Hen scratching her crop - is it Impacted?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by akawka, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. akawka

    akawka New Egg

    Feb 19, 2010
    The Dalles Oregon
    My 9-month old hen has been trying to scratch her crop with her foot. Reminds me of a dog using his paw to scratch his chin. When she's poking around in the yard, her foot comes up to her crop and it looks like she's high-stepping, but she seems to be intentionally scratching it. I thought this might be a sign of an impacted crop (like constipation of the throat) So I gave her a couple drops of Mineral Oil yesterday.
    Has anyone else experienced this behavior?
    My four other hens do not exhibit these symptoms. Poop looks normal, but with five of them it's hard to tell who made what.
  2. bambi

    bambi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2010
    [​IMG] Have you felt her crop yet? If not check to see if it is hard and also you might smell around her beak to see if it has a sour smell.
  3. BeccaB00

    BeccaB00 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 16, 2010
    If shes got an impacted crop, her crop will be hard. But if shes already eaten today you'll have to wait till morning when everything digests. If her crop is hard early in the morning before she eats, then you should treat her for impacted crop.
  4. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    You may also check for parasites
  5. akawka

    akawka New Egg

    Feb 19, 2010
    The Dalles Oregon
    Thanks for all your suggestions. After a week of monitoring symptoms, we decided to end her suffering. She is now in the soup pot.

    She continued to scratch her crop and seemed to be in a lot of discomfort. She ate and drank normally - in fact she spent more time at the water than any other birds. Which made me think again that something was stuck in her crop. I felt it on several different days and the crop never seemed hard or swollen beyond normal food intake, similar to her sisters. In the mornings it was flaccid and soft. Her skin was raw where all the feathers had been scratched off under her crop. I knew she wasn't comfortable, even if she may have survived on her own for a while longer.

    After beheading her today, I examined the contents of her crop to see if I could find anything unusual, but to no avail. No mass of straw like I was expecting. I'm still baffled as to what caused her scratching behavior. I also kept an eye out for parasites, but there is no sign of worms or fleas. What other parasites might I look for?
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    when mine had mites I didn't see them till they got on me, they are so tiny look like specks of blk pepper. lice are easier to spot. Tanish and lay their eggs at the base of the feather usually around vent area.......sorry about your hen. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2010

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