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Impacted Crop, like clay, won't vomit

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by AuntGigi, Oct 13, 2016.

  1. AuntGigi

    AuntGigi Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 13, 2013
    NE Wisconsin
    Hi, I've been reading threads and can't quite find our situation. Our 5 year old EE had been acting antisocial, then didn't come out of the coop yesterday morning. She was on her roost, I felt her crop and knew something was wrong, it wasn't empty. It felt like a tennis ball size of clay - massagable, but clay-y feeling.

    We picked up a feeding tube, but decided to just syringe water with a bit of oil - 60 cc. Massaged during, and felt it get softer. Not sloshy. We cannot get her to vomit like in so many YouTube vids. I've vomited a sour crop in the past. Before bedtime, after she wouldn't vomit, I let her wander around the garage. She pooped a few times and pecked around as if hungry. I gave her a small spoon of very watered down cat food which she happily ate. Her poop wasn't green, but the first one looked like it had maybe a piece of feather quill in it (???). Poo was runny pellet colored. The other two didn't have any sign of foreign stuff. I put her in the coop overnight, she didn't like where I put her and hopped around where she wanted to be.

    This morning she came out with the others. We grabbed her and her crop was still stiff. Runny poo overnight. Hospital cage this morning so we can monitor food. Lots of massage, 30cc water with a bit of oil. She was more feisty. She still won't vomit.

    Dulcolax? More water? She seems hungry. Advice encouraged-

    Gina
     
  2. AuntGigi

    AuntGigi Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 13, 2013
    NE Wisconsin
    Ok, put her back in the hospital cage. We gave her a spoon of watered down yogurt and she ate readily, and pooped. I took a pic, looks like maybe a piece of straw in there.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2016
  3. AuntGigi

    AuntGigi Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 13, 2013
    NE Wisconsin
    OK, I think we're getting somewhere. After more massage, we tried vomiting her again after she started beak smacking (?). Snotty fluid began coming out. We let her take a breath. Then tipped her again, and she kind of shook out this clump in the photo. Crop feels more squishy now. She's resting now.

    She drank some pedialyte with water when we returned her to the cage. Food yet? More syringed water?

    [​IMG]
     
  4. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    I had a bantam pekin (cochin) hen a bit like this a few weeks ago.

    She had been broody, raised a clutch of chicks come back into lay and then gone broody again. She's been a bit of a glutton since I got her in April and initially binged on grass quite badly and her crop was very large for her size.
    Because she was broody I didn't take much notice of her until I decided to break her of her broodiness and then realised that her crop was massive.... the size of a soft ball and tipping her forward with it's weight.

    I put her in a pen on her own with only water and a little sloppy oily mash and grit on a hard surface with no access to grass. I massaged her crop 4 times a day. She was ravenous all the time and even ate the tiny amount of sawdust bedding I put down, so I had to leave everything bare. I was shocked at how sharp her keel bone felt and it was clear that she was starving, even though her crop was huge. I tried numerous times to vomit her and she absolutely would not... I spent over an hour one day with her trying to empty it. I felt really awful but I was convinced she would die if I didn't do something. Initially her crop was hard and tight, then as I gave her only liquid feed, it became soft and squishy but still large and then one morning, just when I was about to give up hope, her crop was only a third the size it had been but it felt, like you describe, which was like clay or putty. You could squeeze it and it kind of stayed in that squeezed shape. I stayed with the sloppy feeds and massages for a couple more days and then gave her access to pellets as well and she seemed to come right. She is now back in the pen with the others.
    My gut feeling is that she has a pendulous crop which sags at the bottom where it has been stretched and the outlet into the digestive tract is above this sagged pouch, so that the heavier material she eats settles in that pouch and slowly becomes like sediment. Eventually the weight of all that sediment pulls the crop further forward until it kinks and cuts off the outlet to the gut, with just a small amount of liquid seeping though. As a result the hen doesn't get enough food and starts to live off her body fat and her poops become runny because that's all that can get through her system. Of course they are literally starving, so they eat more which compounds the problem. Massaging helps to open the tract and get food moving again. I think the final answer for my girl is to get her or make a crop bra to prevent that sediment from building up in that stretched pouch part of her crop, but I haven't had time yet.

    I hope your girl comes right. It took over 2 weeks to get Portia back to normal and I am sure it will happen again if I don't get a crop bra sorted for her. She is moulting quite heavily at the moment so fastening anything around her will not be comfortable with pin feathers coming in.

    I wonder if the reason that she wouldn't vomit was because she was starving, whereas when they have sour crop, they are pleased to have the opportunity to get rid of it. She certainly didn't smell bad like a sour crop.

