Impacted crop or something else?

77horses

◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊
12 Years
Aug 19, 2008
7,590
613
476
Maine
Well, I haven't been in this forum for a while and I was hoping to keep it that way...But, unfortunately, one of my hen's isn't doing so great right now.
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Her name is Peanut and she's going to be one year old sometime this spring. She's a cross between a Buff Orpington hen and Splash Cochin rooster, hatched and raised by a broody hen. I've noticed that she has always been a little different from the other chickens when it came to eating...We all know that chickens love eating,
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and sometimes they eat so much that they bob their heads in order to try and fit it all in their crops, and it's beyond me how their crops can get so full without bursting...But with Peanut, her crop always gets enormous. Abnormally enormous.
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I've always thought it was normal and that she just ate a little too much food, because she always came out of it eventually and her crop shrunk back to normal overnight.
But, over the past couple of days, she has had the huge crop for a while and has been acting very sickly and lethargic...Despite her large crop, she is very lightweight and thin.
She has come close to being egg bound (shown some of the symptoms, but has always come out of it) in the past a couple times but it hasn't seemed to cause a problem. And her diet consists of laying pellets, cracked corn, and other treats (along with free ranging, once all this snow melts...), just like all the other chickens. She has also molted recently and egg production has decreased.

If you have any advice, please let me know!
Thanks!
 
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NottinghamChicks

Songster
9 Years
Aug 31, 2010
1,029
11
143
Tip of Rockingham County, NH
I would treat her for impacted crop with some of the remedies found here such as oil and massge to start. You may need to graduate treatment to a "flush" Just do a search on here for this issue, there's lots of info.

Good Luck!
 

77horses

◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊
12 Years
Aug 19, 2008
7,590
613
476
Maine
Update: Sadly, Peanut didn't make it.
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She died today, and the reason was most likely related to the crop issues she was having...
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R.I.P. Peanut, an extremely friendly hen who loved to cuddle and eat a lot of food. She will be missed.
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Thanks for all the help
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NottinghamChicks

Songster
9 Years
Aug 31, 2010
1,029
11
143
Tip of Rockingham County, NH
So sorry to hear about Peanut
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My Avitar "Blue" had what I treated as a crop issue only to discover that it was something that could not be overcome also. She stopped laying after only four beautiful pale blue eggs, and then stopped thriving. She went to the vet and in my lap was uthanized. She was to me what no other chicken was and ever will be.
 

purpletree23

Songster
10 Years
May 15, 2009
1,997
34
181
I'm sorry to hear about Peanut. She sounded like the kind of cuddly chicken everyone wants. I'm sure you will miss her.

Because she was skinny I think there has been a problem for a while. I know that it will be difficult but you should consider opening her crop to see what you find. If there was an obstruction or her crop developed abnormally. The knowledge you gain would benefit your other chickens.

I noticed that you did not mention chicken grit or crushed oyster shell when describing their diet. Do they have access to both 24/7? Foraging after a long winter can cause them to eat too much fiber at one time and they can't properly digest it. I always limit foraging to 30 min a day for at least a week so their systems can get used to the big change in diet.
 

77horses

◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊
12 Years
Aug 19, 2008
7,590
613
476
Maine
Quote:
I'm so sorry to hear about your golden comet hen.
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And sorry about your loss too, NottinghamChicks.
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purpletree: no, I hadn't been feeding Peanut or any of the other chickens grit/oyster shell. And I'm planning on maybe dissecting her crop, or at least someone else is going to (I could never do it...
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). What should we look for that could mean anything?
 

purpletree23

Songster
10 Years
May 15, 2009
1,997
34
181
When you or someone else opens the crop start at the top and take the contents out layer by layer. Is it wound up grass or hay? Lots of small stones? Lots of sand? When you get to the base of the crop you will see if there is anything in there that could have caused a blockage. Did she eat a piece of plastic or a nut or bolt or some other foreign object that she could not pass? It's not uncommon to find a piece of string that comes off the top of the feed bags. You can cut open the base of the crop further to see what is between the crop and gizzard. If she did swallow a foreign object it could be in the gizzard where it could not get crushed by the gizzard muscle and get passed along and out.

IMHO chickens should always have crushed oyster shell and chicken grit 24/7 unless you can guarantee that they are in a pen eating only feed and water.

I'm curious to see if she had an obstruction. I'm sure others are also. Keep us posted if you don't mind. We are all here to learn and pass on our knowledge.
 

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