, then yes, something is wrong, and you'll need to get information on impacted crop.
     
  3. crooked stripe

    crooked stripe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 14, 2008
    N.E Ohio- Suffield
    It is not hard as a rock. She seems fine and she didn't have a problem with me messing with it so I assume it doesn't hurt. I did check it out in the Health Chicken hand book and they say it must be cut open and cleaned. I don't know what to think about doing that. If I have to I will. They do say it should smell. No smell as of yet. I never thought I would go around smelling a chickens breath. A new experience.
     
  4. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    SouthEast Texas
    It will only smell if it's 'sour,' which happens when an impacted crop isn't dealt with and the food inside begins to rot. There are other ways to deal with an impacted crop. I would say surgery is a last resort.

    If she's still eating and acting healthy, i'm betting it will be down in the morning.

    I will look for the threads that give instruction in case you find she is impacted in the morning.
     
  5. feathersnuggles

    feathersnuggles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2009
    Seattle
    I have to laugh. The first time I realized that one of my girls had a "lump" under her chin, I panicked. Picked her up, felt the lump. Yep, it was Hard. Oh boy, my heart started pounding. I took her inside the house and shone my flashlight at her, and checked EVERYTHING I could think of. She looked fine, bright eyed, but just a little startled to have me poking around her body in such a way. Then I read a BYC post that said, "Check her crop in the early a.m. while she's still on the roost. If it is flat, it's normal - if not, it's a problem".

    So, I placed her back on the roost and waited til morning. Checked her before dawn and the lump had DISAPPEARED!! Now, their crops can look like pendulous balloons (and they often do) and I don't even think twice about it. If someone is acting sick, not eating, and their crop doesn't empty out overnight, THAT is something to worry about. Big fat dumpling-sized crops ...not so much!! [​IMG]
     
  6. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    SouthEast Texas
    Here are some helpful threads:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=224315&p=2
    Let me see if I have this right - did you put the bird on any grit before giving the scratch? (Oyster shell doesn't count - it dissolves). If not, I'd suspect that she doesn't have grit in there and that her system backed up.

    Another thing is that any time you keep birds away from food, they're going to binge and eat until their crops are full like that. In her case, you want to keep crumbles in front of her all the time, free choice. Since she's possibly having crop issues, do not let her have any food that isn't very easily dissolved. In other words, if you put it in a glass of water and walk away for 10 minutes, you should come back and find it kind of puddled at the bottom of the glass. This means that boiled egg yolks are good (if mixed with water) but whites and scrambled eggs are not. Crumbles for now are good, scratch is off limits until she's well. Oatmeal is ok if you process it dry in the food processor before cooking.

    Also be quite certain that you're really seeing impacted crop as the crop storage area is *supposed* to mix food and water so that the feed is wet before it goes into the proventriculus. So it will feel squishy like that in the summer when birds are drinking a lot of water and eating feed, especially if they binge.

    This also means that if she feels light weight, you will want to add another feeding station so she has a place to go freely any time to eat and doesn't have to wait until other birds are out of the way. Otherwise she'll wait and binge.

    Make sure tonight one last time by removing her food tonight. Then see if her crop is empty mostly or still full very early in the morning. Then *slowly* introduce feed back starting with a small amount of a damp mash including yogurt, water, crumbles. You could add a little boiled/mashed egg yolk, and a 1/2 teaspoon of babyfood applesauce to help clear out her system if it's slow. After she finishes the small amount of damp mash, give her some more then wait 10 minutes to let her feel full. And then finally give her the dry mash free choice and keep it there.

    If the crop is still full in the morning, you will want to do the baking soda flush followed by a week of easily dissolved feeds, OACV in the water (1 teaspoon per gallon), and no solid feeds with that yogurt-damp-mash every day during that time, and of course keeping crumbles in front of her all the time after the first fast.

    Feeding the crumbles first after the fast as a dampened mash will help it to go through to the next stages of the digestive tract more easily. It won't have to sit in crop storage until she drinks enough water.
    Last edited by threehorses (08/04/2009 5:55 pm)
    Nathalie Ross [email protected]
    (http://hoovesandfeathers.homestead.com/index.html in progress)

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=212502

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=228248
    First, if her crop hasn't emptied, she is impacted. Has she ever had access to grit? If not, she and all the other birds should always have that before ever having access to anything like grass, etc. And the pebbles in the environment aren't necessarily sufficient as they have different hardnesses and dissolvabilities. They can have plenty of pebbles, but that doesn't mean that the pebbles will stay whole long enough in the gizzard to digest foods. Because of the great deal of improvement in food digestion and weight gain and health when propert granite (hard) type grit is given, it's worth the 5 dollars to buy some. You'll get your money back within 3 months in feed utilization and prevention of issues like this.

    IN the mean time, she will need the crop emptied out if it doesn't empty today. Feed sitting in there is rotting. That means that whatever dribbles through will be filled with bacteria and fungus. That's likely why she has the diarrhea - her good bacteria are now compromised, she's getting no nutrition, and the bad bacteria are taking over.

