Having trouble with diagnosis--sour crop, egg bound, or both?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MrBoZiffer, Oct 7, 2014.

  1. MrBoZiffer

    MrBoZiffer Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 6, 2012
    Birmingham, Ala.
    I've got a 4 year old hen that's pretty ill. Swollen, watery crop. A hard mass between her legs. Keel bone sticking out. Lethargic. Not eating much, but still eating.

    I'm not sure if she's just egg bound, or if indeed she's egg bound and has a sour crop. Unfortunately, I didn't pick up on this sooner, but today I started isolating her and cutting out food. She's had a lot of runny poo for over a week, and today it kept coming. She did seem more active at times. I gave her some olive oil, and tomorrow I may start her on some yogurt. We regularly supplement with grit, oyster shell, and probiotics, so I'm not entirely sure if her crop is truly sour or it's in bad shape because of internal laying.

    She has a history of ailments. I've preformed two bumblefoot surgeries and gotten through internal laying with epsom salt baths. She hasn't laid a solid egg in over a year, but until now has been in relatively good health.

    Sadly, I'm considering culling her. She is old and obviously prone to illness. I'm going to try to get her through this with epsom salt baths and olive oil and yogurt and baking soda water, but this is the worse she's been. I at least want her to be comfortable from here on out. I don't think I'm going to try vomiting her--from what I've read induced vomiting doesn't seem very reliable. But if someone convincingly argues otherwise, I'm all ears.

    Anyway, any advice would be helpful. How do these symptoms sound to y'all? I'm curious if sometimes the swollen crop is a symptom/by-product of being egg bound. Maybe that'll steer me in the right direction for treatment.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Lynne in Maine

    Lynne in Maine Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 2, 2012
    I think I have the same issue. I have one of 12 chickens acting the same way - some diarrhea, lump on her chest (is that the keel bone?) and she is keeping herself separate from the rest of the flock. She breathes fine, and walks around without any trouble. She is eating some, dehydrated meal worms will tempt her, but not too much else. She doesn't seem to be losing any weight and she goes out with the rest of the flock, but I've noticed over the last week that she goes to bed very early while the rest of the girls are still out scratching around. She is a 3 year old Black Australorp, and this is the first time she's been sick.

    Any advice will be very much appreciated. We don't have any local vets who treat chickens, so this forum is my only source for information. Thanks so much.
     
  3. MrBoZiffer

    MrBoZiffer Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 6, 2012
    Birmingham, Ala.
    Yeah, mine's a black australorp too. Maybe there's some conditions the BAs are prone to. I don't know a whole lot about the breed, and ours is the only one we've had.

    The lump on the chest could be the crop or the keel bone. The crop is a sac off to the right a bit. The keel bone is pretty easy to identify because it's, well, bony, and runs the middle of the chest. On my girl, the keel bone is very noticeable and it feels as if her breasts have sunk in.
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    I have found after having a couple of dying chickens that many will suffer from a slow-emptying crop as a side effect to what else is going on in their bodies. When you massage a puffy crop full of liquid, it can cause aspiration or choking, and can make things worse. I haven''t treated sour crop, but it usually causes a foul smell from the face. If your chicken's crop does empty mostly by morning, it's probably not sour crop, but just a side effect of her internal laying problem. When she dies, I would do a necropsy on her internal organs looking at her crop, gizzard, and visceral cavity for what may have been going on.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2014
  5. MrBoZiffer

    MrBoZiffer Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 6, 2012
    Birmingham, Ala.
    No, her crop is full in the morning. However, by isolating her and giving her mostly liquid, the swelling has goes down a bit in the past day. That's a little progress, so maybe I'll give her a few more days and see if she continues to improve.
     
  6. MrBoZiffer

    MrBoZiffer Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 6, 2012
    Birmingham, Ala.
    Yeah, I agree about the necropsy too. I might try that. It'll probably help me in the future. Thanks.
     
  7. Lynne in Maine

    Lynne in Maine Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 2, 2012
    Mine is now doing a little better. She seems to be eating more and is more social with the group. She still has some diarrhea, and we have been giving her a sitz bath about twice a week to keep her cleaner and more comfortable. Otherwise, her tail feathers get all clumpy and heavy, and she seems to like the bath. I hope whatever it is is passing now - none of the others have any symptoms, so it can't be contagious at least.
     
  8. MrBoZiffer

    MrBoZiffer Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 6, 2012
    Birmingham, Ala.
    Good to hear. I hope she keeps getting better. I finally decided to cull ours a few days ago. She just wasn't improving and was having trouble just walking. We picked up a couple of 18-month old easter eggers and now one is showing some signs of impacted crop. She's still young and very healthy, and seems to be emptying her crop by morning. I'll just have to keep an eye on her.

    Yeah, I've found those baths to be one of the most helpful things you can do for a sick hen.
     

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