Mystery Illness, Potentially Crop Related?


Oct 21, 2020
Hello fellow chicken keepers! Looking for insight regarding health concerns in our flock. Here's the scoop (I'll try to be brief):
I noticed one of our hens had been having diarrhea and was losing weight. In addition, her crop was distended. I took her to the vet and he treated her for an impacted and sour crop, and assumed that was causing the weight loss and diarrhea. We were able to get her crop to empty via induced regurgitation and a brief period of food withholding, after which I started her back up on yogurt. Immediately, her crop filled back up and wouldn't empty. I tried giving her plenty of water and massaging the crop to encourage movement, but no luck. Her symptoms got so bad we eventually had to put her down :(
Then, the very next week, I noticed similar symptoms in another bird. Bird number 2 has been having diarrhea and weight loss, followed by crop impaction. I have been unable to induce vomiting and the vet was unable to "flush" the crop impaction. Instead, the vet gave her an antibiotic for an infection (not a yeast infection) detected in the crop. Additionally, I took fecal samples to the vet for worms testing, but all came back negative. In terms of next steps, the vet recommended full blood work up and a C-scan, both of which are outside our budget.
Then, just this morning, bird number 3 and 4 began having diarrhea. In addition to the worms testing, I've inspected birds 2-4 and do not see any external parasites.
Any thoughts as to what might be going on??


BYC Staff
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 24, 2012
The Golden State
If I were in your shoes I would de-worm them even though the fecal was negative.

This is what a vet wrote:
"Prophylactic Deworming
I have been saying this for years (because I have been seeing this for years!) and here it is: Many young and adult birds can be harboring ascarids (especially if they were parent-raised for any length of time) and you can run fecals all day, and guess what? The fecals will almost always be negative. A paper out of the Univ. of Georgia a few years back confirmed this. Many a time I have been a hero when I have dewormed a bird during a second or third opinion, when it passes a pile of ascarids and shocks the owner after being repeatedly told by other vets that "the fecal was negative." Well, deworm it anyway, with something safe. I routinely use pyrantel pamoate, since you can't hurt a bird with it, unless you aspirate it!"


Dec 12, 2019
Did you have a necropsy done on the first bird? If you have a bird die and you have others with similar symptoms, that might be the best way to figure out what is going wrong. :( I'm so sorry this is happening. I empathize so heavily for you right now.

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