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Oh NO! Another problem in our tiny flock... impacted crop now?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by SeaChick, Nov 5, 2007.

  1. SeaChick

    SeaChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    Well, Pheobe's limp seems to be getting slightly better, so that's good.

    But NOW....... Penelope, one of the two new girls, has an ENORMOUS crop. We have been watching it over the last several days, and reading all we can on the internet about impacted crops. I went out last night after they'd been roosting for several hours to see if it was any smaller, and also first thing this morning, but it was still huge (like several golf balls). I will describe the circumstances below, but the main question is: At what point do we need to DO something??? It is not hard yet, feels like modeling clay that can be squished around.

    OK, so in her old home she free-ranged in a dirt yard with no/little access to grass. She had hay/straw in her henhouse.

    Here, I noticed right away she was eating some strands of the hay/straw we have in our run. I thought that seemed bad, but since she had it at home, I assumed she was used to it. Here, also, we have LOTS of grass and she's been out eating grass, bugs, etc for a few hours a day. It is short grass. There's a dish of grit in the henhouse as well as plenty on the ground.

    I don't understand why she would eat more hay/straw here than at her old home, enough to cause a problem. Perhaps the stress of the move is involved somehow? But the crop is huge, it is pushing the breast feathers out in a funny way. She's on the thin side, but she's an EE and as she is new to us I don't know what she felt like to pickup "before"... perhaps she's just a thin/light bird.

    So what do we do? I read that some people have force-fed flax seed oil or mineral oil.... I don't know if that would help if it's really big strands of hay in there though, what do you think?

    Is there anything else we should be doing other than making sure she has fresh water and grit?

    Most important: Has anyone ever had a bird with a crop like this that has recovered without intervention, or is it already an emergency?

    Sheesh.

    Thanks for your input,
    Stacey & Olivia
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2007
  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Forks, Virginia
    You can give her grit and olive oil and withhold her food and remove the material she is eating that might be causing problems and watch her 24 - 48 hours or so.

    If that doesn't help - is there a vet that treats poultry where you are? Is your chicken is declining in health?

    Recently there was a thread about impacted crops - the photos are graphic.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=21291
     
  3. SeaChick

    SeaChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    Thanks MissPrissy- I did read that tread and fervently hope that this can be resolved otherwise.

    I have also read all the threads on the-coop.org about impacted crops, but what I can't decipher is whether this is impacted or sour or what, as it's NOT hard, nor is it sour. Just really enlarged and filled with pliable material (which, yes, feels like it could be a ball of hay). So I don't know what the treatment is at this stage!!

    I should also mention that this is the same hen I spoke of a few days ago who was passing undigested pellets in water, rather than normal poop. I think her poop is more solid now, but greenish. I will watch more today.

    I am reticent to remove her to a dog crate if its not really serious, as she's still having a hard time adjusting to the new place (we just got her last WEds.) and I don't want to stress her any more. On the other hand, if I should be doing something right now to keep it from getting worse, I will.... but what?

    Thanks
     
  4. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

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    Douglasville GA
    You could try feeding her some live culture yogurt.
    Its probiotic and can aid diguestion.
     
  5. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    Jan 11, 2007
    What Miss Prissy suggested (withholding her feed for 24 hours and massaging) is what you should do and if that does not work (and I suspect it has gone on for too long ) then my suggestion is to go to the vet...the feed passage may indicate an underlying condition (do tell your vet about this) and the vet will often need to flush the crop and give an antifungal drug such as nystatin.
     
  6. SeaChick

    SeaChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    WEll, I just went and caught her (she runs away VERY energeticalland massaged the crop for about 10 minutes. I may be imagining it but it seemed to help. Instead of a huge lump bugling through the feathers, it's far more flattened out. I could feel the mass breaking apart and rearranging, not sure if any passed out of the crop though. It could just be more spread out so not so drastic-looking.

    So you guys think its worth stressing her out more at this point--- that I should seperate her and withhold normal feed, just give yogurt?

    I did watch her poop, compared it to the other healthy girls and it looked the same: dark green with some grass fibers in it. Just like the others when they're out eating grass.

    I also watched her eat more straw or hay or whatever in the run. Just small pieces, but still......

    So confirm for me , if you would, whether you'd watch and wait a little longer and leep massaging, or remove her (stress) to a crate, withhold normal food and just give water, ACV, and live yogurt for 24 hours.

    Thanks
    Stacey
     
  7. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    remove her to crate...everything she is eating at the moment is only making things worse (plus since it is not going through she is not getting any nutritional effect from it)..give nothing but water and a bit of medicinal mineral oil and massage the crop...if it is not resolved within 24 hours go to the vet.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2007
  8. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Forks, Virginia
    If she is still eating straw and grass you need to lock her in a cage where she can't eat anymore of it. It will only compound your problems.

    The yogurt is a good idea if you get the crop to start emptying.

    Give her olive oil and some grit for 24 - 48 hours and nothing else but water. You need this mass to begin breaking up and moving through. For her to continue eating straw and grass you are making a larger lump for her crop to have to have try and breakdown.

    I don't think locking her up or separating her is any more stressful than her continuing in this condition. An impacted crop that is not properly managed and treated could cause her death. You will be doing the right thing for her by this action.

    Good luck with her.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2007
  9. SeaChick

    SeaChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    OK, I have had Penelope in a dog crate all afternoon. Poor girl. She wolfed down the plain yogurt I gave her but isn't very interested in water, which is worrisome. Although she runs like mad away from people, she sits quietly while I massage her big crop.[​IMG]

    I have a call in to a vet for advice and am waiting. if I don't hear from her soon I will feed Penelope some olive oil before I go to bed.

    Stacey
     
  10. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Stacey, do you have a vet that will treat chickens? Most vets will not treat a chicken.

    Withhold everything but olive oil and water. The yogurt will give her nourishment but it won't help the crop empty.

    Good luck.
     

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