impacted crop

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by karmical, Nov 21, 2010.

  1. karmical

    karmical Chillin' With My Peeps

    271
    3
    151
    Aug 3, 2007
    Honeoye Falls, NY
    I've read through some of the past posts on this, but wanted to see if anybody has any thoughts on my girl's situation...

    My 3 year-old salmon faverolle is midway through a hard molt and losing weight...I was worried she wasn't eating enough, so had been coaxing food and noticed for a couple days that her crop was actually quite full. She's also been drinking a LOT LOT LOT of water. She has also not been pooing normally for a while (couple of weeks at least). It's been more like squirts of water with some soggy food chunks throughout, and not very frequent. I started to get concerned about the crop because it was the same every time I felt it...about baseball sized and hard as a rock for at least three days. So, I withheld food last night to see if it had flattened out by this morning, which I know would mean she was fine, but it was still hard as a rock and baseball sized this AM. So I read up...brought her into the house so I could monitor the pooing and try to get her crop softened up. I got her to eat some olive oil mixed with plain yogurt and started massaging her crop...after about two hours it felt more mushy than hard...after another hour she had diarrhea...she's been drinking warm water all day (LOTS) and ate more yogurt. She had one poo that was more of a pile with some of the creamy cecal poo on top...then watery again with the food chunks...then she threw up water (and a bit of grass)...then more watery poo with chunks...ate more yogurt...and now she's sleeping like a rock and hasn't pooed or puked in about three hours.

    Not sure if it sounds like she's making progress or if there is something really wrong here. Although her crop is now much more "bean bag" consistency than baseball, there just isn't much poo coming out, and the crop isn't getting smaller. Do I just keep her inside a few days and give her body some time to work out the crop? Or is she better off outside in the coop where she can move around more? I had her separated from the other birds anyways, because she's a feather puller and everyone's molting. Just not sure what to do! Does it sound like her body is starting to work it out? I know I'm not capable of the crop surgery...Has anyone waited out a crop impaction with success?

    Any words of wisdom would be wonderful...thanks out there!!!

    -Tracy
     
  2. Lisa Bellew

    Lisa Bellew New Egg

    2
    0
    6
    Nov 29, 2010
    I have exactly the same problem with one of my hens. I have been to the vet with her this morning. He has given me liquid paraffin to give her with a syringe. He said that if it was a food blockage then that should shift it in a couple of days, but he did say that it could be something further down, a growth etc!! - He did said that I could try cooking oil as well!

    He is going to make some enquiries and said he'll call me later if he comes up with anything else that may help. If he does I'll let you know.

    I'm also going to try bathing her in warm water to see if I can relax the muscles in the area - I know they do that for trapped eggs, so hoping it'll help this too!!

    Hope this helps
     
  3. karmical

    karmical Chillin' With My Peeps

    271
    3
    151
    Aug 3, 2007
    Honeoye Falls, NY
    Thanks for your reply, Lisa! I'm happy to report that my girl looks to be on the mend. I kept her with me in the house in a big dog crate for a week so I could keep close watch on the size of her crop as well as what was coming out of her. I read online about getting oil in there and massaging...also read that mashed up tomatoes (with NO skins) help...and that yogurt might help with the watery stool.

    Here's what I ended up doing:

    Day 1:
    Warm water available at all times
    AM - plain, 2TBL lowfat yogurt mixed with 1 TBL olive oil - crop massage
    Midday - 1/2 small mashed up tomato (no skins) with 1 TBL olive oil - crop massage
    PM - 1/2 small mashed up tomato (no skins) with 1 TBL olive oil - crop massage

    She didn't poo at all for about three hours straight, but then had some watery stool with little chunks of what looked like VERY old food in it. Poo continued like that but a couple hours in between each little watery "explosion".
    By the next morning, her crop was no longer hard as a rock, it was more like a rubber ball, but still baseball size

    Day 2:
    Same as Day 1 but also fed one scrambled egg split into two portions.

    By the end of the day, her crop was more squishy, but still baseball size. Poo continued like the day before but some cecal poo came out too.

    Day 3:
    More loose stool overnight and crop down to golf ball sized.
    AM: Soaked 3TBL layer crumble in warm water with plain, lowfat yogurt
    PM: same as AM plus 1/2 a scrambled egg.
    Watery diarrhea with more traces of new food coming through as the day passed.

    Day 4:
    Same as day three

    Day 5:
    Crop was flat in the morning!!
    Decided to try giving her a larger portion of soaked food to see if her crop was functioning normally.
    AM: 5 TBL soaked (in warm water) layer crumble with drizzle of liquid lowfat yogurt. (she chowed down) Crop seemed to function normally.
    PM: same
    LOTS of watery diarrhea throughout the day, but it was definitely new food coming through.

    Day 6:
    Wanted to see how she handled free choice food so I made that same mash in a larger quantity. She ate a meal sized amount and left the rest, which she pecked at throughout the day. I also sprinkled dry crumbles on the floor of the crate for her to peck at. She did a little, but wasn't gobbling it down.
    Still LOTS of watery diarrhea throughout the day, but it was definitely still new food coming through.

    Also wanted to add that she drank A LOT of (warm) water throughout the process. She also puked up a lot of water. In the beginning, it looked like she was puking up traces of olive oil too, so that's why I stopped the olive oil after a couple days when it looked like the crop was making some progress.

    On Day 7, her appetite really slowed down, which worried me. She only wanted the yogurt off the top of the mash, and didn't eat very much. I still decided it was time to put her back in the coop though. Didn't want her becoming a picky eater! I have a back area of the coop sectioned off with a chicken wire partition, which is where she is now on her own, but the other chickens are in view, so she is hopefully not too lonely. She isn't eating a lot, and still has the diarrhea, but seems pretty lively. I wonder if her appetite just adjusted to having less food? Not sure. Hoping she'll just keep getting better! Also going to Verm-X later in the week in case there's a worm issue on top of it.

