Impacted crop??

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Fiasco, Apr 23, 2018.

  1. Fiasco

    Fiasco Chirping

    I have a small Easter Egger/Bantam mix hen who appears to have an impacted crop. She wasn't moving around much yesterday (although this could be because she sprained her foot, which she seems to have done too!), and her crop was really big and hard - about as big as a tennis ball, and she's a really tiny hen. She's also been having some diarrhea for awhile, but really bad today. She's been laying around a lot and seems to want to sleep all of the time. So I put her in a plastic tote lined with hay, and brought her inside for the night. I gave her a dish of grit, and one of water which she drank like crazy at first. I then massaged her crop, which loosened up to be about the texture of "bread dough", more squishy where before I could hardly feel any give. But now, even though she hasn't eaten for nearly a day, her crop is all hard again! I don't know what to do. I saw something about making the chicken spit up the blockage, but it also said they could choke and I'm not confident to get it right! What do I do?

    Any ideas are very greatly appreciated! Even if you can tell me what not to do, I'd be grateful! :)

    Here is a picture of her (Chloe):

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 23, 2018
  2. Fiasco

    Fiasco Chirping

    I was worried that she might be eating the hay I used to line her tote, so now I've removed that and replaced it with newspaper. Also, I read on another thread that a bit of scrambled eggs saturated in oil (followed by another massage) might help loosen things up...I'll update on how that goes!
  3. Fiasco

    Fiasco Chirping

    Thanks so much!! I'll read up on those right now!
  4. Fiasco

    Fiasco Chirping

    I took a look at each one of you links, and I'm 90% certain it's an impacted crop. But 10%, maybe it's doughy's quite hard (like rubber), but a little but doughy too in that it changes its shape a bit when I press on it, and felt a lot softer like bread dough last night after she drank water. I'm not sure how to tell for sure which it is!

    I'll have to decide which method of clearing it up to try first, assuming that it's impacted and simply caused by grass or hay blockage. But your second link proposed several other things which could have caused an impacted crop. So my question would be, if it is something more complicated (like of she's egg-bound or has worms), which I don't know yet, should I try to clear her crop? Or should I do a more thorough diagnosis and make sure those aren't the cause first? Unless I hear otherwise, I'll assume it's okay to continue working on her crop. If you have any idea either way, I'd really appreciate your advice!
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2018
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    The 2 ladies who wrote those articles have experienced crop issues more than I have. the ones I have seen have died, even with treatment. If you have a vet who is familiar with chickens and can afford it, I would take the chicken in, since they can do crop surgery right away. Others have said that the crop issues they have seen may be due to an underlying problem, such as reproductive issues and diseases. Crop massage and giving a lot of water to help clear the crop is good at first. Some give solace (doccusate sodium) stool softeners or even mineral oil mixed into some food to help it move on. Provide grit in case the gizzard is not grinding food.
  6. Fiasco

    Fiasco Chirping

    Thanks, Eggcessive! I'm hopeful that she can pull through this. I'm not sure if the vet is an option at the moment, or whether we even have a chicken-friendly vet around here! For now, I'm trying to see if it's at all possible to clear the blockage without surgery.

    I have a dish of grit in with her, which she's been pecking at quite a bit and I can feel some in the bottom of her crop. I gave her some of the eggs/oil, as well as some coconut oil, which she happily gobbled up. I've been massaging it every once in awhile since then, but I'm not sure whether it's helping. The mass in her crop feels sort of like a lumpy, stiff clay - I massage a bulge at the bottom and it seems to disappear, only to find it gathered at the top instead.

    She hasn't been drinking so much water now, so maybe I'll have to find a syringe or something to give her some. She's just about stopped pooping altogether...she's only pooped once all day that I've seen, and even then it was diarrhea. I'm not sure how long this has been going on, but she does seem plenty hungry and I hope it will be resolved soon!

    Maybe I will try and find that stool softener if this doesn't work. Do you have any idea how often/how much should be given? I was a little confused because in the article above, they mentioned "100 mg capsules", but the Colace at my local Walmart sells in 30 mg capsules... do you think should I give 3 at a time, or spread them out between treatments? I understand if you've not had experience with this, but if you have any opinion on this I'd love to hear it!

    (Update, her crop is now softer after the oil & massages...but not much smaller. We'll see!)
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2018
  7. Fiasco

    Fiasco Chirping

    Okay, well...we gave her some applesauce/stool softener twice, once the night before last and then yesterday afternoon. With that, oils and water, she passed a couple of good poo's and her crop softened up a bit, but it would harden again between treatments. We knew a vet who would look at her and had an appointment this morning, but - she passed away during the night. Honestly, I think she was on her way out anyways...she was the runt of our three dozen chickens and had problems for awhile. She sure did get pampered in these last couple of days, though! I wish better luck to anyone else dealing with this sort of thing. Thanks so much for your help!
  8. hebe5

    hebe5 Songster

    Aug 19, 2016
    I'm soooo sorry to hear this! :(
  9. Fiasco

    Fiasco Chirping

    Thanks, hebe5. Really though, it's not so bad for me...I was actually just watching her for a friend who had adopted her out of my flock when she was a baby. So I took care of her for the last few days, but losing her isn't so tough on me. My friend had raised her as a pet, I just told her parents and she's gonna have a tough time when she finds out! But it did save them a potentially hefty vet bill...these things have their ups and downs! :)

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