Moldy waterer! Now 2 sick hens. Crop/ intestinal issues.

Amelia Egghart

Songster
Jul 8, 2015
684
284
196
Fallbrook, CA
It's like the bird issues never end! Who said chickens were easy again??

ACV: apple cider vinegar
ACS: acidified copper sulfate

Ok so about a week ago I noticed a hen had runny poo and a dirty butt. I washed her a couple days ago and found she had a squishy crop as well. She's a 4 year old marans from a good breeder but she's a big girl and usually gets a squishy crop when she molts (and she's indeed molting). I think no big deal, cage her up and do ACS water until she's better.

Then I see Dirty Butt 2 out there and figure I'll give that one a bath too. This one is a scrawny, skinny, mean little hatchery stock 2 year old ancona (cute as all heck but don't mess with her! Her nickname is Chola). I finally catch her and get her washed up. She's got an empty crop, her body is wider and she's got a full, hard abdomen. What is THAT?! so I feel her all around: her hips have widened up so she might be laying internally? I didn't feel anything egg like though. Her poops are mostly yellow mucousy urates. I don't see her straining to poop or lay and she hasn't laid an egg in several months anyway.

Environmental issues:
• They were wormed for roundworms about a month ago with valbazen.

• It's been pretty hot n humid.

• Lots of rats in the feed - I think I finally killed the last rat because now I'm seeing mice poop

• I took apart their waterer and found black moldy spots and bright green moldy streaks in it. Yech!!

I threw out the waterer and grabbed a clean one from the garage. The other birds are totally fine.

So last night my marans gorged food and this morning her crop is still full. She pooped mostly water with some digested food. Slow crop? My treatment plan for her is isolation with probiotic water until her crop goes down then liquid food and ACS water until the crop is no longer squishy and her poop firms up. Her attitude is normal.

The Ancona though... I've never felt a body get wide and firm. She isn't doing the weird stuck egg body position and she's not tail bobbing but.... yikes. I have her isolated with regular feed and ACV water. Her crop is empty. She barely eats or drinks.

Ideas? Suggestions?
 

Wyorp Rock

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Ok so about a week ago I noticed a hen had runny poo and a dirty butt. I washed her a couple days ago and found she had a squishy crop as well. She's a 4 year old marans from a good breeder but she's a big girl and usually gets a squishy crop when she molts (and she's indeed molting). I think no big deal, cage her up and do ACS water until she's better.

Chola). I finally catch her and get her washed up. She's got an empty crop, her body is wider and she's got a full, hard abdomen. What is THAT?! so I feel her all around: her hips have widened up so she might be laying internally? I didn't feel anything egg like though. Her poops are mostly yellow mucousy urates. I don't see her straining to poop or lay and she hasn't laid an egg in several months anyway.

Lots of rats in the feed - I think I finally killed the last rat because now I'm seeing mice poop

I took apart their waterer and found black moldy spots and bright green moldy streaks in it. Yech!!

So last night my marans gorged food and this morning her crop is still full. She pooped mostly water with some digested food. Slow crop? My treatment plan for her is isolation with probiotic water until her crop goes down then liquid food and ACS water until the crop is no longer squishy and her poop firms up. Her attitude is normal.

The Ancona though... I've never felt a body get wide and firm. She isn't doing the weird stuck egg body position and she's not tail bobbing but.... yikes. I have her isolated with regular feed and ACV water. Her crop is empty. She barely eats or drinks.

I'm sorry your having trouble :hugs

It sounds like you are getting on top of things. You may find the articles below helpful for dealing with the crop issues. ACS can help with sour crop. If the crop is slow, firmish and not emptying properly, coconut oil is sometimes helpful as well. (it's discussed in the links)

O.k. you have more than one thing going on...Chola...she has an empty crop, wide/full and hard abdomen, hasn't laid in a few months - sadly, those symptoms do most of the time describe a reproductive issue - Egg Yolk Peritonitis, cancer, Salpingitis, Internal Laying and sometimes complications with Ascites. A lot of times, if the condition is due to reproductive issues, the best we can do is offer supportive care - encourage eating/drinking, vitamins, checking the crop, monitoring for lice/mites, worming if necessary and draining fluid if it's needed - none of these are a cure unfortunately. Once they decline, refuse to eat/drink, etc., kindly put them out of their misery :hugs

Is there a way you can take up your feed stations at night? That can help with the rodents, but you may need to do some trapping too.

https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...w-to-know-which-one-youre-dealing-with.73607/
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/impacted-slow-and-sour-crops-prevention-and-treatments
 

Amelia Egghart

Songster
Jul 8, 2015
684
284
196
Fallbrook, CA
Wyorp, you've been spot on in the past with my other birds. When I first took this ancona hen in I told my roommate I had a bad feeling that'd we'd lose her to reproductive issues. She laid multiple double yolk eggs and they were all HUGE compared to her body size.

The marans eventually digested the stuff she crammed into her crop last night and what was left in there was doughy. Like playdoh! I massaged it some and put her in the crate with no food and ACS water. I'll keep doing that.

Thanks for the links. More reading for me.
 

Wyorp Rock

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Wyorp, you've been spot on in the past with my other birds. When I first took this ancona hen in I told my roommate I had a bad feeling that'd we'd lose her to reproductive issues. She laid multiple double yolk eggs and they were all HUGE compared to her body size.

The marans eventually digested the stuff she crammed into her crop last night and what was left in there was doughy. Like playdoh! I massaged it some and put her in the crate with no food and ACS water. I'll keep doing that.

Thanks for the links. More reading for me.
I'm sorry about the Ancona, it's so sad when they have reproductive problems. I usually pet mine along until they really start to decline. I'm petting along one of my older BR's right now, swollen abdomen and she's having some crop problems too. Her's is quite doughy, so I've given coconut oil and a stool softener to help break it up. I've had some success by doing that - a lot depends on how much internal swelling there is.

