Impacted Crop? Head rolling? Panting? UPDATED

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by NellaBean, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

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    ) What type of bird , age and weight.
    Red (rirx?), 23 weeks, not sure of weight

    2) What is the behavior, exactly.
    Starting yesterday at bedtime, I noticed her rolling her head/neck repeatedly in a circular motion. Over and over and over. Originally thought a back or neck injury from overzealous, oversized rooster....resulting in either broken back or neurological injury. Looked like she had a large swollen area on her back. Was back to pretty normal this morning but is doing it again tonight.

    3) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.
    Crop was not completely empy this morning but was small. Not sure of size last night. Was very hard this evening. Chicken was panting but otherwise acting okay.

    4) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.
    See below.

    5) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.
    Layer feed mixed with gamebird starter (end protein approx 20%), in large run with tall grass/weeds, scratch for treat, large loaf of french bread pizza thrown out yesterday evening, popcorn chicken thrown out day previously.

    6) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.
    Has had reddish poop off and on for the last few weeks (I believe unrelated). Currently under corid treatment.

    7) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
    Massaged crop briefly tonight. Undergoing corid treatment for bloody stool (athough seemed fine otherwise up until now).

    8 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?
    No vet care, hoping for info, tips or tricks to deal with myself.

    9) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
    None so far, can take pic in the morning though, if that will help.

    10) Describe the housing/bedding in use
    Large grassy run during day, coop with shavings at night, sleeps up on roost in coop.




    So my Jersey Giant rooster just started harassing the girls the last couple days. I watchd him mount her and he is SO HUGE compared to her that I worried he was going to hurt her. Last night at 6pm she was fine (when I threw out the french bread pizza). When I went out to lock them up at night at 8:30, she was moving okay but repeatedly rolling her head/neck/shoulder in a circular motion. Over and over and over. Appears to be almost a neurological defect. Also appeared to have a large swollen mass on left side of back. I was hoping for a hematoma but wondered if it all could be a back injury related to the rooster.

    She was able to get up on the top roost as normal. I went out to recheck two hours later and she was still doing the head/neck/shoulder rolling thing, even in the dark of the coop, when I shined a flashlight in the window.

    This morning she seemed pretty normal! yay! I left the giant rooser loose in the yard so he could not harass the girls, and all the girls stayed in the coop/attached run. When I got home, she had laid her egg (had not laid last 2 days) today and was out and about with the girls. Seemed to be panting heavier than the others (but it was also really hot today). Seemed to be okay.

    When I went to lock them up tonight she was doing the head/neck/shoulders rolling thing again. Not as bad as last night, but still doing it again. Crop felt relatively small (for her, she is a pig) and hard. I massaged it a bit and then left her alone for the night.

    Is the head/neck/shoulder rolling thing a symptom of impacted crop? I originally thought an injury caused it, but it also almost looks like she is trying to stretch her neck to move the food down?

    Very weird.

    Anybody?
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2009
  2. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

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    Has nobody had a chicken with these symptoms?

    I have never had a chicken with impacted crop before?
     
  3. threehorses

    threehorses Songster

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    My first instinct is to say that she was indeed trying to just move her feed down her throat. Mine do that - almost a hoola-hoop movement with their neck and a very distracted "out of it" look on their faces.

    Her crop emptying, to me, indicate that she's not impacted. But it's possible that her digestive tract is a bit slow because of the problem going on with the blood.

    It's unusual for adult hens to have coccidiosis, but not impossible. The Corid will not hurt anything, and will not mask any issues. Additionally, as I do any time there's any digestive issue, I'd give her yogurt daily for the next week. All your birds can get it, even the rooster. I aim for about 1 tablespoon or so per adult bird.

