How much longer should I keep this up? Impacted Crop

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Lady_Cluck, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. Lady_Cluck

    Lady_Cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 17, 2009
    Northern Illinois
    Almost one month ago, my 2-year-old RIR hen wound up with a severely impacted crop. We're talking draging-on-the-ground, hard-to-balance-on-the-perch big, although she never showed any signs of pain or illness.

    So I isolated her in a cage with no bedding and put her on a ACV-water diet for 48 hours. Following that, twice a day she gets a 2" piece of bread soaked in olive oil and mixed with plain yogurt (organic, no less!), grit, more ACV in the water, and a crop rub 2-3 times a day.

    The crop has shrunk significantly -- now it's golfball sized -- but there is still impaction. Some days she feels watery. Other days I feel the hard mass and try to break it up with my fingers. (Don't feel any rocks or anything too unusual.)

    She has lost a lot of weight. Other than that she's as normal and spunky as she usually is.

    How long does it take to get rid of an impaction? Is one month normal? Won't the stuff in there EVENTUALLY break down?? Is there hope/light at the end of this tunnel? I think we're both getting tired of this routine.

    At this point I almost wonder if she'd be happier just being the hen with the ginormous crop. She hates being caged!

    Thank you in advance...

    [​IMG]
     
  2. luvchicks8

    luvchicks8 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2009
    new Hampshire
    Not sure about impaction but I have treated sick birds for over 3 months before [​IMG]
     
  3. Chickie'sMoma

    Chickie'sMoma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2009
    Rochester, NH
    i'll be watching this for any advise. i think one of my favs may have an impacted crop but she hasn't lost weight and has been pooping normally, but she does a strange head wiggle/bob and her crop has always looked huge and feels full often! i've also noticed a slightly off smelling breath. she's always been a little piggy when it comes to food so i have been assuming she was eating alot. i have been using hay in my coops this past summer and it seemed to have started to show on her when i started using it. i had heard using hay could cause the problem. i would rather not have to cut her open for surgery if there is a good, alternative method.
     
  4. OregonChickenGal

    OregonChickenGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 26, 2010
    Central Oregon
    What does her crop feel like in the morning before she eats. Does it feel empty, or does it still feel like somethings in there. After my hens eat, they're crop always feels hard golf ball size, and there's nothing wrong with them. If she seems normal, you might try turning her out for awhile and see what happens. I wouldn't let her free range though. You really need to get some weight on her. Offer her a small portion of scrambled eggs mixed with yogurt. Good luck.
     
  5. Lady_Cluck

    Lady_Cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 17, 2009
    Northern Illinois
    Quote:In the morning her crop is a hard mass that I can move around. [​IMG] It's definetely not like the other chickens' which is completley flat and empty. I'm going to do as you suggest and give her some scrambled eggs...she definitely needs some weight on her before the cold weather comes. Those are soft and mush, so it shouldn't get tangled in what is already in there.

    I just keep thinking that the stuff that is in there (grass I assume, hope?) has to decay away eventually??

    And thank you, luvchicks8. Perhaps I'm just being impatient!
     
  6. BWchicken

    BWchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2009
    Texas
    I'd keep up the oil, massage, and ACV, but cut out the grit for a while. Things will slide through her gut easier without the bulky grit. If she's pooping normally, then she is digesting at least some of her food. After such a huge impaction, her crop may still be stretched and just slower to empty. I'd give her only very soft foods but not too much at a time, you don't want her crop to get stretched out again. Eggs are good, they're soft and have calories and protein (mash them up good). Olive oil will really help too, it's got good fats and calories and most important, it helps things slide through the crop and gut. But don't overdo the oil or she'll get the runs. The BEST thing in my opinion to feed for crop problems is mashed up TOMATOS (without skins) with olive oil drizzled on. I feed this and nothing else for a couple days with lots of gentle crop massages, and it has worked well for me many times. There's something in tomatos that is excellent at breaking up fibery impactions like grass and hay. I've heard that fresh tomato juice works well too, but I always just mash up a tomato (no skins) until it's a juicy mush and add a tsp or two of olive oil. Since you're trying to add some weight to her, you may not want to feed her just tomato and oil only, I don't know. But I'd definitely at least add this to her diet and see if it helps her along. Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2010
  7. Lady_Cluck

    Lady_Cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 17, 2009
    Northern Illinois
    Thank you thank you BWchicken!!!!!

    I will cut out the grit. And I will give her some mashed-up skinless tomatoes with some olive oil and mashed up egg.

    I'll let you know how it goes!
     
  8. BWchicken

    BWchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Texas
    You're so welcome, I hope I helped. So how's your girl doing now, I'm hoping for good news!
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2010
  9. Lady_Cluck

    Lady_Cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 17, 2009
    Northern Illinois
    Not so good. [​IMG] There's been absolutely no change to the plum-sized mass of a crop. I'm starting to wonder if she ate something plastic? She's still active and not sick, and does pass some waste every day. Although she walk funny, raising her legs really high, as if she knows something is there that shouldn't be.

    I have called every vet in northern Illinois and NO ONE will treat a chicken (there's no way I could do surgery myself). One vet, who also raises chickens, suggested I could call the University of Wisconsin and ask if their poultry science department would do surgery on the bird, but she warned it would be expensive and the outcome unknown. As much as I love the bird, I don't know if I'm willing to travel and pay what I imagine would be rather costly.

    The vet said that if it was her bird, and since it's not acting sick, she would just let the bird go and let nature take it's course. I read in another thread here on BYC that someone else did that, too -- they just have one hen that has a huge crop who walks around a bit awkward, but at least she's happy.

    What do you think I should do? My hen is getting too thin when she needs to be putting on weight ... the nights are already in the 30s around here. She's miserable in the cage, too; a month is a long time to be locked up.
     
  10. viktoriacl

    viktoriacl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 23, 2010
    Have you concidered surgery yourself? Just put "Ruth crop surgery". See what you think. If you are unable to advance his diet so that the poor thing can put on weight and get the appropriate nutrients maybe you want to concider it.
     

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