Impacted or sour crop?

Inkisevidence

Chirping
Dec 25, 2020
55
130
81
Durango, CO
I'm back with another unhealthy chicken. I have never worked with sour or impacted crop, but my chicken has one of the two. Today I noticed her standing with her eyes closed by the waterer constantly drinking and swallowing compulsively. I tossed out meal worms and she didn't even run over. She then walked to a corner of the run and sat, tucking her head into her body. Her tail is down, her waddle is flopped over and when she stands her eyes are closed. Obviously something wrong. I've been totally distracted by another chicken whose tongue just had to be surgically replaced, so maybe I wasn't paying enough attention.

I don't know enough to tell if she has sour or impacted crop. It is extremely large and backed up all the way into her esophagus. It feels like a bag of rice or grain--not rock hard at all but rather like it's full of sand. It's squishy and it goes all the way up to her beak. She is letting me massage it and help her, so she's obviously pretty far gone. She normally is not a friendly bird. I don't know what to treat her for--sour or impacted. I've been reading the other forums but I'm just not convinced that I know which thing she has. I have removed food and will check her in the morning again, but I'm afraid this is already pretty advanced. Any help on sour vs. impacted and what actions can be taken when it's already quite bad would be appreciated.
 

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RooandherRooster

Songster
Jul 25, 2019
201
307
126
I haven't dealt with sour crop before but I've heard giving plain yogurt with the electrolytes still in it could help, and even if it's not sour crop it shouldn't hurt her. If it's impacted crop, messaging it is good and even getting her to drink some olive oil or coconut oil could help loosen it, although it does not sound like it's too packed and hard. Does she have foul smelling breath? That could imply sour crop if so, how old is she?
 

Aunt Angus

Crossing the Road
Jul 16, 2018
6,545
16,788
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Nevada County, CA
I've dealt with both. I agree with @RooandherRooster : check her mouth/breath. If it's yeasty smelling, it's sour crop. It usually results from a slow or impacted crop where fungus has invaded the mush that won't pass. You should also isolate her and withhold food overnight and check her crop first thing in the morning. If it's empty, you aren't dealing with a crop problem.

To clear an impacted crop, I give a pea-sized amount of coconut oil and massage the crop for a while, trying to coax the stuff down. I do this 2 or 3x per day until it's empty in the morning.

For souf crop, you gotta feed her antifungal medicine, like monistat. Same deal - a pea sized amount 2x daily for about 7 days (if memory serves). I'd withhold food for half a day or so, too. Feeding her will only make the problem worse. After some time has passed, you can start with some yogurt. Don't withhold water, though.

How's her poop looking? Is she laying? Has she lost weight? I ask because crop issues are sometimes symptoms of another issue.
 

Inkisevidence

Chirping
Dec 25, 2020
55
130
81
Durango, CO
I haven't dealt with sour crop before but I've heard giving plain yogurt with the electrolytes still in it could help, and even if it's not sour crop it shouldn't hurt her. If it's impacted crop, messaging it is good and even getting her to drink some olive oil or coconut oil could help loosen it, although it does not sound like it's too packed and hard. Does she have foul smelling breath? That could imply sour crop if so, how old is she?
I massaged it thoroughly three times yesterday and this morning I checked all of my birds and hers was the only one with food still in it. It was very firm, but she went straight to water and started drinking. Then I gave her 1cc of olive oil as well and massaged it again and everything loosened up some. She doesn't have a bad smell and some of the contents went down compared to yesterday when it was HUGE. Still just feels like a bag of sand. Her poop is liquid black/mucus awful and yesterday was just liquid as well.

She's almost 5 months old and had just started laying. Hard to know about her egg habits yet, but yesterday she was in the box for a long time yet didn't lay. Could she be egg bound?

I want to confirm that I continue withholding food, yes? She is about 18 hours without food now. Should I continue like this until it's cleared?
 

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Aunt Angus

Crossing the Road
Jul 16, 2018
6,545
16,788
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Nevada County, CA
I massaged it thoroughly three times yesterday and this morning I checked all of my birds and hers was the only one with food still in it. It was very firm, but she went straight to water and started drinking. Then I gave her 1cc of olive oil as well and massaged it again and everything loosened up some. She doesn't have a bad smell and some of the contents went down compared to yesterday when it was HUGE. Still just feels like a bag of sand. Her poop is liquid black/mucus awful and yesterday was just liquid as well.

