impacted crop questions

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by zanyfunster, Oct 28, 2009.

  1. zanyfunster

    zanyfunster Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 14, 2009
    Alpine, TX
    Hi all, I'm pretty new to BYC and to chickens, and my favorite chick (Captain Ahab) is having a problem that I suspect is impacted crop. Capt. Ahab's a 2-month-old Ameraucana and for the past day or two she has been increasingly lethargic, droopy head and tail, keeping to her roost, not running to me like the others when I come to the coop. If I bring her out into the yard, she will join the others in pecking around, but not for long. I have seen her eat and drink a little. After reading about crop problems tonight, I felt her chest area and it seemed like there was a hard little bump there that the other girls didn't have. Then I read how feeding them grass can cause crop problems, which I've been doing recently, so that's made me think it's even more likely impacted crop. She hasn't had granite grit, but she and the other pullets spend the day in a dirt yard, so I've figured they were getting lots of pebbles that way. I'm worried about doing more harm than good at this point, since there's a few things I'm still not sure about:

    - could anyone give me more guidance on how to tell if I'm actually feeling her crop? or point me to a picture online of where to feel for her crop?

    - How long should I give her to see if her crop improves on its own? It's been about a day and a half that she's been acting droopy. So she's obviously not feeling good, but she doesn't seem in as dire straits as some other chickens I've been reading about tonight. So are there any simple ways I can help her without getting into tubation or worrying about surgery?

    - I'm a little worried about trying to put droppers or tubes down her throat, since when I peeked in her beak I couldn't honestly tell what was what. So again, does anyone have pictures or further guidance on how to make sure I don't flood her lungs accidentally?

    - Are there any other telltale symptoms of impacted crop I should look for? Or other ailments that might be causing these same symptoms?

    Thanks so much for any advice y'all can give. I really hope I can help this little one before it's too late.
     
  2. Hennyhandler

    Hennyhandler SilkieJax

    Jun 10, 2009
    Cullman
    I had one of these scares. I thought my chickens had this when I felt the large lump and panicked. Later, I found out it wasn't it. I read to give them electrolytes which helps move things around and I did this. All of this is based on my experience and what I can remember from what I read. I really don't know anything about the lethargy or drooping head since mine didn't react this way so I can't really give you sound advice. (sorry [​IMG]) I do have to say it sounds serious. Hope this helps!! [​IMG]
     
  3. sammi

    sammi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    the crop is a small sac near the bottom of the neck on top of the breast slightly to hen's right..
    best to separate from feed for the night and recheck in the morning..it should be empty..
    feel for any lump, doughy mass or grainy feeling..
    if you can..use a flashlight and check the mouth and throat for whitish or yellowish sores or lesions or plaque coating..
    check for sour smell..

    sometimes they will act like they are eating, pecking and not actually eating much at all..sometimes they will overdrink to fill up..or not drink much at all..
    the best way to know is to check crop in the morning when it should empty during the night.
    is she thin? weak? depressed?

    describe the droppings in detail..color and consistency..

    here's some info about crop problems and treatment suggestions..

    http://fowlfacts.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=afflictiondiseaseff&action=display&thread=1188

    more treatment suggestions and instructions..

    http://happyhenhouse.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=natural&action=display&thread=5257

    hope this helps.
     
  4. zanyfunster

    zanyfunster Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 14, 2009
    Alpine, TX
    Thanks so much for the responses. I kept her in a kennel without food last night and gave her some of the ACV water. Her droppings look totally normal - light brown with white caps. This morning she came out running and went straight to the feeder, but again, after a little while she retired to the roost. Her throat still feels a bit lumpier than everyone else's, but I think it's not quite as big as it was last night. I gave her some watered down yogurt with hardboiled egg yolk this morning, which she happily ate. So I'll just be keeping an eye on her today and following the ACV regimen. Again, thanks for advising me!
     
  5. sammi

    sammi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    try the flashlight check of the mouth and throat...she might have canker lesions..
    or something in her throat..
    is she gaping? check for red gapeworm in the throat.
     
  6. zanyfunster

    zanyfunster Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 14, 2009
    Alpine, TX
    Thanks a bunch. I checked her throat and it looked fine. I'm starting to think she may have just injured her leg. She leans to one side when she's on the roost and picks up her right foot a lot whenever I put her on the ground. She's also not gotten any worse and no one else has shown any symptoms. I'm hoping she'll just get better with lots of TLC.
     
  7. sammi

    sammi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    check the bottom of the foot for any sore or scab..(Bumblefoot)
    or splinter..
    feel legs for any heat or swelling..
     
  8. zanyfunster

    zanyfunster Out Of The Brooder

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    22
    Aug 14, 2009
    Alpine, TX
    Ah ha! Her right leg is warmer than the other, and she's definitely picking up her right foot a lot whenever I pull her down to eat. Any tips for healing an injured chick leg?
     
  9. sammi

    sammi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    is it the leg itself? (not the foot?)..(foot infection can spread to the leg) any toes swelled?
    are the leg joints hot or swelled?
    can you see any wound, peck mark, scratch, etc.. or sign of injury?
    feel the leg/hip joint..anything different when compared to others?

    is she still eating and drinking as usual?
    how are the droppings?

    how high is the roost?
    what sort of roosts do you have?

    might be a good idea to separate her to a warm safe confined space with soft bedding, food and water, so she can have easy access to it and rest the leg.

    aspirin can help with inflammation ..(keep watch for infection..)
    1 (81mg) plain aspirin crushed into 1 quart of water..

    what all do you feed?
     
  10. zanyfunster

    zanyfunster Out Of The Brooder

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    0
    22
    Aug 14, 2009
    Alpine, TX
    thanks for the aspirin suggestion. how can i tell if there's an infection? if it is "just" a hurt leg, any idea how long such things take to heal?

    everyone's currently eating purina start and grow crumbles, plus treats like corn, greens, yogurt, etc. i've been giving captain ahab boiled egg yolks and yogurt twice a day.

    her foot looked fine - no marks or splinters or other signs of injury there or on her legs. her right leg is still warmer than the left, and she's definitely hobbling a bit now when i pull her down to eat. i couldn't feel any swelling in the hock joint, but it also felt a bit warmer than the other leg joint. she's still eating and drinking and droppings look normal. there's a few different roosts: one is an old playground ladder about three feet up, but she seems to prefer a little 1x2 board that's about a foot off the ground. thankfully no one is picking on her for now, and her buddy seems to be keeping her company on the roost most of the day.
     

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