Pigged out all day, but crop is empty at bedtime???

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by gritsar, May 29, 2010.

  1. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I started to put this under the feeding category, but feel it belongs better here.
    Lilith is one of my two year old, buff LF brahma hens. When she was about 10 months old, she ate some broken glass. She's had trouble keeping weight on ever since. She'll do okay for awhile, put on weight, start laying again and then her weight drops down to next to nothing again.
    She doesn't have any other issues other than that broken glass she swallowed, she seems happy enough (not in pain, although chickens are very stoic), wanders around all day with the rest of my free range flock.
    She hasn't laid recently, but I'm fairly certain that's because of her weight being low. It doesn't matter to me if she never lays another egg.
    Since her weight bottomed out recently I've been giving her special treats daily. Alot of mac 'n cheese. Not great nutritionally, but she loves it and it is fattening.
    Today I didn't bother with the mac 'n cheese because she had (together with the rest of the flock) blueberries, pancakes, blackberries, scrambled egg and bread. I know she ate some of all of that, plus her layer feed.
    Yet I just checked her crop and whereas all the others are so full they're bulging, Lilith's is soft and fairly empty.
    What gives?
    I asked DH if he thought perhaps her crop has a hole in it and the food is going into her abdominal cavity instead, but he believes that if that were the case she'd have died long ago from peritonitis.
    I won't cull her unless her quality of life erodes.
    I just don't understand where her food is going. [​IMG]
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I don't normally bump my threads, but I could use some fresh perspective on this.
     
  3. SpringChickens

    SpringChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 1, 2009
    College Station, Tx
    No idea, but I'll agree with your hubby that she can't have a hole in her crop. She would have succumbed to an infection a LONG time ago.

    She may have severed the sphincter muscle that regulates the emptying of her crop, or a nerve which controls it. With a flaccid sphincter, she won't be able to keep food in her crop so it will just go straight through. That could be why she's not gaining weight also - she wouldn't have a "store" of food to digest through the day.

    My best advice : just keep watching her and babying her. I hope she starts gaining weight soon! Good luck!
     
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:That makes alot of sense, thanks! [​IMG]
    So long as Lilith continues to behave as normally as the other chickens do, I'll continue to baby her and hope that she lives a long, happy life.
     

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