Not having much luck dealing with impacted crop - need help

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by donnavee, Sep 4, 2011.

  1. donnavee

    donnavee Chillin' With My Peeps

    759
    13
    151
    May 7, 2009
    Central NC
    On Friday we went to a chicken dealer in the Raleigh area to get a Golden Comet pullet and decided to also get a SLW 1 yr old hen to keep her company until she could be integrated into our flock. This is a reputable dealer, NPIP certified and had a nice clean looking operation so we didn't expect to have any problems.

    When we got the birds home and into their temporary quarters with food & water, the Comet began eating & drinking but the hen didn't seem interested - even meal worms didn't tempt her. I chalked it up to adjusting to new owners and the trip.

    So yesterday, she still didn't seem interested in food and what I was just a very docile hen is more like a lethargic hen. Also noticed that sometimes she moves her head from side to side and acts like she is trying to swallow. When she does this, her crop sort of bulges out. I could feel a hard knot in her crop which I tried massaging and then she made a little gurgle sound and I held her upside down and up came the little bit of egg she had eaten along with what looked like some grain - very sour smelling. I called the person I got the chickens from and he said he had never heard of an impacted crop and he was sure she was perfectly healthy and just had an upset tummy. I guess being NPIP certified doesn't necesarily mean you know much about chickens.

    So, I managed to get a little olive oil into her mouth which she hated and got her to eat a little egg yolk to which I added some oil as well. I have mixed Braggs vinegar in her water since she does drink some. Her poop is also very watery. I have massaged and massaged and I don't feel the hard knot any longer but she really doesn't seem much better. This morning she came out of her house for a bit but wanted no food - just drank a little. She still moves her head from side to side and does the swallowing thing. I tried massaging again, but she really protested. She moves around, but sort of in slow motion - seams to prefer sitting in her house.

    So, I made a 100 mile round trip and paid $20 for a hen that has what I'm pretty sure is impacted crop. And naturally, she isn't much company for the Golden Comet. I feel pretty stupid. [​IMG]

    Any advice on anything else I can try. I know I am not up to doing surgery on her. Thanks.
     
  2. Mavrik

    Mavrik Chillin' With My Peeps

    263
    14
    111
    Jun 15, 2011
    Oil isn't good for a chicken, use about 5cc of water then message and wait an hour or so for a poop. If no results try it the next day (you don't want to damage the crop), this time message with it's body tilted head down, don't leave the head down for more that a minute at a time. Make sure you gently work the crop near the bottom toward the breast.
     
  3. donnavee

    donnavee Chillin' With My Peeps

    759
    13
    151
    May 7, 2009
    Central NC
    Gee, I didn't know oil would hurt them - I had read it was good to lubricate. OK, I'll try the water - she just threw up some more, but it didn't have any solids in it - just foul smelling liquid. She does poop, but it is watery.

    Do I massage in an upward motion or downward? So, if I'm holding her upside down - do I massage up toward her head?
     
  4. Mavrik

    Mavrik Chillin' With My Peeps

    263
    14
    111
    Jun 15, 2011
    Oil is just not natural as water and water works fine.

    It the crop hard or soft? Hard it impacted, soft may be sour crop.
     
  5. donnavee

    donnavee Chillin' With My Peeps

    759
    13
    151
    May 7, 2009
    Central NC
    It seems hard. When I first felt her crop, it felt like a very hard ball. Since I have started massaging and she has thrown up some stuff, the hard area seems a bit smaller - but the stuff that does come up is very sour smelling.
     
  6. Mavrik

    Mavrik Chillin' With My Peeps

    263
    14
    111
    Jun 15, 2011
    What I do is gently knead the crop, what your trying to accomplish is loosen the contents, the water gives it someplace to "float" to. Take special care to knead at the bottom toward the breast, this is likely where the blockage is. You don't want to overwork a crop, maybe four times a day, plus you need to give it time to see if it started flowing, thick poop maybe 1-3 hours latter. The chicken WON'T just keel over and die from the lack of food for a few days, but the lack of water it will. Another reason to use water instead of oil.

    The throwing up and sour smell sounds more like sour crop. In this case you want to add water, lean the bird down, and work the the crop toward the head to empty the crop.

    Sounds like you have a cross between the two, the impacted blockage turned into sour crop.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by