    Two things I didn't see being given that I highly recommend (that could be part of some of the side-issues): free choice oyster shell and free choice grit. Although soils may have what appear to be a good supply of grit pieces, it's always a very sound choice to provide granite grit anyway. My favorite is pigeon grit or regular plain granite grit. The oyster shell is to accomodate all the hens in the flock as some hens need more calcium than the layer provides (as it can only provide for average hens) and the hens that need a little more will pick out the oyster shell and have less missed days laying. I've also found that when a hen misses eggs, sometimes they will pant with the stress of having eggs inside them that need to come out. So I'd try to eliminate that possibility by providing what they need anyway.

    On the panting, is it very hot there? It could be the combination of being run around by the rooster, her digestive issue, and the heat are all just stressing her out. Listen to her breathing (through her ribs and back) to see if you hear any wheezing of congestion. You shouldn't but it's good to rule it out.

    Now, is there still swelling on her back? Or not? I'd definitely keep the big guy away from them until she's done with her Corid treatment.
     
  4. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

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    I kind of personally doubt the coccidiosis, but because the red poop continued off and on for weeks, I decided to treat anyways. Even with the red poop, she never acted ill at all.

    I think we are on day 4 or day 5 of the corid treatment now anyways. I have been marking the eggs daily with the treatment day (c1, c2, c3, etc) but don't recall offhand.

    I do have free choice oyster shell out. I have given grit before, but not lately. I keep forgetting to put a bowl of it out for them. I will do that tomorrow (er, today).

    I have a tub of yogurt in the fridge I bought specifically for them, so will give that as well. She has only been laying for a month so I am still figuring out her consistancy. I do keep track in a spreadsheet (because a) I'm a dork, b) she is the only brown layer laying so far). From August 1st forward, she laid the 1-8, no egg on the 9, laid eggs on 10-11, no eggs on 12 and 13, and an egg today. Today's egg was in a different nest box than usual, but I am pretty sure it is still her egg.

    As far as heat, it is very hot and very humid here. I think today was mid 90's with high humidity. All the chickens panted off and on, but when the others were not panting she was still panting heavily. She was also upset about the rooster being on the wrong side of the fence, so maybe she was just also stressed?

    The swelling on her back is gone. It was significant the night before, but she looked pretty normal by next morning and totally normal tonight. I should have taken a picture as now I wonder if I was seeing things. Maybe she was hunched over funny and making it look weird? Tonight I even petted her back and gave her a fluff and she squatted for me. Don't remember hearing any wheezing or congestion.

    Pretty sure I wll be rehoming the big roo. He is just way too big for them. Shame because he has a nice attitude.


    Thank you for your response and insight!
     
  5. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    All the chickens panted off and on, but when the others were not panting she was still panting heavily

    ...put electrolytes in the water.
    Have you ever wormed these birds/? Cappillaria can cause bloody poos.
    When the grass is tall then oftimes it is dmap around the base ... fallen bits of feed and grain can go off very easily in the conditions you are describing.​
     
  6. threehorses

    threehorses Songster

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    Good on the oyster shell, and the upcoming grit.

    The yogurt should help general conditions though not treat the actual issue. And I had to lol at the "dork" [​IMG]. I think that's awesome! You're just being a smart poultry keeper.

    Good on her egg!

    And good thought about the rooster. Sometimes it's partially stress. Of course there's the heat, which you can deal with after the Corid as obviously you can't do two things in one water.

    I'm glad to hear the swelling on her back is gone; Perhaps it still hurts. And she could have been hunched (which wouldn't be too off base considering she had a weird egg day). Good on no obvious respiratory signs - always good to just rule those out with the panting. Usually they're different, but here lately people have seen panting preceeding respiratory illness (probably because they couldn't breathe quite as well).

    And that is a shame about the big roo. A good roo is hard to find, but a really big roo can really tear through hens unless you just have a quite big flock. Then mine always had his favorites and would mount them time and time again, no matter the flock size. /sigh

    SO she's the same today?
     
