My 1.5 year old Chicken is lethargic, has swollen crop?

KerriChick

Songster
Aug 5, 2020
107
318
136
East Bay, CA
Brownie is a 1.5 yr old Buckeye who has always had pasty butt issues. She looks terrible in general right now because she is dead smack in the middle of a full molt, which makes this extra worse because I have to handle her.

She is not standing well, and is very lethargic. Usually she is the first to the front of the run for treats and to be let out! Her crop does look a bit swollen, but it is the end of the day so it's hard to tell if it's just full...she is bare there right now due to molt, so it looks extra poofy.

No other birds are acting unwell at all, and I have checked both the coop and birds for parasites and everything looks clear.

As far as I can tell, she has been acting this way since yesterday afternoonish, but at first I thought she was just dust bathing at the front of the coop, not laying down.

She is my 'special' chicken who doesn't lay, she laid last year until late spring and then just stopped, and has laid two eggs randomly since. I think she just has always had reproductive issues.

There are no signs of trauma other than the larger crop. I hope it's not sour crop! :(

She is eating a little feed now(organic pellets), not sure what else she's eaten today, we had some brussel sprout and salad scraps in the bucket for them this morning, along with a small handful of mealworms that they get once each day.

I have given her a butt bath as it was pretty nasty, and she is in a box in our bathroom until she gets dry enough to go back in the coop.

Her poop is kinda white and chalky looking and runny with a strong weirdish smell(not normal poop smell), no parasites visible there either.

So far I have only washed her off in a lukewarm bath and toweled her gently, I was thinking trying some electrolytes. I will look up things to do for sour crop while I am waiting for responses here.

Depending on the general consensus, we will nurse her here or take her to a vet if there is a treatment they can give. If it is a lost cause we will deal with that too.

They are in a prefab coop(4 birds) in fairly close quarters right now, moving them to a bigger roomier coop next week! I have aspen shavings in the floor of the roost area, and just cleaned it well a week ago. They are mostly confined to their run here, but I do let them out to forage a bit-they were out yesterday for a few hours. Maybe she ate something weird?

Here are some pictures of her crop and body, but she just looks so bad because of her molt it's hard to tell what's going on! Her comb is nice and red, so that's good!

Just went to check on her in her box, she's perked up a bit and is standing and eating. Maybe she just needed a spa day?

(warning, chicken poop photo ahead)
 

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Eggcessive

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Apr 3, 2011
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southern Ohio
Is the first picture of her crop or her lower bottom? Check her crop in early morning after she has been without food and water, and let us know if it is empty, full, hard, or puffy. She may have been laying internally for the last year. Crop disorders can be related to reproductive or other problems.
 

KerriChick

Songster
Aug 5, 2020
107
318
136
East Bay, CA
Yes, it is her crop. I will check in the morning. I gently massaged it before I put her back in the coop with her flock for the night. I had no idea it was possible for a chicken to lay internally for that long? She def has had ongoing reproductive issues-eggs always had a bump around the center and she always has poop issues. Her rear/vent feels normalish, no puffiness there. She was more alert and responsive(for it being evening) before I put her in. I will report back! :)
 

KerriChick

Songster
Aug 5, 2020
107
318
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East Bay, CA
OK, so I am keeping her in at night and doing garlic water only for 24 hours for sour crop, and then I will be adding in some probiotics, and as long as her crop is emptying I can start with some scrambled egg as well, and then move on to small amounts of wet feed to see how she tolerates it. Lord knows this was not in my Thanksgiving plans. Hopefully she'll make it, is super lethargic and not walking much...
 

Eggcessive

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Premium Feather Member
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I would stop the garlic. It can be toxic in large amounts. Can you tell us if her crop in the early morning is full or empty, hard or puffy. Those answers will help us help you. A hard full crop in the early morning can be an impacted crop. A puffy crop early am can be a slow or a sour crop. Smell for any odor near her beak. You can try giving a tsp of chilled coconut oil cut into small chips to peck if her crop is full. If it is puffy in the am you can also use miconazole or Monistat cream orally to help if there is a sour crop. I would just give her moistened chicken feed and a little soft egg, but cut out the extras. Here is a good article about crop disorders:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...w-to-know-which-one-youre-dealing-with.73607/
 

KerriChick

Songster
Aug 5, 2020
107
318
136
East Bay, CA
I would stop the garlic. It can be toxic in large amounts. Can you tell us if her crop in the early morning is full or empty, hard or puffy. Those answers will help us help you. A hard full crop in the early morning can be an impacted crop. A puffy crop early am can be a slow or a sour crop. Smell for any odor near her beak. You can try giving a tsp of chilled coconut oil cut into small chips to peck if her crop is full. If it is puffy in the am you can also use miconazole or Monistat cream orally to help if there is a sour crop. I would just give her moistened chicken feed and a little soft egg, but cut out the extras. Here is a good article about crop disorders:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...w-to-know-which-one-youre-dealing-with.73607/
Thank you. This past AM her crop was slightly puffy but more empty, not hard. I can’t smell any odor at her beak and there is no brown fluid or leaking. She is having trouble walking and standing too, just laying down a lot. I will report back tomorrow AM, thank you so much!
 

CalBickieMomma

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Jul 27, 2019
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San Luis Obispo County, CA
Poor bean! If you are pretty sure it is crop issues, it might also be a blockage or partial blockage. Pretty sure this is what happened with my little June Bug when she was only a week or two old - puffy crop full of air/gas I had to massage out. I treated her by giving her olive oil to help loosen up whatever was stuck inside. Fortunately, my Junie is fine now - full grown and no health issues I'm aware of. If the sour crop treatments don't work and you suspect there might be a blockage, it might be worth trying the olive oil. Good luck and hope your girl gets better soon! I also have a Buckeye and they are such wonderful chickens (my CiCi is a snuggle bean :love ).
 

KerriChick

Songster
Aug 5, 2020
107
318
136
East Bay, CA
Update: been doing some coconut oil in the beak in the am sprinkled with probiotic powder. Her crop is emptying(and so uh…is the other end lol) and she is gaining energy and hanging with the girls. I had to put her in the coop the first night but last night she went up by herself! She was pecking at the door with the lot of them to get out this morning. So good to see her energy returning! I will keep up the probiotics and coco oil for a few days until her poo returns more to normal but I think we may be through the worst of it-her feathers are coming in more which will also help keep her warm. This chicken keeps me on my toes 😂
 

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