Enlarged / Swollen Crop

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by KHoward, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. KHoward

    KHoward Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2011

    In the morning for the past few days, my Comet has a swollen crop but she eats and drinks normally during the day. By the end of the day her crop is huge (like a balloon going to burst), but then it goes down some over night, but is still enlarged in the morning. It's not hard, it's squishy and there isn't any foul smell coming from her beak. I've given her yogurt and some probiotics, and a few small pieces of bread soaked with olive oil (which she ignored for the most part). I haven't been able to segregate her yet so I don't know if she is pooping or not.

    I've tried to massage her crop, and am really just moving it from side to side trying to move the blockage, assuming there is one. When I massage her crop she will go through a motion which (in my interpretation) is almost like there is a reflux and then she tries to swallow the liquid back down. Nothing ever comes out, and I haven't massaged the crop while holding her upside down. Primarily because I don't know what I am supposed to be doing, exactly...

    To my eyes, she acts normal, and other than the enlarged crop I wouldn't know anything is wrong with her. However, the other chickens are starting to detect that she is ill and will give her a peck, which is something they don't normally do to her.

    She seems to be missing feathers from the front of her crop and a spot on her rump. The skin that is showing is a normal pink color, not red just naked. She seems to be preening normally and not obsessing with those spots.

    I'm at a loss and don't know what to do at this point. A vet is out of the question for me at the moment, so any home remedy is appreciated.

  2. klmclain1

    klmclain1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2011
    You might try segregating her for a few days into a crate or box indoors. Don't give her anything but water with ACV, and then droppers of olive oil several times over the day. Then massage each time. If you see the lump go down after the first day, give her some very soft scrambled egg with olive oil mixed in, as well as the ACV and water. If all goes well with that, then maybe some cooked (and cooled) runny oatmeal and scrambled egg the next day. You'll need to judge.
  3. Country4ever

    Country4ever Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 26, 2007
    I would isolate her and not feed her any food for a day or so. I think its important to massage gently, in case something is blocking the crop outlet. I had a hen with a crop like that, and I just couldn't get it to go down. I tried everything.....even a crop bra. Some people say this is dangerous, but I would lean her over and let all the stuff in there come out. don't leave them leaned over very long though.
    Its really important to get some tone in her crop. She won't die from starvation in a few days, if you withhold food. Just be sure she has water with vitamins and electrolytes.
    What happens if their crops stay stretched out too long, they lose the neuro tone and can never digest food. I had a hen die from that.
    It might also be a problem farther down stream.......in which case there's not much you can do about that.
    But try to get her crop down soon. Also.....I've found that scratch is really hard on chickens. I don't use it anymore.......only black oil sunflower seed.
    She probably looks like her chest feathers are missing because her crop is so stretched out that it is making it look like that.
    Good luck to you. This problem with the crop can be a real challenge.
  4. Country4ever

    Country4ever Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 26, 2007
    P.S. Forgot to mention grit. Grit is so important to chickens. Actually, its vital. So make sure its always available to all the chickens.
  5. KHoward

    KHoward Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2011
    Hi everyone.

    There has been no change yet in her crop. I have given yogurt with probiotics a few times, added grit to the food area, and added ACV to the water (1T/gal) and that seems to be going fine. She is eating, drinking, pooping and laying eggs, and she runs around like normal - she just looks like Dolly Parton.

    Can someone describe the proper procedure for massaging a crop upside down? I'd like to try it again because the rest of my efforts don't seem to be working.

    Thank you,

  6. JakRat

    JakRat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    I just filmed this for another back yard chicken member.

    I hope it helps some.
  7. hen lover

    hen lover New Egg

    May 7, 2012
    Hi Hen lovers,

    ive heard that giving chickens/hens yoghurt is not a good idea if there crop is swollen i think that is about the right time to cook them (they taste great on sundays) with veg and gravy also massaging them stresses them out abit they have told me this. I hope my info has help you chicken people out. speak soon

  8. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Be careful doing it upside down. She can literally choke to death. Had a hen start upchucking from serious sour crop as I was carrying her to the house to figure out how to deal with her and she aspirated and died in my arms. Not sure what's going on with her, but if it's actually sour crop (doesn't sound like it, though), here is the procedure:

    Quote: If the crop is hard like a baseball, could be impacted with fibrous material. If bloaty/gassy with nasty fermented smell, it's sour crop.
  9. nepoisopen

    nepoisopen Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 24, 2012
    Just looking for an update to this thread from the original poster, as we have almost a whole flock with this issue now, (maybe 1 or 2 without!) something they all ate yesterday made them all have "swollen" crops, like the original poster, they seem to be acting ok, they are very energetic still, and are still eating.
    Did it go away on it's own, OP, or did you massage it out?
    I'm only wondering because again, it's almost the whole flock, isolation isn't going to be very easy for us, we did consider simply taking away food for a few days, but not sure whether we should wait it out or actually massage each one for a few days?
    Thanks for any input.
  10. collisinana

    collisinana Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 3, 2012
    Don't give her bread! That will expand in her crop and only make it worse. If you're really worried about it, you could try clearing it out, but maybe you should seperate her and then take away her food at night so her body has time to digest it. If nessecary, you could try massaging her crop to help it down. Good luck!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by