  7. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

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    Well my girl is doing GREAT today. Her crop was totally empty this morning, leading me to believe either it had just been super full or had been emptying slower than usual previously. There were no weird head movements at all today, not even tonight with a full crop. She was just jamming around and having a party all day, eating, drinking, pecking at her minions thru the fence, dust bathing in the planter with her new best buddies, and had a few hours of yard time tonight while i mowed (giant rooster got locked in the pen while the girls were out).

    She definitely was totally normal today, other than not laying an egg. She has been very inconsistent lately. Not sure if it is her problems, or just the heat. The White Leghorns are very consistent (of course) but she does not lay regularly lately at all.

    I bought electrolytes when I got the corid, so may do that once the corid treament is over (going to go a full 7-10 days since I missed a day in the middle whoops).

    I threw a bunch of grit into their outdoor pen and put a bowl of it inside the coop today. I forgot the yogurt, but will give them some tomorrow.

    She was doing so good today, i got pictures [​IMG]



    Her eyes and nostrils are clear and bright.
    [​IMG]


    Her back looks normal.
    [​IMG]


    She has happy and pecking away for food.
    [​IMG]


    Dust bathing with her buddies.
    [​IMG]



    This is my first flock (this red girl is my first chicken! she was bought with another chick who turned into a mean rooster and he is now gone) so I have no idea about anything....I have NOT dewormed them.

    Someone else mentioned Wazine once......I think I saw it in TSC (also have the local co-op, where i got the corid and electrolytes....they had a whole wall of meds and things). What do I need to give them, what dosage, etc? I have this flock of 10 that are around 22 weeks, plus another flock of 7 (in the wooden pen shown above) around 13 weeks.

    Thank you for all the info and suggestions! I really think it was just a bizarre crop issue (other than the blood poop).....no more french bread pizza for Ms Piggy?
     
  8. threehorses

    threehorses Songster

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    Well she looks absolutely lovely and healthy, doesn't she? A very nice hen. Hopefully she just had a bobble there.

    On the wazine, if you buy Wazine 17 (piperazine 17%) then it's one ounce (2 tablespoons) per gallon for a day. Withhold eating eggs for 14 days (you can feed them to the other birds). Then in a month or so, you can use another wormer that actually is has more of a broad spectrum to kill the larva and rest of the adult worms. (Fenbendazole, Ivermectin pour-on 5%, albendazole/valbazan, one of that type.) Wazine is meant to be repeated as it only paralyzes adults worms. But it's good for a first wormer (and wormer for birds under 4 months) because it won't overload them with dead adults AND larva, doesn't cause clogging, etc. Rather than continuing to just paralyze and expel adult worms, I like to end the cycle and then worm twice a year (or do fecal egg counts - microscop upcoming for Christmas yay!)

    I'm glad to hear she's doing well. She really is a lovely hen and the sheen on her feathers shows in the picture.
     
  9. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

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    Yes, she does look totally normal and healthy. She is my favorite girl of all so I am totally biased, but she really is a sweet and wonderful girl. She used to be like a dog following me around the yard after I got rid of her rooster and struggled (for 2 months) to get her integrated with the other group. She is my "bad luck" chicken.....got stuck under a bucket in the sun but survived, got her pen ripped apart by a dog but survived, escaped the yard completely one day (found by the road out front) but survived, escaped her pen one day (found hiding under the coop out back) but survived. Then the bloody poop started.....and then this problem. It's always something with her....she is totally out of lives at this point, I think. [​IMG]

    I will finish the corid treatment this week, give them a couple days with electrolytes and then do the Wazine treatment.


    Thanks again for all the help!
     
  10. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

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    I am revisiting this thread only because I saw this same behavior in a different chicken yesterday. One of my young 10 week old RIR pullets was doing the same head/neck rolling thing yesterday. And it is definitely a result of an overfull crop. This bird's crop was so full it was full even up her neck a bit. This was their first day out in the big yard and she went a little crazy eating stuff.

    Just in case someone else sees the same behavior.....mine did resolve (in both birds) after the crop went down. I haven't seen it in the original RIR since that day......this young bird did not have this problem today, only that first day.


    Just FYI.
     

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