Grossly enlarged liquid feeling crop, lethargic hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by happypeeps, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. happypeeps

    happypeeps New Egg

    Feb 8, 2012
    We have an 8 month old Sussex hen that has a crop that became grossly extended and felt mostly liquid. Has had an enlarged crop before (about two weeks ago) but was able to work through it. Happened again and this time the hen has become lethargic. We are now on day three. I cleared much of the liquid away yesterday by holding the chicken tilted forward and massaging crop. The hen discharged a large amount of brown, very smelly liquid with very little solid matter. I isolated the hen in the coop and gave her water with electrolytes. She was no better this morning so I moved her into a cage with pine bedding to better ascertain whether she was pooping and to better moniter her water intake. I also added cider vinegar to the water along with the electrolytes.

    We have seven other hens which are very happy healthy. We feed them organic poultry layer with supplements of whole grains, sunflower seeds & scraps of veges & fruit, and grit is available They do free range in our yard a couple times a week. I've read about impacted crop & sour crop but they didn't quite match all the symptoms though I have taken what measures seemed most likely to help. I have had a person with much experience with chickens look at her and he hadn't seen anything quite like it. We are only able to do what we can to help her and won't take her to vet. At this point, warmth and hydration seem to be all I can do.

    Has anyone else come across anything like this?
    Do you force feed liquids if hen is not drinking?
    Should I add yogurt &/or olive oil?
    What do you do if hen is not pooping?
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    It's obviously not an impacted crop, so I'd probably treat for sour crop -- in the hope that it is the underlying problem. Good luck.
  3. gallusdomesticus

    gallusdomesticus Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2008
    Lynn Haven, FL
    How are her droppings? If they are watery, she probably has an obstruction in her digestive system that is causing a back up into her crop. I've had a hen with these symptoms before and she had swallowed some staples which blocked her gut. Unfortunately, she did not survive long enough for surgery. I hope this isn't your problem but it sounds like it. Can you take her to a vet for x-rays?
  4. happypeeps

    happypeeps New Egg

    Feb 8, 2012
    UPDATE: Hen died two days later. Thank you for your replies! I still do not know quite what was wrong. It's possible it started as crop problem and got infection or was blockage. Poop was just green and watery. The last day I was unable to get her to drink anything and she was shivery. I just kept her warm and away from other chickens. Hard to lose my first chicken patient. Nursing poultry is an acquired skill for sure.

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