Hen w/ Stinky Vomit, Soft Crop, Diarrhea, Pale Face Skin - HELP!!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by TheMaineChicken, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. TheMaineChicken

    TheMaineChicken New Egg

    Nov 24, 2009
    Hello. This forum has been priceless to us as this is our first experience with chickens. We will do ALL we can for them because we love them and they produce eggs for us. Chicken-friendly vets are few and far between, far away, and expensive. Often, I have found, issues can be identified and treated with homeopathic means. That was the case for my rooster w/ scaly leg mites, which was scary, but this - this is horrible. I really think my hen is very sick and I don't know if I am helping her!!! I cut and pasted the questions I should answer from the guidelines sticky, so here goes:

    1) Silver-Laced Wyandotte, 7 months old, looks normal weight, but feels very light when picked up, and feels "bony" through feathers.
    2) For about 4-5 days, when my husband was going out after dark to shut the hatch to the coop from the run, she would be alone on the outdoor perch, huddled against the wall (winter in Maine!). He would pick her up and put her inside, and she'd roost with the rest (plenty of room). Then, the day before yesterday, he was giving them bread treats in the morning, and she was not interested, which is REALLY odd because those guys LOVE bread. So he separated her while I searched this site, and figured she either was egg-bound or had a crop issue. I brought her inside, in a cat-carrier with a towel inside. When I took her out of the carrier, (backed her out, tail higher than head), she spewed vomit, the smell of which nearly caused me to vomit (I was nauseous all day from it, because the smell took a long time to go away after cleaning). It was mostly clear, a little whitish-cloudy, no chunks, "watery". I felt her lower body, no "egg" felt inside, then I felt her crop, and, not knowing what a normal crop feels like (I never felt one before that), it did feel a little "poofy" and "squishy", no hard object felt at all. Smaller than a golf ball. Her breath was BAAAD. I was so startled by her vomiting that I brought her back upright to look at her, and I think she may have inhaled a little vomit. She is very rarely "wheezy" sounding - perhaps that is the cause? I let her sleep the night in the cage upstairs, where it is quiet and warm. The next morning, I tried a few things. My husband wrapped her in a towel, we stood in the bathtub, and I put a dropper on veg oil into her throat (careful not to go in her trachea), then massaged her crop. Then, I put baking soda and warm water together, and used a syringe and a little tube, and got about 5cc's in her. Then Marcel flipped her upside down and I massaged her crop a while. She did not bring anything up but burped a couple of those STINKY smelling burps. I put her in her cage with new towel, water with apple cider vinegar and a little plain yogurt. I gave her a little off my fingers first. She slept well through the night, although she definitely had alot of diarrhea after the flush. This morning she was alert, and I let her out the case and she walked around the bedroom a little, and was checking things out, which was encouraging. Her wings look a little droopy today, she has fine balance, but also her facial "skin" and comb look paler to me. I soaked bread in milk and yogurt until mushy. She took only two small chunks, plus a little bit of plain yogurt, mostly off our fingers. She vigorously wiped her beak on the floor after eating this. She vocally responds to me with little chirps.
    3) No bleeding, outward signs or knowledge of trauma. No changes other than weather, plenty food, water, oyster shell, bread for treats, chickens give good production, have lamp that turns on to give extra light in coop. All get along well, inc. the two guineas, all raised together since day 1.
    4) Her poop is diarrhea - very copious, runny and watery, especially after the flushing. Smells strong of diarrhea, clear, w/ whitish parts (which dries like reg. urates), and yellowish (yolk-ish??) parts. No green, she did not lay any eggs during this time.
    5) A vet I called thought it is "crop stasis" and basically said to keep doing what I am - yogurt, etc. - and that's the best I can do.
    6) She is in a cat carrier with a towel, with the before-mentioned food and ACV water. Darkened room so she can relax.

    Am I missing anything? Is there anyone with experience in this problem that can give me any pointers? Does she sound like she is in recovery? Or is she taking a turn for the worse? I wish these guys could talk and tell me how they feel! Any help would be SO VERY appreciated! Thank you for your time and help....[​IMG]

  2. cobrien

    cobrien Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2009
    Oakland, CA
    Sorry to hear about your sick hen. My experience with an impacted crop is that the crop is hard. My chick would have died from this had I not taken her to the vet. The vet injected her with something that helps food move through the system, along with some fluids. I don't know if crop stasis is the same as impacted crop or not, or if it is the same as sour crop. With sour crop it feels like a balloon, and the chicken may vomit clear fluid. In both cases, crop massage in a downward motion (towards the belly) can help. Sometimes either of these things can happen when a chicken is sick from something else. Your chicken sounds very sick to me and the fact is that she may not make it. Vets are expensive and not everyone can afford to take chickens to vets and most people don't want to anyway, which I can understand. But if you are like me and have pet chickens, and you want to do all you can, you need to find a good avian vet and bring her in ASAP. Otherwise I would continue doing what you're doing to keep her comfortable. The one thing I would try to find out is if there is any way to get fluids (by injection) or nourishment into her because birds can't live for long on a few drops of yogurt here and there, and with the possible crop situation I'm not sure what she could/should be fed, if anything. It might be good for her to be tube fed with baby bird formula, but you need to know how to do this and I would want to make sure that that is okay for her with her possible crop problem -but if she doesn't get some form of nourishment she will not be able to recover. Hopefully others will chime in with advice, and maybe you know someone who can give birds injections or tube feed? Good luck.
  3. TheMaineChicken

    TheMaineChicken New Egg

    Nov 24, 2009
    Thank you for your helpful advice. Her crop does indeed feel like a balloon. We just did the routine again - oil, baking soda water, massage, then flip - again, nothing came out. She seems perky enough, but she didn't want to eat anything after the flush. I felt like she needed something, so I syringed up the yogurt/milk/dissolved bread fluid and gave her about 3 cc's of it. It will give her some calories on top of the oil's fat and the water's hydration....hopefully it can absorb into her system through her crop, even if it is blocked.
    She's resting now. We can only do what we can... the vet on the phone said basically the same - he sees lots of chickens but doesn't save a lot b/c by the time they "act sick" it is sometimes too late. BUT I have read many miraculous stories on this site, so I am going to keep encouraged, and help her to live the best she can.
    Thanks again for your help. I'll keep this thread posted...
  4. AmyBella

    AmyBella Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2009
    Western MA
    It sounds like sour crop to me. I thought that this thread had good advice from Speckledhen.... https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=117623

    think with a little massage and soft, easily digested foods she will be better in no time. Keep a close eye on her breathing though... if she did inhale some of the throw-up it could cause problems. Good luck!

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