I am new to chickens and to this board. A week ago I picked up our fav hen (a little black thing that looked like a crow with the softest feathers you could imagine, approx 6-8 months old) and let the neighbour pet her. She commented that her crop was unusually large and hard. I Googled like crazy and determined that she must have an impacted crop. I gave her water and olive oil with a syringe (some sites said to do this while others said it was dangerous as she could aspirate the liquids - read this after I had already done it). I tried at least 20 times to get her to vomit, but nothing came out. No foul smell emitted from her mouth, I kept her inside in a cage with water only. In the morning her crop was quite malleable and it looked like she had pooped approx 15 times. By malleable I mean that it was no longer rock hard and the size of a tennis ball, but when you would squish it, it would remain in place/stay squished. Not normal. Also, for the past few weeks we noticed her opening her beak and grasping for breath (my hubby and I thought this was hilarious when we first noticed - thought maybe she was a rooster, trying to crow and nothing would come out) So, after the one night in a cage I felt bad and let her out with the others. I checked her crop the next morning and it felt the same (still way larger than it should be and stayed squished). Yesterday it was quite large again, today, huge and rock solid. I put her in the car and brought her to a vet who is not an avian vet (none in the area) but treats all of the birds from the local Raptor Centre (figured he must know something and was also bringing him my 4 month old turkey who broke her/his? leg on Monday) He listened to Mr Nip's (my son named her before we knew he was a she!) lungs and said they were rattling and this was not normal/good. Also said that the inside of her mouth was abnormally pale. He thought it would be best to put her down. First, he took long tweezers and reached down her beak to see if there was twisted weeds/grass. There seemed to be nothing but wet feed. He did not suggest surgery (perhaps he doesn't know much about chickens or thought she was beyond this?) So, this morning she was happy and seemed fine - ran out to get her "treats" (veg scraps) with all the others. Other than a rock solid crop and gasping for breath she didn't seem sick or bothered. The vet gave my (very favourite) hen a lethal injection and I have cried all day. Please tell me if there was hope, what I should do in the future, if there was any hope for her. I feel bad enough that I listened to the "white coat" and put her down. He really made me feel as though I would be causing her undue pain/stress if I did not, but after reading a whole lot of threads on this board, trying to educate myself, I feel as though I could possible have saved her.