Opinion Wanted - Egg Bound, Impacted Crop or other ?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by DTRM30, Dec 11, 2010.

  1. DTRM30

    DTRM30 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a tiny - and I mean tiny - my towel weighs more than she does - silkie. (she just about fits in the palm of my hand and she's 6 months old - a good 1/4 to 1/3 less in size then my other silkies) She seemed fine earlier this week - I did see her outside in the run - but I didn't get out to the coop every day due to lots of kid things this past week. Thursday night I went out to be sure they had feed and water and I noticed her sitting in the corner trying to get as close as she could to her coop-mates and she was making a quiet but constant chickie noise (can't really describe it here, not really a distress sound, not the agitated sound they all give me b/c they haven't been let out in over a month and not the chicken purr either - to me it was more of - well - a complaint). I figured she was cold (it's her first winter) - as it was down to about 9 F. Left her to snuggle with her coop mates. In the a.m. I went back out to be sure their water wasn't frozen (of course, it was grrr) - and to check on her and saw that she was still in the same state - and not up and about like the rest. I immediately brought her in, but didn't have a lot of time to do much other than be sure she was warm and had access to food and water until I got home from work. (DH must really LOVE me - she was in my small animal cage on the kitchen counter top - had to keep her out of reach from the dog) She was just kinda half sitting and not walking well. She seemed very weak but didn't seem really hunched or fluffed but her head was down - not dragging the ground down, but kinda just tucked in like a turtle. My first assumption was being that she's close to laying maybe she became egg bound with her first egg - that perhaps it's misshapen or whatever. I don't think it would be a soft-shelled egg as I started giving them layer feed with the rest of the flock anticipating that they'd be laying any time now. I got home from work and prepared to give her a long warm soak - and once in the water I found she was very thin. I didn't see any abdominal swelling and didn't feel anything - other than she was getting pretty bony so I figure a stuck egg should be noticible- though I've never felt what egg binding feels like before either. I did notice however that her crop was extremely large and extremely hard. It seemed moreso than normal. So then my thought was impacted crop. She is the runt of the group and is probably last to get to eat - maybe she ate too much too fast. They don't have hay/straw in their coop. Just shavings. But occassionally one steps on and breaks an egg and that egg sure doesn't last long. Perhaps she ate some shavings with broken egg ? Their run is a covered converted dog kennel that is filled with gravel to keep it more sanitary (reduce mud, it stays dry to avoid foot issues and poop issues - just turn over the gravel now and then and the poops fall to the bottom, plus their scratching around in it tuns it over as well). Anyway - I cut the bath short, dried her with my hair dryer so she didn't catch a chill, wrapped her in a towel and dribbled about 1 tsp of olive oil and about 1 tsp of water into her mouth. She did readily swallow - so no force feeding, just prying her mouth open to dribble in. Massaged the golf-ball like crop for about 15minutes and place her back to rest. I checked her about 6 hours later and her crop was softer but still very full, and she did seem to protest more to having another 1/2 tsp of olive oil and some water dribbled in. It took two people. I massaged again for about 15 min. She is still extremely weak though and is just hanging out sleeping. She does not have labored breathing but appears to be weak and has trouble standing. One thing I did see - I did physically see her poop - and it appeared normal - but I only saw the once. so I'm still thinking it's not egg binding. Any thoughts ? I'm wondering if she is being kept from the food causing her to be thin - or if it really was just an impacted crop that may have been building up - though I'm not sure what could have caused it. Their diet right now is standard pellets with a scoop or two of scratch grain tossed into the run to keep them busy for at least a few minutes. She doesn't appear to have been picked on too much by the others - and right at this moment she is sitting in a little towel nest on the sofa sleeping with her head tucked under her wing but every now and then looks around with that little soft complaint - then tucks her head back under her wing. My only other thought would be worms ? I haven't seen any but that doesn't mean a whole lot. I didn't see any in her poop today - but I also didn't worm them this summer like I had planned on. Just never got to it. I don't want to do it now with her being so weak - and all the other hens seem fine - though I'll get a better check on them tomorrow to be sure they don't feel thin. I know this has gotten long, so what do you think ? Egg, Crop or Worms ? Maybe a combination ? Too much calcium too soon ? Who knows. I'm just trying to trouble shoot to see which course of action I should head to first and was looking for second, third, fourth .... etc. opinions. Thanks everyone [​IMG]

    EDIT :
    I'm heading to bed, so I took her from her towel nest and placed her back in her cage on the floor near (near, not next to ) our pellet stove where it's a warm, quiet, dark and cozy area out of the way - and she had pooped in the towel while sleeping I guess. ANyway - it's small - looks more like the size of a 6 week old chick poop, but is not runny, has regular brown stuff and white urates ... pretty normal other than small.

