Impacted crop, how often can I administer mineral oil?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Knock Kneed Hen, Jun 9, 2012.

  1. Knock Kneed Hen

    Knock Kneed Hen California Dream'in Chickens

    Feb 15, 2010
    So. Cal.
    My hen ate a load of pine shavings. I have her in a cage on paper with water only. I gave her 3 mils of mineral oil last night and massaged her crop. I gave her 5 mils of mineral oil this morning and massaged her crop. I've been massaging her crop every two hours. She has passed some matter but still have a good sized hard clump in her crop. I don't want to strip or damage the crop but she needs help passing this through. Can I give her too much mineral oil??? I was thinking I'd give her more mid day then again tonight. That would be 3 times a day.

    Thank you
  2. Sounds good keep it up and good luck.

  3. Compost Girl

    Compost Girl In the Brooder

    Jul 22, 2011
    Kowalski, our Australorp, has an eating problem. She will eat large leafy matter (alfalfa hay) until her crop is totally full, which causes the same type of thing you're describing.

    We looked all over this site and found that many people have done crop surgery, with some success. I don't feel comfortable with it, and most people don't do it under sedation, but they say the hen doesn't seem to feel much. There are also some good links to other sites that show detailed instructions as to how to do it. It seems to be something that people did when they knew that was the last resort, but the stuff they pulled out would never have passed otherwise (check the pics on BYC under "crop" "surgery").

    There are also people who way that they forced their hens to vomit by tipping them upside-down, and that got something out, but some other people also said this caused their hen to aspirate the vomit and drown, so I didn't feel comfortable with that, either.

    The third bunch seemed to feel that isolation, no solid food, and a combination of vinegar, yogurt, and molasses (you will need to research to find out the combination and the order) flushed out the bird and caused the acidity of the crop and stomach to change enough for the matter to start to digest and pass. I don't know if that was successful for them, but Kowalski's crop had stuff in it that could rot for a week and still not dissolve, so I don't think it would have worked for her.

    She's a pet, so we took her to the Avian Hospital vet in Mission Valley. Pretty pricy (the whole stay and the treatment was at least $500). He got a some of the hay out of her through her throat with long tweezers, then put her in isolation with electrolyte water only (no food at all) for the next four or five days. The crop went down, but I think it was because he took the hay out first. He said that sometimes the impaction passes, sometimes not, but that the crop is only the first part and there can be other stops in the intestine, so you have to be careful. He's a bit grumpy, but he's the only guy that seemed to know his stuff, and he has chickens at home.

    If your hen is like Kowalski, we had four days before she started ballooning to the point where we felt it was necessary to go to the vet. She started honking like a goose and making a funny motion with her head that indicated to us she felt the push up from her crop. She's still with us, and seems to be doing great in the overeating department so far, but we definitely took up all the hay in the coop. We also put the food in a container that has a narrower opening, so she has to work at it a little more, which slows her down.

    Hope it helps a little. Good luck with your chickie.

  4. dedicateddourly

    dedicateddourly Songster

    Jun 20, 2008
    Fallbrook, CA
    Hi Alison, how is your hen doing? I really don't know about mineral oil. We've only used olive oil and maybe up to 4 times a day. My Lizzie loves to eat pine shavings too, but I think it may be due to the fact that she's the lowest in the pecking order. We might remove pine shavings from the coop because of this.

    3 of my chickens have had a crop issue in the past year. I gave only ACV spiked water for the first day. The olive oil and crop massage 3-4 times a day. It seems to work for us, as the crop seems to clear after 2 or 3 days.

    Good luck! Hehe, didn't you give me advice on this very same issue? I hope it all works out.
  5. You also need to get some fresh garlic cloves, finely chopped. You mix olive oil in with this, and feed her only this for a few days. Sour crop is going to be your next challenge after you have crop cleared.
    Switch to flakes instead of shavings...
    If she is eating shavings, you may need to add another feeder to the coop/run...
    Good luck.
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    I wouldn't give mineral oil, necessarily. Use olive oil which has some nutritional value to it and is good for circulation, or even plain old vegetable oil is fine. I've never been able to clear a truly impacted crop without surgery.

    Sometimes, a crop will become impacted precisely because it has ceased to function, not the other way around, so it could have nothing to do with what she ate, but what condition the crop was in in the first place.

    I find that when a hen is dying from internal laying or ovarian carcinoma or sometimes, just if she is in a particularly hard molt, her crop bogs down. Had a hen whose crop was always pendulous, got worse with age, but never gave her trouble; after the age of 4, during her last hard molt, it quit functioning then became impacted. We operated on her and completely cleared it out, but it would never again process food for no reason we could ascertain, so she died.

    Hopefully, your massage will fix it with the added oil.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2012
  7. Suskm

    Suskm Chirping

    Aug 9, 2012
    Fort Valley GA
    How am I supposed to get my hen's beak open? She has an impacted crop, she's lost weight and I need to give her some olive oil to see if we can't get this mess cleaned up before it kills her. I had no idea she was in trouble! She's not pooping and I am at my whits end :-(

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