    I know this is a SUPER long post...but I'm hoping it will help someone else. If you're like me, and just can't face taking on a crop surgery, thought it might be good to read that this issue can also sometimes be resolved through a week or so of some good old TLC :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2010
  4. sheila3935

    sheila3935 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,828
    19
    181
    Jul 10, 2010
    Stonington, illinois
    I had a little roo that at 6 weeks got impacted with long grass. We gave him olive oil which can cause loose stools, and didnt let him have much food the next day we found a long string looking thing hanging out of his vent pulled it out and a hugh clump of grass came with it. He was fine after that. I know the watery with chunks poo sound like stress poo. Mine do that especially when I have had to take them to the vet. My crop impaction resloved pretty easy dont know how to handle one that didnt respond. When you had her in the house did you give her grit?
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2010
  5. Lisa Bellew

    Lisa Bellew New Egg

    2
    0
    6
    Nov 29, 2010
    Thank you Tracy.

    I'm glad to hear she seems to be on the mend and hope the good progress continues.

    I've also brought my hen into the house - the dog can't believe he's having to share my attention, although he is very good with chickens - helps me round them up if I need to put them away early - lol

    I have given her the paraffin as directed by the vet and have given her a nice warmth bath and a massage - she was happy as larry sitting in the water!

    I have also given her some tuna in sunflower oil.She's not drinking very much and her poo is actually quite normal just not as often as normal!

    I will definitely try the yogurt and warm water and continue with the massaging.

    Thanks for your advice
     
  6. karmical

    karmical Chillin' With My Peeps

    271
    3
    151
    Aug 3, 2007
    Honeoye Falls, NY
    Hi Lisa-
    Sounds like you're well on your way....what a lucky girl to get warm baths!! :) One other thing I forgot to add to the "menu" I gave her was scrambled eggs...can't believe I forgot that I gave her those (I'm going to try to edit my original post to add that)! She ate them right up...Good luck with everything! Keep me posted :)

    Hi Sheila -
    I didn't give her grit in the house...I read conflicting reports on whether or not grit was good for an impaction, so I skipped it. I let her out into the run today though, and she was VERY interested in eating some dirt and sand and things. She's still not really eating much food though. She still seems to drink a lot of water (and pukes the water back up every now and then)....but that is something she's done for months and months. I'll make sure to put some grit in her dish tonight. I haven't been able to observe any poo in about a day, but if she's not eating much, then it would make sense she wouldn't poo much? I might try some crumble mixed with yogurt and scrambled eggs tonight...a little worried about the not eating much...

    Thanks to you both for your posts!!
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2010
  7. Ritag

    Ritag New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Mar 8, 2012
    Liberty, NY
    Hi Tracy,

    Your post came at a great time as I have been monitoring the crop of one on my GC girls. It is the size of a baseball and is quite firm. I don't recall if it was flat this morning (didnt think of that). I started all my comets on plain yogurt yesterday bc I read on this website that it is good for them. They all went nuts for it! I will check her crop tomorrow am and if it is still same size I will add the olive oil. Thank you for the detailed food diet. I think I will start putting their crumble in warm water too. They always have a lot of water available but I didn't think to put warm water, it is usually cool from my faucet. Do you have any other tips? Is an impacted crop common and have can it be prevented? Thanks for all your help! I worry about my girls like I worry about my own son.

    Rita
     
  8. A lot of times, impacted crops are caused by the chickens eating long grass. It just gets wound all around itself in the crop and can't go out the tube. Feather eaters will have the same problem. The feathers wind all around themselves making a big ball that cannot be passed. Grass eventually gets soft and can bend to go through, if you can get it untangled, but I don't think that a feather's shaft gets soft within the short amount of time it takes to develop an impaction.

    Yogurt is great in small doses. You need to control the amount you give or it can cause diarrhea. I give about a tablespoon morning and night to a sick bird which is not accustomed to having yogurt. My other birds get maybe 2 or 3 tablespoons but they only get it every once in a while. They really like it. To slow down the diarrhea, add shredded cheese to their food. Also, blueberries are anti-diarrheal so you can chop up some of those and mix them in their food as well. Oil slows down digestion but give it in small amounts. After all, a LARGE chicken probably only weighs around 10 pounds or so!
     
  9. Ritag

    Ritag New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Mar 8, 2012
    Liberty, NY
    @LaceyBlues. Thanks for the tips. They do love yogurt! Its so cute to yogurt all over their beaks like a baby! Im glad to report that my girls were not impacted! My GC are quite big for only 1 yo and so their crop looked big as well compared to my WC but this morning they were nice and flat. Their breasts are quite meaty to begin with. I will be careful with the yogurt and olive oil. I just bought some milled flaxseed and sprinkled it on their crumble. I give them food and water at 6:30 AM and 6:30 PM if I see they are low. It that too much? They are still laying and have never gone into a moult. Also, they free range from morning till I get home from work so they are eating a lot of bugs and worms in the yard (its fenced in).

    Thanks again!
     
  10. Country4ever

    Country4ever Chillin' With My Peeps

    683
    5
    161
    Oct 26, 2007
    I think we sometimes feed them too much, when they just need to not have anything for a few days, except water with some vitamins and electrolytes.
    I always massage the heck out of a crop, when its firm and compacted.
    My chickens used to get impacted crops fairly often, until I quit giving them scratch. Actually, since I stopped the scratch and only give them black oil sunflower seed, they haven't had a single impaction.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by