    Thanks again if you read this -
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2010
  2. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

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    wow--you are doing exactly what I would do and suggest... The only other thing is to wet food down for her with a little water and olive oil-I had a tiny bantam that this happened to all the time-I just had to keep doing the oil-massaging -fed her scrambeled eggs/yogurt with olive oil-added some polyvisol drops ( baby drops) non iron to make sure any amount of food or liquid she did consume has nutritional benefits. Thats all I can suggest-sounds like your right on target. Your right I don't know if I would worm her in such a weak state though-but "when" she does perk back up and returns to her normal state, I woulds suggest worming them all and get it over with:) I wish you luck and keep us posted on her progress
     
  3. DTRM30

    DTRM30 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks [​IMG] I guess it's just reassurance that I'm on the right track [​IMG]

    Here's the update -

    Made some scrambled eggs for all of them this am as a nice protein treat - saved some for my little silkie. I only gave her about a tablespoon of scrambled egg mixed with about a tablespoon of olive oil.
    She's doing much better today - drinking on her own and standing - and sounding better too - she LOVED the small bit of egg ...

    I checked her crop before feeding her - it was much smaller, though still not empty - I would like to have withheld food until it was empty, but she was so weak I wanted to get some nourishment into her.

    I think she'll be OK

    [​IMG]
     
  4. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

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    onchiota NY
    just keep doing what your doing-she sounds like she's on the road to recovery-- [​IMG] reassurance is the best-eggs are a great protein treat for them when they are down and out:-(

    good luck keep us posted [​IMG]
     
  5. DTRM30

    DTRM30 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 25, 2009
    Well, my little chicken still seems no better, but not worse.
    She will eat small amounts at a time, which is fine. But she's not drinking from what I can see. I've dribbled water into her mouth to get at least some fluid into her. She's very thin - you feel just about every bone in her body. She occassionally will stand, but mostly just sits and sleeps. Her eyes are clear, and when she is awake she is alert. no discarge from her nose, no labored breathing, no open mouth breathing. She does seem to be shaking her head a lot during and immediately after eating. For a chicken that you could hardly get near when in their run - she sure isn't complaining about sitting in a towel nest in the house and hasn't objected to being handled. I thought she had become thin from an impacted crop that went unnoticed that was interfearing with her eating and with it being cold - she just declined quickly - and she at least is no longer doing her little chickie complaint noises. Her crop has felt good and her poops seem normal. She did have an extremely hard and large crop when I first brough her in and I did the oil/massage thing and she perked up slightly. I saw her poop 3 times in about an hours time while sitting with her to spoon feed her some water. I"ve been feeding her food soaked in water to get fluid in her as well. Any thoughts ? I'm mostly worrked about her lack of interest in water and trying to figure out what caused her weight loss.

    I did have another silkie who died a few weeks ago, but I think it was from old age - she showed no symptoms of anything - she was fine one day - running around and being a chicken - to being found dead the next in the run. We had gotten her from a breeder - just as a pet as my kids love the silkies just to look at - so I'm not sure just how old she really was. She wasn't really laying that I could tell (have another younger silkie that I KNOW is only two because I got her as a chick - and am only getting one egg every few days - so that clued me in that the other wasn't laying) so I figured she was an older bird - probably about 4 or more even though I had asked for a younger bird when we got her. I did watch them for a bit today when feeding/watering and I normally watch them for about 5-10 minutes when I'm out there to be sure they seem OK and that there aren't any problems - and all seem fine. I'm beginning to wonder if there is something going on and that her death is connected ... I sure hope not !
     
  6. upitty

    upitty Chillin' With My Peeps

    I had a hen once (Rhode Island Red) that died of impacted crop. The only thing strange about my case was she ate about two hand-fulls of crusher-dust that I'd left sitting in a bucket (we had just layed down some bricks). I'd never heard of impacted crop until I searched the web for symptons. Has your hen had access to any form of small rocks such as crusher dust? In the end I tried syringe/spoon feeding her with a mixture of water and oats (pounded/chopped into fine pieces). Good-luck with you hen.[​IMG]
     

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