Hen with impacted crop

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by From the North, Dec 18, 2013.

  1. From the North

    From the North Out Of The Brooder

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    This is the second time dealing with an impacted crop for this particular RSL hen. The last time, I was able to separate her, massage her, give her scrambled egg & olive oil, and after a few days I put her back with the flock. In retrospect, I may have put her back too early and perhaps the issue wasn't truly resolved at that point. That was about a month ago, I think.

    This time, I think she may have been suffering from it for a little bit longer before I noticed. I leave for work before the sun comes up and get home after the sun goes down. I didn't notice a problem until a few mornings ago this hen was huddled in a corner on the floor of the coop. I found she had a sour crop, I was able to make her vomit, and I put her back with the flock. It has been very, VERY cold here (it was -26C/-16F the other day) so i didn't want to separate her.

    Yesterday morning, same thing - she was on the floor of the coop. I separated her for the day because the temp wasn't going to be as cold (-10C/14F). I drove home at lunch to check on her and she was in rough shape. When I got home from work, I brought her in the house to warm her up. I got her to vomit just a little bit. She perked up a little more later in the evening. I gave her some layer crumble soup and some water, and massaged her a little. I didn't want to fuss with her too much because she was very weak.

    This morning, I gave her an 1/2 egg with lots of olive oil, then about 30min later I massaged her crop. I then gave her the other half the egg. She was very excited to eat it.

    She is drinking, and she had one normal-looking poop this morning (since being inside -- so one poop in 12 hours).

    Questions:

    1. What is the best thing I could be feeding her right now, and how much? I was thinking I could come home at lunch today and give her another egg and one tonight -- is that too much egg? Should I mix soaked layer feed in with it?

    2. Is it ok for me to keep massaging her in the evening or early in the morning, when she would usually be sleeping? Last night I did the massages well after dark.

    3. How long should I keep her separated from the flock?

    4. How can I help her re-acclimatize to the winter weather out there?

    Thanks in advance for any help, and let me know if you have any questions.
     
  2. MrsBachbach

    MrsBachbach Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, if she isn't pooping regularly she could be dealing with an impacted area further along the digestive tract. That could be causing the back up and sour crop. If the wad is truly in the crop, crop surgery is usually all that can be done for stubborn wads. What has she had access to? Grass, hay, straw? I'm trying to think what could cause the blockage. If there is not a firm mass in the crop, you may have to try more olive oil to hopefully help the blockage pass, whereever that may be. Not much more can be done if it's down from the crop area.
    In my experience, hay is a bad thing to keep chickens on, especially if they are cooped up. Also, a lack of enough feeders will sometimes cause the bottom of the pecking order to eat trash. Chickens will run the more timid ones away from the feeders sometimes. So, I put many feeders out when I have chickens cooped up. That and removing hay has cut down on my crop issues.
     
  3. MrsBachbach

    MrsBachbach Chillin' With My Peeps

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    And yes, keep massaging if there is a wad in the crop. It may or may not help, depending on what it consist of.
     
  4. pwand

    pwand Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you dewormed her? It can slow there crops down.

    You can massage her crop gently many times throughout the day.

    She needs to be keep warm, i would keep her seperated until she gets better.

    Feed her soft easily diggestable food. Soak her food in hot water to make it soft, boiled egg yolk, easily digestable and good for them. Put probiotics capsules sprinkled in her food and water.

    Don't vomit her because the oil you gave her could go into her lungs.

    Do you think she is impacted or sour? If its sour crop, oils I dont think would help. Crop should be flat first thing in thr morning.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2013
  5. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    If the crop is hard and not going down in size tubing water and massaging will help unless there is a true blockage somewhere else.

    From: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/04/answers-from-chicken-vet-on-impacted.html
    "Impacted crop can be treated by flushing the crop with water to help soften up the “ball”. Using a syringe and tube, put water gently into the esophagus, behind the opening at the back of the throat that goes to the lungs. Gently massage the crop several times per day, softening the mass. Adding some vegetable oil may help a little, but you will usually get reasonable results from water alone. I would NOT recommend surgery on your own....if you cannot get the impaction resolved through massage, water and oil, contact a vet to help you out....gastrointestinal surgery has a HUGE potential to go horribly wrong in an amateur’s hands."


    I've tubed water to a few of mine and the crop will usually clear in 24 hours. Never had to vomit one, never had to do the surgery, water works wonders.

    -Kathy
     
  6. From the North

    From the North Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the replies. To answer some of the questions:

    I have straw and dried leaves on the floor in their run, and wood shavings in the coop.

    I have not dewormed her.

    I will not be attempting surgery.

    I think the impaction is still there this morning, but not sour. I won't vomit her unless it seems bigger & squishy.

    She pooped again this morning before I left for work. What would be a normal rate for pooping (i.e. how many times per day)?

    I will need to think of something other than opening a window to re-acclimate her to the winter cold. You don't simply leave windows open in your house when it's -25 or colder, unless you want frozen pipes and thousands of dollars floating out your window (it already costs $500-$1000 per month to heat the house in this weather!).

    Once she starts looking normal again (empty crop in the morning, etc) how much longer after that should I keep her in?
     
  7. pwand

    pwand Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You asked the question, I tried to help you. I don't feel this kind of response was needed, good luck!!
     
  8. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One poop in twelve hours is not good. If she has sour crop(crop may feel squishy and a smell may be coming from mouth) several members on forum have cleared up sour crop with monistat or similar product. I believe the suggested treatment was 1/3 of a tablet(three tablets in a pack) cut each tablet into 1/3(you end up with 9 pces),give twice a day. If impacted crop,her crop will not empty,check at night should be full,check in morning before eating,will be empty,if not you have probably an impact.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2013
  9. From the North

    From the North Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for your help. I realize it must be hard to really understand what kind of cold I'm talking about, if you don't have that kind of weather where you are. . Opening a window would seriously risk freezing/bursting pipes and substantial damage to the house!
     
  10. pwand

    pwand Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I lived most of my life in that cold weather and even colder, I do understand what its like.
     

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