    Anyway, I hope my experience is of some help to you. It was the clay feeling of the crop and that she is hungry which reminded me so much of Portia's problem. I had never felt a crop like that before.

    Good luck

    Barbara
     
  5. AuntGigi

    AuntGigi Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 13, 2013
    NE Wisconsin
    Still can't get it emptied. We've only been able to get her to vomit the one time. This morning it's like clay again, just a bit smaller. She's looking weak. :(
     
  6. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    It took me 2 weeks of sloppy food and massaging and restricting access to anything else. No bedding, no grass, no dirt, just small sloppy feeds, water, grit and lots of massage. I really thought I was going to lose my girl. Her keel bone was like a knife edge and her comb was dry and wizened. The only thing I took comfort from was that there was still a bit of poop coming through, even though it was sloppy. I actually considered euthanizing her because she was clearly emaciated and starving but she was still on her feet and eating, so I kept at it and then one morning it was suddenly a lot better.... it may have been the morning after I had tried for over an hour without success to vomit her. Maybe all that up and down and massaging helped to push the blockage through.
    You have done better than me in that you have got some of it up. There looks to be quite a lot of fibrous material in it, so do make sure she doesn't have access to straw/grass or hay or any other bedding material or plant fibre until she is back to normal. I really hope you are able to recover her.
     
  7. AuntGigi

    AuntGigi Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 13, 2013
    NE Wisconsin
    Oh my. I hope it doesn't take 2 weeks, but we'll do what we have to do. She is pooping. Not lots of solids, but some. Here's the link we decided to try
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/impacted-slow-and-sour-crops-prevention-and-treatments

    From what you said, I'll continue to try to make her vomit. How much water were you giving your girl? This link says 10cc, but another I read said 60! We've been trying for 25-30.

    What came up looks like it might be straw :(. I just broke apart the last bale from last winter that we used to insulate the coop. They all get on top and shred it to bits (with their feet!). All year the girls have been tearing this up for me - I put a bale under different fruit trees and they do the rest. Looks like Shamus decided to eat it this time.... (My nephew named her :) ).

    Hubs just syringed the dulcolax in her with yogurt, sine we don't have baby food, and massaged. I figure we'll wait a half hour or so before giving her Epsom water. We can get it loosened up with water and massage, but if it turns sour... I've never had any luck beyond that :(
     
  8. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,790
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    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    I didn't syringe her with water.... unless you tube it directly into her crop there is too much danger of aspiration. My hen was happy to eat food, so I just soaked her pellets in water until they were a soft mush...almost liquid, mixed in a bit of olive oil and let her eat it.
    With sour crop, they don't want to eat and I believe vomit reasonably easily.
    With an impacted crop they are usually keen to eat but it struggles to pass down into the digestive tract. Do your hens have access to grit?

    If your girl is happy to eat food herself and her breath doesn't smell sour, then I would not treat her for sour crop but just give her small sloppy feeds and no access to any fibrous material and keep massaging.
     
  9. AuntGigi

    AuntGigi Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 13, 2013
    NE Wisconsin
    Thank you. I did my first feeding tube insertion - wouldn't want to do that alone with a feisty bird! We put 30cc of the Epsom mix in her. It sounds from that link that it might prevent souring. The tube was way easier than syringing, it takes so long, and like you said it carries the aspiration danger. I massaged her for a long time. The water seemed to perk her up almost immediately. She wouldn't eat the yogurt/dulcolax, but was craning her neck when I fed the kitties so I stuck my finger through the cage and was promptly bitten :)

    I'll give her the yogurt/dulcolax by syringe after an hour has passed from the liquids. Not sure when to give her some watered down food - maybe the cat food?

    Upon examination, last night's poo had about a super-ball sized clump of green fibrous material in it - yay! Must've eaten grass too, as all the poo had a green tinge. Crop was still full and play-doh like, though. I massaged for about half hour and she's back in the cage looking out the window. I'll take her outside to visit her sisters for the next massage.

    They do have access to grit outside. Should I bring a dish in for her? I suppose it wouldn't hurt.
    Thanks for responding, it always is nice to not feel so alone. We have no chicken vets nearby.
     
  10. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    To be honest...And I am only trying to Help....
    Cut out all the other stuff....Clear cold water...And only her regular feed...You can wet that and try to feed her from a spoon....Clean the coop of all loose feathers...
    Chickens can not process Dairy as it causes the poops...A probiotic for poultry is best....Not yogurt...

    Proper nutrition is key in keeping Chickens healthy and producing.....Cut out all treats for a week...Treats should be 5% of daily ration..Meaning a Tablespoon per Bird...

    Cheers!
     

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