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Hen unwell - crop issue and possibly more

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MandS, Apr 14, 2016.

  1. MandS

    MandS Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 14, 2016
    Hi all

    Our first post. We have been using the site for a while and keep saying we should register but failed to get around to it! We're here now.

    One of our hens has been unwell for nearly 2 weeks.

    Initial issue was a warm and sloppy crop. We did everything that was suggested: massage, olive oil, starved her for 24 hours with just water, put her on mash. We think she was sick overnight, and the crop went down but she was still unhappy. Laying has also stopped, but so has it for the others all about the same time, so we are guessing this is fairly normal as they've been laying solidly for about 10 months.

    We took her to the vet last week. He is bird friendly but not a chicken specialist as far as we can tell. He prescribed antibiotic tablets. There's been little change since then: crop still small but hard (like a golf ball) and an apparent loss of appetite. She simply doesn't seem keen on food unless it is something fresh like fruit.

    She is separated from the others and looks bored, isn't eating much at all.

    One thing that really concerns us is her poo. Below is a photo of this morning's poo, which may be normal and just the stomach lining changing, however we thought it worth showing.

    [​IMG]


    They bed in straw and tend to eat this too, so you may feel that could be an issue. She has had no access to long grass (due to the arrival of daytime foxes which snatched one of our original 3 at 11:30am in bright sunshine).

    Looking forward to your responses.
     
  2. donidondon

    donidondon New Egg

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    Apr 13, 2016
    I don't know, but I hope she feels better soon. I would say keep feeding her fresh fruit if she will eat that. Eating and drinking will help her heal, for sure. Will have to look up causes of red in poo, but it looks fairly healthy, doesn't look like blood.
     
  3. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    The poo could be intestinal shed.
    http://chat.allotment-garden.org/index.php?topic=17568.0

    Do you provide grit for her?
    What type of feed/treats?
    Is she drinking at all?
    Have you wormed your flock?
    You may want to provide just her layer feed/crumbles for a day or two, provide fresh water, grit and no treats. She may be holding out for the goodies (they learn quickly how to get just the "good stuff").

    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2014/06/chicken-anatomy-crop-impacted-crop-sour.html
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/impacted-slow-and-sour-crops-prevention-and-treatments
     
  4. MandS

    MandS Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks. To answer, she has oyster shell grit available at all times, she is drinking and the feed is an all round pellet from the pet suppliers. I was feeding mash but she got so bored that she wasn't eating it so I gave her the pellets again which she ate. Her treats include grapes and blueberries but only a couple per day and a bit of green leaves for variety. Thanks for the links which I have read, very useful. The only thing I haven't done is worm the flock. Will do that too. She does seem a bit better just has a hard crop, but I have gone and felt the others and they have it too and they seem fine. Will monitor her for a few more days and see how she gets on.
     
  5. MandS

    MandS Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 14, 2016
    Thanks for your reply and good wishes
     
  6. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Oyster shell is not grit. It is meant to boost calcium for laying hens, hence it will break down so the hen can absorb needed calcium.
    Poultry grit is made of granite which is much harder and is used to help grind foods up to aid in digestion. You can find grit at your local feed store.
     
  7. MandS

    MandS Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi. The oyster shell is mixed with flint in the container. However I have suspected for a long time that they aren't actually eating it so I will have a look at an alternative.
     
  8. sun569

    sun569 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2016
    I am new here, but have had issues several times with my one hen. I did the olive oil, and only water for as long as it took. I used a dropper and forced it in her beak. Tried to get at least a tablespoon down her 3-4 times a day. The massage til it softens. I added a few drop to her water also, not too much or she won't drink. Ask me how I know this :) I separated her so she didn't have access to food at all, but kept her in the coop.

    It took a week and a half, before I started seeing some regular looking poo. Then I added the crumble feed, mixed with olive oil water, and used that as a mushy food, to start giving her some nutrients back. Kept up the dropper of oil in her beak and the massaging. This last bout she had was a total of 3-4 weeks of constant care and work at it, but it finally passed, and she gained all of her full figured body weight back,and started laying big beautiful pinkish speckled eggs again. I did however keep her separate until I knew she could handle the crumble without getting a blockage again.

    Its a lot of work, but it paid off because I have an egg layer again. Hope this helps:)
     
  9. MandS

    MandS Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 14, 2016
    Hi

    Thanks for the advice. She has been separated from the others and seems to be responding to treatment. I have been feeding her the normal pellets as she got bored of eating mash. I have also been giving her the antibiotics prescribed by the vet. They are tablets which I am hiding inside blueberries. She hasn't noticed the tablets in her hurry to eat the berries. She is perky and digs around and alerts me when the fox is in the garden so I think she is definitely on the mend. Her crop does appear to be hard at certain times, but I have felt the others and they are just the same. Today we even had an egg!

    I will of course keep and eye on her, she has another nine days away from the others as we can't eat her eggs due to the antibiotics. Then we have the fun of reintroducing her back to the flock.
     
  10. sun569

    sun569 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2016
    mine was in the coop the entire time, and was always seen by the others. May I suggest another idea? Hope you said yes...lol Once she is able to be reintroduced to the flock, add a low on the totem pole hen with her for a day or two, and then slowly, real slow add them back in, at a distance if you can, then closer each day, that way she is not the lone newbie! She may suffer unbearable abuse, if she is alone. Good luck! Let me know how it goes! I am very good at reintroduction in my short 5 years with chickens.
     

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