Impacted Crop-PLEASE HELP!

The Gypsy Chicks

8 Years
Dec 23, 2011
My 1 1/2 yr old girl Owl (Brown Leghorn) has been super lethargic, a little wobbly, loosing tons of feathers mostly around her vent, and although eating some, not pooping. Her head is cocked to the side a bit, which isnt normal for her. She still does her preeing routine. The last poop she did was just water. Her crop is the size somewhere between a golfball and a baseball, which is unusually large for her. It is soft and malleable, and I don't feel any hard chunks in it. I have been massaging it every hour or so. (but not sure if I am even doing that right.) She's a free ranger, forages and eats pellet and veggie scraps. I cant figure out why she is lethargic and losing feathers. She has stopped laying, but I checked for a bound egg and found none. Perhaps she is just moulting, but the sites say lethargy shouldnt accompany that. I have isolated her from the other hens, given her olive oil, vitamin water, honey and milk soaked bread. I also gave her an olive oil & water enema, but she kept it in! Usually they poop it out right away. Perhaps she is dehydrated. Is there anything else that I can do for her? Any help would be appreciated. (By the way, we live in California, so its been about 60-80 degrees here. A little cooler at night.) Oh and I checked her nesting box and although we clean out the poo and hay every day, today, hers was wet! strange.
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7 Years
Sep 28, 2012
Missouri, but Montana in my dreams
My Coop
My Coop
I'm brand new to chickens - so please take what I say with a grain of salt (I'm probably wrong).

From what you're saying though, it doesn't sound like her crop is impacted (to me). An impacted crop is usually hard/solid. It sounds like she may have sour crop though, especially if she has watery feces and a soft, pliable (squishy) crop and her bedding is wet. A sour crop will feel sort of like a water balloon.

Is this hen friendly with you? If so, you might want to place your nose near her beak, open it and take a whiff. If there is a nasty smell the chances are likely her crop is sour.

Here's a link I have saved in my bookmarks if that is what she has:

Here is another link for a similar thread here at BYC: Scroll down to MsBagawkbagawk's post for more useful links and info.

Additionally, sour crop can affect the feathers near the vent depending on the length of time the food has been fermenting in the crop. Fermented liquid will "leak" out of the chicken and due to the acidity it can cause feather loss.

Egg-laying often stops during episodes of sour crop because the hen isn't getting the required nourishment and nutrients that are necessary to form the egg.

Once again, I'm new to chickens so the chances of me being right are slim to none - but since nobody has replied yet (and her symptoms sound a lot like sour crop) I figured it couldn't hurt to post.

I pray whatever is wrong with her will be righted soon, and I'm sorry she is going through this.

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