    She will also need to have nothing to eat but easily dissolved feeds for the next week. To test, if you can put it in a glass of water for 10 minutes and come back to find it collapsed you can feed it. If not don't feed it. These include: pellets made into "crumbles" in the blender, yogurt, boiled (not scrambled) egg yolk (not whites), a little applesauce (baby food type is best and cheapest) to help cleanse the crop, perhaps some crustless bread if you need it to carry something like oil. Cooked oatmeal, too, IF you put the dry uncooked oatmeal in the food processor and break it down into tiny particles before cooking.

    The yogurt's living bacteria help replace the ones that the toxic sludge seeping from her crop into her digestive tract are killing. They also help act against yeast/fungi blooms which are almost the rule in backed up crops.

    The applesauce gently cleanses while providing pectin to keep the GOOD bacteria happy. Its pH is conducive to good bacteria thriving, bad bacteria and yeast not thriving. It's easily dissolved and chickens like it.

    Boiled egg yolks: filled with nutrition yet easily dissolved, unlike whites or scrambled eggs. Will absorb easily so that she doesn't starve.

    Oatmeal: soothing to the gut; birds love it, so it helps hide healthy stuff.

    Vitamins: polyvisol non-iron fortified baby vitamins; found in the vitamin section (not baby section) of Walmart, CVS, etc. Because they're not in the water, they are more readily available and direct when given by mouth. You KNOW she's getting them. B vitamins in it will encourage her appetite, E will help inflammation and against some bacteria, A will heal her mucus lining of her crop and digestive tract.

    Whether or not you empty her crop, you also would be well served by adding organic apple cider vinegar to her water for a week to help cleanse the sludge, prevent too much yeast from forming (which will just make the crop more slow), and provide living bacteria to help the digestive system not be too poisoned.

    I'm also with dawn on not giving too much oil. They will only emulsify with whatever is in there and cause issues.

    She will need vitamins as she's not getting nourished as the food is stuck and rotting.

    So a treatment (provided her crop empties mostly) would be something like this for a week:

    Oil only once a day on a tiny piece of bread.
    A daily damp mash of crumbles, yogurt, boiled egg yolk, (and apple sauce every other day). Possibly some cooked oatmeal powder
    3 drops of polyvisol vitamins in her beak once daily. NOT in the water or food.
    OACV in the water (1 teaspoon per gallon of water)
    Free choice crumbles.

    Re-evaluate after four days, possibly allowing some gentle solid foods to be introduced slowly and grit at that time. NO grass, NO free range as they will only compound your problems.

    Incidentally, no - sand is not big enough. Test: get sand, try to grind up grass or corn with it. it doesn't work. Offer a little more grit - free choice. I'd also highly recommend oyster shell because even Layena is only designed for a scientifically average hen, while "real life" hens can sometimes need as much as double the calcium offered in the average laying product. The manufacturers can't put double calcium in because it would poison the hens that are average or need below average. So we offer oyster shells (not egg shells) because they're an easily dissolvable form of calcium that is very easily absorbed and the chickens are drawn to it. The feed takes care of the phosphorus and vitamin D required to dissolve the oyster shell. If you do this, your new layers (like this pullet will be) will not having near the sort of laying issues they would with no oyster shell provided. It's been the standard for decades, even centuries at this point - despite all new scientific options - it's still the one of choice even by professionals. And it's cheap. Much less expensive than antibiotics for peritonitis caused by soft eggs. I just put mine with the grit, or in a two-hole cat feeder. (I bought mine at the dollar store - they don't tip, they're the right size, etc etc. ) Hope this helps!
    Last edited by threehorses (08/12/2009 10:15 pm)
    Nathalie Ross [email protected]
    (http://hoovesandfeathers.homestead.com/index.html in progress)​
     
  7. feathersnuggles

    feathersnuggles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2009
    Seattle
    Argh, my internet connex has been down for the last nearly 2 hours. But, I had wanted to add to my previous post that I hope your girl is a-okay tomorrow morning.

    Good luck to you and to her! [​IMG]
     
  8. anothercrazychick

    anothercrazychick Out Of The Brooder

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    Just pop her in a cat carrier or a "sick pen" with only water for the night. If, after 8-10 hours without food, her crop is still just as big, she may have an impacted crop. Don't jump into surgery yet- she is probably just fine and has a normal, food filled crop. Hopefully she's just fine by tomorrow...

    Laura
     
  9. sammi

    sammi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
  10. welovechickens

    welovechickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Round Rock
    My ladies always seem to gorge themselves in the evening right before they go to bed, especially my bantam. I guess they're preparing for sleeping all night and need the "fuel". [​IMG] My bantam will often look like the victim of a bad "implant" surgery! It looks uncomfortable, but doesn't seem to bother her.
     

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