Is this crop impaction?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by sunflour, Mar 25, 2015.

  1. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

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    One of my 2 yo BO hens may have a crop impaction and need some input on my plan.

    I have read the articles on crop issues and think she has one but is not sick like I would expect.

    She is a glutton, the largest BO in my flock and kinda lazy. Always the first in line for treats. For the past few days, she looks totally normal all day, but afternoon treat time looks like she is having trouble swallowing. But keeps eating! She appears to be able to eat and drink, but frequently opens beak like a minor pant. Her crop is huge, about 1 large handful, but not pendulous. Have not been able to check her crop in the morning, just in the afternoon. Today, she ate boiled eggs and it was obvious a mouthful was still there and she still tried to eat more and more. I was able to take the treat tray away. She continues the panting behavior for a while and then it stops until the next afternoon treat gorge.

    I had a commercial flock block in the run, it was way too soft and just a touch made it fall to pieces, I think she gorged on it. Have removed and discarded it. That's all I can blame on this.

    I don't want to wait til she gets ill. Gonna get Colace and try that tomorrow and will definitely stop any and all treats until this stops. Want to make sure I understand the Colace - 200 mg puncture capsules and mix in baby food or warm boiled egg twice in one day. No treats, but allow her to eat the crumbles food and free access to water. Is that right?

    Will place her in sick bay if she does start to look ill, but for now just limit all in flock to chicken crumbles, grit and water. I am sure I can hand feed her the colace mixture.

    Any input will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I feel it is wise of you to remove treats from her daily ration. Giving your chickens daily treats can throw off their nutrition intake, as they avoid eating their regular food and wait for the treats to come. That could be what's happening here.

    Does she have foul breath at all? Is her crop rock hard or huge and spongy?

    I would encourage you to do everything you can to check it in the morning BEFORE they have access to food. That's the only way to know if her crop is emptying overnight. If you have to, keep her in a crate in the garage. Put her in after they roost, give her water, but withhold food until morning after you check her crop. Since she's feeling well, expect protest, but it's important to know if the crop is impacted/sour.

    The beak opening thing can occur as the chicken adjusts food in their crop. It's often accompanied by a neck stretching motion.

    I would wait to administer medication until we *know* something is wrong. If she's still spry, eating and drinking, there's no need to medicate just yet.

    For sour crop, Monistat is a great treatment for the overgrowth of yeast. You'd have to tube it to her, probably, if we determine that's what it is. For impacted, it may take anything from a little oil and crop massage to surgery.

    Let's hope it's nothing, and she's just a piggy chicken. :)

    MrsB
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2015
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  3. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

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    @MrsBrooke , thanks for reply


    She has no foul breath. Crop consistency is normal but really big. I will be able to check her crop tomorrow am. I have had her since 3 days old, now 2 years, never seen this behavior before the past 3 days. I know something is not right and don't want to wait til she is ill to react. Colace is safe. It is not a medication it is just a stool softener and not absorbed into the bloodstream. And seems it won't hurt her if I am over-reacting. From what I have read oil is a danger of aspiration. And tubing and crop massage is not without problems. I have a sick bay ready if she gets ill, and would do those if necessary. And all treats are on hold…despite loud protests from her flock mates.
     
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    Chickens can eat so much their crops burst. So you might withhold all food the rest of today. And check her crop first thing in the morning. If you have to leave for work or something early, get out to the coop and feel her crop before you leave. If she were my bird, I would put her in a cage the rest of today with nothing but water. I would check her crop in the morning and then make the judgement as to whether she is indeed impacted, slow or normal.

    If she does have an impacted crop tomorrow morning, (a hard ball as opposed to a soft squishy crop) I would go ahead and give her either the Colace or regular Dolculax (Docusate Sodium 100mg) either with a tiny bit of food or right down the throat and nothing else the rest of the day but water. If she has been gorging herself over time, she will have excess weight on her to get her through a day or so without. Give her another tab later in the day. Still only water. If you can get her to drink or can tube water into her, all the better.

    In the future, she will need to be watched with what and how much she eats. Over eating leads to fatty liver disease and other issues along the lines of laying and egg binding from the accumulated fat.
     
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  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    Is she thin at all? Being thin and gorging themselves can be caused from worms in the intestines. These worms eat all the food the bird consumes and hence the bird knows it is starving and will gorge on feed.
     
  6. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

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    She is definitely not thin, she is a fatty.
     
  7. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    Ok then worms are probably not the case. Maybe she is low in the pecking order and feels threatened at the feeder so she gorges on food when she can in case later she gets run off?
     
  8. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    For now, I would cage her as I suggested above and check her crop in the morning to see if it empties out properly. If it seems to empty ok, then I would limit goodies with her from now on. She may not gorge as much on regular feed as she might on pecking blocks, scratch or other goodies.
     
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  9. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    Keep us posted here! :)
     
  10. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

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    @TwoCrows

    thank you so much. We just put her in the garage/basement sick bay. a 2 x4 dog crate I hoped I would never need. Honestly, I was afraid she would go crazy with the confinement. DH just picked her up and we placed her in the cage…She is subdued, and quietly looking around at the cage..I feel so relieved, now can control her intake..Only water tonite and will check her in am.

    Thanks so much for advice.

    Will let you know tomorrow what I find.
     
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