She's almost 5 months old and had just started laying. Hard to know about her egg habits yet, but yesterday she was in the box for a long time yet didn't lay. Could she be egg bound?

I want to confirm that I continue withholding food, yes? She is about 18 hours without food now. Should I continue like this until it's cleared?
I'd give her some food - plain yogurt, maybe scrambled egg. Not a bunch at a time, though.

Glad to hear it's moving a bit. Keep massaging.

You can check for bound egg, but I find that illness will stop egg laying. You can check by inserting a lubricated, gloved finger into her cloaca and feeling. You will feel an egg in there if she's bound.
 

Aunt Angus

Crossing the Road
Jul 16, 2018
6,545
16,788
832
Nevada County, CA
Thought I'd add - I don't withhold for more than 12 hours. A thin mash of pellet and water is good, too. And can you separate her for now, maybe bring her inside? You can observe her better and monitor what she eats and keep an eye on her poop.

Oh - did she poop at all??? DUH! Just saw the pick. If she's pooping, then something is passing through - LOL!
 

Aunt Angus

Crossing the Road
Jul 16, 2018
6,545
16,788
832
Nevada County, CA
Sorry to machine gun post like this... I was looking at her pics again (she's gorgeous!). Her body language does not look good at all. I don't mean to frighten you, but my girl Magnolia presented with an impacted crop, but it was a symptom of an infection, and things didn't end well for her.

If you don't see improvement soon, you might consider antibiotics. I bought some Baytril online. You might buy some if you don't have it. She may not need it, but you don't want to wait for it if you find out she does. It's good to have on hand anyway, just in case of emergency.

Here's where I got mine:
https://allbirdproducts.com/products/baytril-10
 

Inkisevidence

Chirping
Dec 25, 2020
55
130
81
Durango, CO
Sorry to machine gun post like this... I was looking at her pics again (she's gorgeous!). Her body language does not look good at all. I don't mean to frighten you, but my girl Magnolia presented with an impacted crop, but it was a symptom of an infection, and things didn't end well for her.

If you don't see improvement soon, you might consider antibiotics. I bought some Baytril online. You might buy some if you don't have it. She may not need it, but you don't want to wait for it if you find out she does. It's good to have on hand anyway, just in case of emergency.

Here's where I got mine:
https://allbirdproducts.com/products/baytril-10
Thank you for all the advice! She is moving around more today. Not as lethargic or depressed. I’ll give her some yogurt and egg and see how it goes. I’ll also look into the antibiotic—how did you know yours was an infection?
 

Aunt Angus

Crossing the Road
Jul 16, 2018
6,545
16,788
832
Nevada County, CA
Thank you for all the advice! She is moving around more today. Not as lethargic or depressed. I’ll give her some yogurt and egg and see how it goes. I’ll also look into the antibiotic—how did you know yours was an infection?
I found out after the fact because of necropsy results. It's made me a bit jumpy, thought, tbh. It was so sad seeing my Magnolia deteriorate. But I should have seen the signs: depressed body language, lethargy, diarrhea, not wanting to forage with her coopmates, weight loss... She had salpingitis, and by the time the signs manifested, it was too late to save her.

HOWEVER, if I'd have administered the antibiotics when she first laid lash material back in July, I might have saved her. Maybe. So I decided I'd keep it on hand if something ever came up again. If your girl was mine, I wouldn't do antibiotics yet because you are seeing improvement. But if things started going south again, I'd do it. But, again: that loss has made me a little jumpy/paranoid. She died at the end of November, and she's the only loss I've had so far (knock on wood) outside of a shipping disaster with an order of chicks.
 

Bokbokbkaww

Hatching
Jul 14, 2020
6
1
9
We are dealing with a similar issue with our 8 month old hen. Her crop got huge and literally felt like a bag of gravel. We’ve had her inside for several days now giving her four droppers full of olive oil twice a day. She poops out a large pile of gravel every night and her crop has gone down considerably! We offer her scrambled eggs and crushed chicken food but she doesn’t want to eat very much and isn’t really drinking either. Otherwise she seems in good spirits. She had also developed wounds under her crop from trying to lift it in order to walk so we also want those to heal before we let her join the flock. If it clears up we are still concerned about pendulous crop and about her eating more gravel. I’m no expert so any feedback is welcome. Hope this helps.
 

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