Pendulous crop/ Probable impacted gizzard.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by rebrascora, Sep 18, 2016.

  1. rebrascora

    rebrascora Crowing

    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK

    Background story is that I purchased some bantam pekin hens (cochins to you guys in the US) in April this year and after keeping them in for a couple of weeks I free ranged them as I do with most of my flocks. I have a sneaky suspicion that they had not had access to grass before because, let loose on my lawn, they rather gorged themselves on it, certainly in the initial few days/week. I noticed that the two older girls particularly, were getting rather pendulous crops and I started to limit their access. They were laying well though and as is the way of things with this breed, they went broody after a month or so and raised chicks and then came back into lay. The porcelain one came back into lay first and laid an egg a day like clockwork for 16 days, took a day off and then continued to lay. I moved her into my newly set up adult bantam pen with her fellow broody as the chicks were fledged and ready to grow on. She laid eggs for a few more days and then went broody. I left her to it as I was hoping to get enough eggs together for her to hatch, but I noticed that her crop had become particularly distended again. I was giving her a daily massage but as I didn't have her isolated, so wasn't aware of her crop not decreasing overnight or how much she was/wasn't pooping. She seemed otherwise healthy... nice bright comb even for a broody. A week or so later, I decided that it was too late in the season and I didn't want to raise any more chicks this year so I lifted her off her nest and she broke of her broodiness immediately without any other action, but I became more aware, seeing her out and about, that her crop was becoming increasingly pendulous and weighing her down. I also noted that she was targeting the grass although it is less lush in the bantam pen. After massaging her twice a day for several days I decided isolation and limited food was necessary as her crop was not emptying and she was just adding more each day.

    I have had her in a pen on a hard surface for several days now with very restricted food and no bedding.... she was even eating sawdust until I removed that. I am massaging her 3-4 times a day and feeding her a very liquid mash of soaked/fermented pellets and olive oil and of course she has access to plenty of grit. I've tried vomiting her several times without success (maybe I'm not doing it right) and although her crop doesn't smell sour it is quite hot and very pliable. She has been pooping a little (reasonably normal but small and perhaps a little drier than I would like) and her comb is still upright and a good colour and she is active, but she appears to be starving..... ie ravenously hungry... hence eating sawdust bedding when her small mash feed is gone....I give her 2 or 3 of these small feeds a day..... and her keel bone very sharp.

    Taking her to a vet is not an option....I'm pretty sure it is an impacted gizzard which would require surgery, if it was even possible to find a vet who could do it, my resources don't stretch to that....she is not a pet. I'm trying to do the best for her I can whilst she is still looking healthy and active, but just wondering if anyone has any other suggestions.

    I'm feeling really mean restricting her feed when she is obviously hungry, but her crop is full! I'm hoping that the more oily, liquid nourishment will have a better chance of going through her system and I'm going to add Nutridrops to it today when I get some.

    Any other comments welcome. Particularly interested in the experience of people who have chickens with pendulous crops and have used a crop bra and wondering if the pendulous crop is purely a result of an impacted gizzard, as I suspect or if there are other causes and if anyone has chickens that have come back from severe cases of it. Portia's crop is easily the size of a tennis ball, probably nearer a soft ball, which for a bantam is pretty stretched! Wondering if putting her in a chicken sling so that she is in a more upright position rather than tipped forward with the weight of it as she is now and also perhaps cause slight pressure on the crop to encourage discharge down into her gizzard, might help although I'm of the opinion that keeping her mobile is also important for keeping her digestive system moving and perhaps this most recent broody spell has in fact exacerbated the problem.

    Thanks in advance for any input.


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