Lethargic chicken, discolored comb, vertebral bones in crop, possible impaction? laying issues.

Sep 27, 2021
Rosalie is a 5 year old Redstar hen.

She usually lays almost every day unless molting. She stopped laying about last week. She has regularly had brittle shells all her life which I've found to be related to some kid of vitamin D deficiency as her eggs are reasonably hard when I give her vitamin D.

It's been super hot recently, so I've been trying to keep the chickens cool. Another one has been panting a lot all week. I noticed Rosalie panting a little last Thursday and dunked her in some water to cool her off. She seemed normal Thursday. I was concerned about impacted crop with 2 others last week because I opened up the chicken pasture and they devoured it in a day or two, but I checked their crops in the morning and they were fine. I had noticed a small "Ball" in the crop of one of the others, but it was gone by morning.

Rosalie has seemed off the past few days. She hasn't been laying for over a week, and her last few eggs have been broken and she ate them. she's not eating anyone else's eggs, so I assume hers broke when she laid them and then she ate them, but the last one I can't tell if it broke inside or outside. I did find some egg insides on the nest, but nothing since.

She hasn't hardly been eating or drinking. She'll drink some water if I sprinkle baby oatmeal on it. She'll eat pellets if I take them out of the feeder and put them in front of her.

She's lethargic. Her comb is flopped over and purple on the edges.

Last night I had to pick her up and put her on a roost, though she made it upstairs.

Her poop is runny and she has some stuck to her backside under her cloaca. I intended to administer some clotrimazole this morning for suspected vent gleet.

Today I picked her up in the morning when I let them out (there's no food in their coop) and I noticed her crop was still full. I fed them some leftover cooked chicken carcass last Thursday or Friday. I brought her in and gave her some olive oil and water with a syringe and tried to massage it down, which revealed she has a number of vertebral bones in her crop. I'm guessing that may be causing the blockage. She's eaten whole mice before without any problems I'm concerned they may be stuck in her crop indefinitely. Is that a thing? She seemed to perk up a bit after I administered the liquid and massaged, but I put her in a fresh, uneaten pasture and she just stood there and pooped water. I put her back in the run. She's my head hen, and no one else dares bother her, even when she's sick.

I'd rather not take her to the vet if I don't have to. The vet nearby us doesn't really like birds. We brought him one to put down after an attack. I also don't want to spend a fortune on an old bird, but I'd like to help her if I can.

No pics right now.

Urban Coop Company round top coop. Flock fresh bedding. Waterer in coop, no food in coop.
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Do you feel a ball or mass in her crop? if her eggs are brittle, i would feed her some oyster shells. perhaps giving her some sugar or electrolyte water would help give her some energy. @azygous
Do you feel a ball or mass in her crop? if her eggs are brittle, i would feed her some oyster shells. perhaps giving her some sugar or electrolyte water would help give her some energy. @azygous
I feel the vertebrae bones from a chicken neck in her crop.

Her eggshells are usually thin regardless of oyster shell or feeding eggshells back etc. I have to give her calcium with vitamin D otherwise she doesn't absorb it.

She won't touch vitamin/electrolyte water, but I've been giving her water with baby oatmeal sprinkled in it. When my son had severe vomiting and we didn't have Pedialyte that's what the on call nurse told me to give him for electrolytes.
That’s strange, is her crop completely empty?
No, her crop was full when she woke up this morning, as I wrote above. I gave her some water and olive oil and massaged it and could clearly feel a number of vertebral bones of varying sizes inside once I got everything else broken up and squishy. I could palpate them and move them around and could clearly feel all sides of them and they were definitely vertebrae, not rocks. It's not all that strange considering she ate from a chicken carcass at the end of last week. I'm guessing she swallowed the neck whole like the swallows mice.

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