Please help, thinking crop or parasite?

K_UU

Chirping
Jun 15, 2020
25
33
61
Ontario, Canada
Sorry for the length, just trying to get all the symptoms.
Three days ago, I let the hens out into their large run and sat with them for a bit. Everyone was exuberant and active, especially Penny who follows me around. I left for work and since it was a nice day, I came home at lunch to let them out to free range. Penny was sitting alone and didn’t come running to see me.
We are still waiting for her to lay her second egg. Her first was over 3 weeks ago, so I took her up to the coop thinking she might lay but she came back down to their “balcony” and I went back to work. She stayed there all day and when I got home she seemed very uncomfortable. I thought maybe a bound egg. Did the warm bath and set up a crate in the house. She ate scrambled eggs and drank. Every now and then she would close her eyes and grimace, and appear to strain. Scant droppings, hardly a thing and quite wet.
By morning she wanted OUT and seemed herself again. Had a huge poop on my floor. Perky. Took her back to the coop/run. It was another lovely day so at lunch I let them out to free range and she bolted out with the others.
She was the last to come up to roost that night which was odd, but she jumped up and settled in.
Morning had two loose dropping under her. By evening she had not left her roost and very watery droppings under her.
Took her back in the house, she was very wobbly on her feet and would zone out and sorta crash in my arms, the floor, anywhere. Her crop felt like a small hard acorn. I massaged it and it disappeared. I gave her a bit of water with a dropper. Another warm bath (there’s no egg in there that I can feel) then into her crate. She just laid down and fell asleep. By 9:30, in the dark, she was eating the scrambled egg I made her. Won’t drink though.
This morning, perky again, pecking at bits in her crate. Came out and had a ginormous poop. Dark green and white. Saw no worms. Then she seemed to tire so she went back in her crate.
She keeps sort of snapping her beak and moving her tongue. Kinda like they would do after drinking but she’s not drinking.
No bad smell coming from her.
Any thoughts?
 

Peaches Lee

Crowing
11 Years
Sep 19, 2010
2,268
1,110
361
Pennsylvania
Some of those symptoms seem almost neurologic (wobbly, zoning out). Have you checked where she free ranges for any non-edible food she could be getting into? If I'm correct, she seems off after she's been out free-ranging correct?
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
5 Years
Apr 9, 2016
14,342
19,983
832
California's Redwood Coast
We are still waiting for her to lay her second egg. Her first was over 3 weeks ago,
Welcome to BYC! :frow

Sorry your pullet is unwell. :hmm

What is her actual age, breed, and usual feed including treats and supplements? Also any recent changes or additions? How many birds in how much space? Any prior unexplained deaths?

Checking crop was a great first choice, nice thinking! I'm not 100% sure that's ruled out completely.. but you are already going to check again.

I agree it sounds somewhat neurological.. leading to toxin, nutritional deficit, or Marek's as my top suspects.

Any possible oil spill, cleaner, herbicide, pesticide, moldy or contaminated feed from rats/rain, etc?

Egg binding is deadly fast.. under 48 hours. One egg and then a long break is NOT uncommon for a new layer at THIS time of year since lay hormone is light induced and genetics dependent.

However, with your description I would be on the look out for POSSIBLE internal laying, egg yolk peritonitis, salpingitis, etc.. Or maybe even salmonella. Did she ever have to be treated for coccidiosis when younger? Do you have any means of getting a fecal float to check for internal parasite load? It seems an unlikely cause, but ruling out things is better than throwing random fixes at unidentified causes.

Are you noticing any heavy breathing, wheezing, or sneezing? Limping

But some of your answers might help hone in on actual cause. Please don't jump to conclusions over any of my suggestions! I'm just brainstorming here..

Hope she recovers quickly! :fl
 

K_UU

Chirping
Jun 15, 2020
25
33
61
Ontario, Canada
Thank you for your replies - sorry for the delay!
She's a 7 month old SS. Free access to layer crumble and water, was free ranging all over the farm for most of the late summer until the snow started. Now they have access to a 15 x 30 run plus coop. If the weather is nice and I'm home, they go out free ranging still for a few hours.
So the update...I kept trying to get water into her and did put a few drops of olive oil in her beak, massaged her crop again. She rested in her crate for a few hours and seemed perky so I took her out to the coop with me while I refreshed the bedding, etc. She drank a lot out there *YAY* and was back to chasing her minions around, being her bossy self but she tired easily. She came back into the house for the night and slept well, tons of poops and an empty crop in the morning. She's been back in the coop since. I really didn't think she was even going to make it through the night at one point, so I'm very thankful for the outcome.
I think in the end it was a crop blockage of some kind and she was just so weak from not eating and drinking.
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
5 Years
Apr 9, 2016
14,342
19,983
832
California's Redwood Coast
I think in the end it was a crop blockage of some kind and she was just so weak from not eating
Sometimes this can be a subtle symptom of Marek's that may or may not repeat in the future. Keep your eye out, consider sending in a feather for I think it's called PCR testing.. there MIGHT be info about that test in this link, even learning what it's called might help look for it more local to you..
Marek's Virus FAQ

The best resource I was able to find that might give you great information..
https://phrn.net/

Another resource, I THINK is fairly local to you should you choose to contact a lab to ask about testing..
http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/livestock/poultry/smallflock.html

Beyond that, I'm so glad she seems to have recovered! :wee
 

K_UU

Chirping
Jun 15, 2020
25
33
61
Ontario, Canada
Sometimes this can be a subtle symptom of Marek's that may or may not repeat in the future. Keep your eye out, consider sending in a feather for I think it's called PCR testing.. there MIGHT be info about that test in this link, even learning what it's called might help look for it more local to you..
Marek's Virus FAQ

The best resource I was able to find that might give you great information..
https://phrn.net/

Another resource, I THINK is fairly local to you should you choose to contact a lab to ask about testing..
http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/livestock/poultry/smallflock.html

Beyond that, I'm so glad she seems to have recovered! :wee
Thank you for all the info!
 

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