Help with my hen

Abriana

Spicy Sugar Cookie
Apr 26, 2017
5,110
55,689
1,217
Midgard
I have a hen named Grace. She will turn two on the twenty sixth of this month and she has been having some crop problems. Food in her crop gets like play-dough and it won’t move through. I have been using a catheter to put nutridrench and water into her crop and then massaging it to get most of it down. She is really thin right now. The next step with my vet is going to be crop surgery and if nothing is impacting the opening then we might need to euthanize her. It has been going on for about a month and a half. I’m very stressed out and don’t want to put her down. She was the very first chick that I ever hatched, and the last left of the three hatched that very first time. I have been talking to the vet but thought that I might get a few more opinions.
 

jonezjollyfarm

Songster
Apr 19, 2015
806
820
201
Illinois
Have your tired getting some olive oil in there and lubeing everything thing up? I had a similar issue with hen earlier this year. Hit her with the drench and a touch of mineral oil (which gave her a touch of diarrhea) so i switched to olive oil and kept massaging. And wormed the flock to be safe. I also gave her bread soaked in olive oil and eggs I put in the food processor with water to make them liquidish. Took a few days but I nearly jumped threw the roof of the coop the morning it was gone. And shes 100 now. Maybe that wasn't "protocol" but it worked.
 

Abriana

Spicy Sugar Cookie
Apr 26, 2017
5,110
55,689
1,217
Midgard
Have your tired getting some olive oil in there and lubeing everything thing up? I had a similar issue with hen earlier this year. Hit her with the drench and a touch of mineral oil (which gave her a touch of diarrhea) so i switched to olive oil and kept massaging. And wormed the flock to be safe. I also gave her bread soaked in olive oil and eggs I put in the food processor with water to make them liquidish. Took a few days but I nearly jumped threw the roof of the coop the morning it was gone. And shes 100 now. Maybe that wasn't "protocol" but it worked.
Thank you so much! I will definitely try this out to tomorrow when I let the chickens out.
 

rebrascora

Free Ranging
5 Years
Feb 14, 2014
7,127
8,752
556
Consett Co.Durham. UK
If she is losing weight, then she will benefit from being kept in a warm environment as the lack of food going through her system will mean she has nothing to maintain her body temperature, especially now that we are heading into cooler weather.
How often are you massaging and have you removed access to everything except liquid food that would pass through a kitchen sieve.... ie no lumpy bits?
Make sure she has no bedding that she can eat.... puppy pads are best for them when they are impacted like this as their poop is usually quite runny, so the pads absorption helps.
People whose experience I trust here on the forum have recommended solid coconut oil given to the bird in small chunks and then massaged.... as much as a teaspoonful at a time.
Sometimes it can take many days to break up an impaction like that. It took me 10 days of massaging to clear one of my bantam hens and another pullet was still huge after 2 weeks of massage and I had to do surgery on her. It was amazing how quickly she recovered after the surgery...... she was running around within minutes of gluing the incision closed (super glue is wonderful stuff) and happily wolfing down scrambled egg 30 mins later. She was back up to weight and laying me an egg exactly 2 weeks after the surgery. Can I just mention that the anaesthetic can be more dangerous than the surgery with chickens and crop surgery can be performed without anaesthetic. It seems a bit brutal but my girl coped with it incredibly well and recovered far more quickly for not having been sedated. Just something to bear in mind and perhaps discuss with the vet if it comes to that or there are You Tube videos which show you how to do the surgery yourself which helped me enormously.

I am told that a stool softener like Dulcolax without stimulant is worth trying before opting for surgery, so that might be something else to add to your list of pre surgery options.

Something else to consider is that the blockage may be lower down her system than her crop. Reproductive problems in hens over 2 years are common and can cause their digestive system to get stopped back and exhibit as a slow or impacted crop. Usually in such cases there will be some abdominal swelling either between the legs or below the vent which can be felt by cupping your hand between their legs from behind. Comparing with a healthy hen is important so that you have an idea of what normal feels like. Hens suffering from these ailments will often have soiled butt feathers or bald butts from excessive preening of soiled feathers. This may not be applicable but just something to check.

Good luck with her. I hope you are able to fix the problem. Please let us know how you get on and hopefully what works with your girl. :fl
 

rebrascora

Free Ranging
5 Years
Feb 14, 2014
7,127
8,752
556
Consett Co.Durham. UK
Oh I forgot to mention grit. Gave her grit to help break it up.

Actually, once a crop is impacted, giving a bird grit will only add to the problem. The grit is usually unable to pass through the blockage and the crop does not have a thick lining like the gizzard which is designed to withstand the abrasive action of grit.... a crop has a thin lining and is not normally subject to massage as it just holds food until the digestive system can process it, so massaging it with grit in it can lead to inflammation and aggravate things further.
 

Abriana

Spicy Sugar Cookie
Apr 26, 2017
5,110
55,689
1,217
Midgard
I gave Grace egg yolk, molasses, nutridrench, water, and a teeny bit of oregano oil on some days, and one morning about two weeks ago, she woke up with an empty crop! I am so happy! She has grown beautiful new feathers and is putting on weight. Thank you for all your help! I think it was part of the bird my ladies caught and ate, and it needed to break down. Anyway, she is all better and a very happy girl!!
 

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