Hopefully the Marans, you can get that corrected in now time since it has gone down.

Keep me posted :hugs
 

Amelia Egghart

Songster
Jul 8, 2015
684
284
196
Fallbrook, CA
That article was the first I've read about using a stool softener. Massage might be working. It's still big but the consistency feels different.

The ancona finally ate a bit so i'm waiting to see what comes out the other end.

It's possible the ancona got a backlog of worms. I don't think her previous owner dewormed her so she got valbazen as a first time wormer. Don't know if that's an issue but maybe ducolax to the rescue? What's the stool softener you use and dosage?

Uuuuugh. I'm sorry to hear about your BR. How old is she? They have such great personalities. This part of raising them sucks.
 

Wyorp Rock

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Sep 20, 2015
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That article was the first I've read about using a stool softener. Massage might be working. It's still big but the consistency feels different.

The ancona finally ate a bit so i'm waiting to see what comes out the other end.

It's possible the ancona got a backlog of worms. I don't think her previous owner dewormed her so she got valbazen as a first time wormer. Don't know if that's an issue but maybe ducolax to the rescue? What's the stool softener you use and dosage?

Uuuuugh. I'm sorry to hear about your BR. How old is she? They have such great personalities. This part of raising them sucks.
I'm glad she finally ate a little.
How did you dose her with the Valbazen, did you repeat in 10days?

If you try the stool softener, make sure it's stimulant free (not a laxative).

My girl is over 4yrs and hasn't really laid eggs much all summer, I knew she would be heading for some trouble. Now how long she will go, it's hard to know, so I just enjoy her while she's here. Her name is Freeda and she's my avatar :love
 

Amelia Egghart

Songster
Jul 8, 2015
684
284
196
Fallbrook, CA
Valnazen suspension was given by weight of each bird (really helpful housemate!) and repeated in 10 days. I'm pro team tube feed after that learning experience with my poor rooster so giving liquid meds is easy.

I haven't been out to the store yet to find a non laxative stool softener but had good luck it *seemed* with sunflower oil last night. The doughy clogged crop of the marans reduced in volume and texture became less dense after massaging (which she liked and came back for! She's NOT a human social bird so that was funny). However, overnight it grew a ton in size and density. Uuuuugh!

The ancona has perked up a bit with her time inside and with access to food and water without being bullied. I have multiple stations outside but she gets stalked by an evil Easter Egger (my profile pic bird). Her abdomen is still hard and wide but she's pooping much more normally and her attitude is better. So i guess i'll just keep her chugging along until i see her struggle.

I'm letting them range outside right now while it's cool to stretch their legs, maintain pecking order and hopefully some motion will help the marans get some of that stuff through her crop. I gave her oil again this morning. Birds!!
 

Wyorp Rock

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Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 20, 2015
38,459
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Southern N.C. Mountains
Valnazen suspension was given by weight of each bird (really helpful housemate!) and repeated in 10 days. I'm pro team tube feed after that learning experience with my poor rooster so giving liquid meds is easy.

I haven't been out to the store yet to find a non laxative stool softener but had good luck it *seemed* with sunflower oil last night. The doughy clogged crop of the marans reduced in volume and texture became less dense after massaging (which she liked and came back for! She's NOT a human social bird so that was funny). However, overnight it grew a ton in size and density. Uuuuugh!

The ancona has perked up a bit with her time inside and with access to food and water without being bullied. I have multiple stations outside but she gets stalked by an evil Easter Egger (my profile pic bird). Her abdomen is still hard and wide but she's pooping much more normally and her attitude is better. So i guess i'll just keep her chugging along until i see her struggle.

I'm letting them range outside right now while it's cool to stretch their legs, maintain pecking order and hopefully some motion will help the marans get some of that stuff through her crop. I gave her oil again this morning. Birds!!
Hopefully the crop will continue to empty on out, sometimes you just have to keep working on it. If it keeps filling up, then it may eventually turn sour so watch for that too.

I'm glad that Ancona has perked up a bit, sometimes they do if they get a little special attention. Stress (being stalked ) can make things worse. Yes, hens can be quite nasty to each other. It's good they can be outside for a while though.
 

Amelia Egghart

Songster
Jul 8, 2015
684
284
196
Fallbrook, CA
I drained some fluid out of my Ancona hen and it's cloudy. :(

She's acting ok and hoping will perk up after this. I started her on metronidazole last night (125mg BID). Is there a better drug for her to be on? The plan is to keep her on metronidazole for 5 days.

20190912_093659.jpg
 

Wyorp Rock

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Sep 20, 2015
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Southern N.C. Mountains
I drained some fluid out of my Ancona hen and it's cloudy. :(

She's acting ok and hoping will perk up after this. I started her on metronidazole last night (125mg BID). Is there a better drug for her to be on? The plan is to keep her on metronidazole for 5 days.

View attachment 1905825
I'm glad you were able to drain her, hopefully that will make her more comfortable.

Metronidazole would not be my first choices for treating reproductive related issues, it's more commonly used to treat canker which is caused by a protozoa.

Personally, I would use either Baytril or Amoxicillin. Do keep in mind that Baytril is banned in the US for use in egg layers, but often vets will prescribe it. There is not much information or research on the drug residue in eggs. Do some research on it, since she's a pet and not really laying eggs...if she does eventually, then throw out the eggs for a period of time.

You can order Baytril online here:
https://allbirdproducts.com/products/baytril-10

Amoxicillin, I have seen in Tractor Supply. It's sold as Fish Mox, if you don't see it there, you can order it online through pet supply stores like this:
https://www.jefferspet.com/products/amoxicillin-250mg-jar100-fish-mox
 

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