Poorly chicken crop not 'draining'

nestleaver1

Songster
May 20, 2012
76
37
111
Dundee, UK
Hi all,
Now my chief chicken is poorly. She had a bad impaction about 10 days ago, which I managed to clear with a combination of pineapple, grease (olive oil and butter) and lots of crop massage. It cleared completely (and she laid a couple of eggs) but a few days on her crop is full of liquid and not emptying overnight. It is not sour (no beak smell) and I cannot feel any substance in it, just a few bits of food. After 2 days of vigorous massage did not shift it I decided to try to empty the crop thru the beak and succeeded in getting her to vomit about half of the liquid. It did not smell at all, was brownish and contained a few mealworms, grit and some sunflower seeds. She (and I!) was quite distressed so I did not repeat the process but left her to see if this had helped. She stands around looking sad with her tail down and moves slowly if she has to. She scratches a bit but doesn't peck at anything. She is still not eating at all (not even mealworms or cooked rice) and I suspect not drinking either, although the liquid in the crop stays about the same so something must be getting thru.
She still poos but it is very runny, hardly any solid in it.
Any ideas gratefully received as I am starting to worry she is blocked internally with a tumour or similar physical problem and will just waste away.
She was up on the perch with the others this evening tho, so can still jump up by herself.
Thanks for any suggestions on how to help her get better. Should I just leave her to fight it off or intervene? Vet useless with birds BTW.
Thanks again,
Kate
 

nestleaver1

Songster
May 20, 2012
76
37
111
Dundee, UK
Update for anyone with similar problems looking for help: chicken recovered Thursday and now looks absolutely fine, tail up, scrapping with others for food. Her crop has been emptying fine and poo now normal. I have been feeding her plain boiled rice with some olive oil in it and let her forage about for some beasties: she ate 7 slugs, 4 NZ flatworms, 2 small earthworms and several slaters (woodlice).
I don't know whether crop massage helped or not. She also had live yoghurt and a small amount of live yeast as probiotics. Who knows whether she would have been fine anyway.
Will update post if the problem recurs for others' information.
One chicken does not make a cure, tho.
Cheers for now,
Kate: happy because the chix are happy.
 

nestleaver1

Songster
May 20, 2012
76
37
111
Dundee, UK
Further update on same chicken. She seems to be susceptible now to crop problems and has been poorly with it twice more since last post. I did not make her sick, just massaged to free up crop contents. She appears to self_medicate with food i.e. stops eating while poorly then suddenly starts again. No consistency with what food she will take. This last episode her crop became sour and she was making the scary neck movements that make it look like she's about to die. I took her indoors for the night and managed to get her to take a tiny bit of bicarb water dripped onto side of beak. She burped a bit and was much happier next day. Still not really eating tho. Her crop is empty but she is not laying and rather slow moving about. Tail is up!
Hope this helps.
Nestleaver1
 

nestleaver1

Songster
May 20, 2012
76
37
111
Dundee, UK
Update for info: poorly chicken recovered after sour crop to the point where she started laying again about 3 weeks later and seemed absolutely fine. Unfortunately she is now in another bout of crop problems, not eating etc. She is VERY skinny on the keel, weak and most scarily, hadn't said a word for about 4 days. Just silent, hunched, disinterested with a squishy crop. I tried to tempt her with all sorts of things but she wouldn't eat. Her abdomen seemed swollen so I drained off some fluid with a hypodermic needle: 200ml of greenish, slightly cloudy fluid came out by itself (no syringe, just left to drip). She seemed a bit livelier after this but not much and I thought I could feel a bulge where her gizzard should be, so I thought it might be impacted and backing up to the crop. Finally I took her to a vet I didn't really trust to know anything about birds... The vet examined her and reckoned she has a tumour pressing on the gut. She offered to put her to sleep but I declined.
Her poo has been dark green, jelly-like with a lot of water, which is apparently just bile coming thru as she is not eating. It is very stinky indeed.
Next day (today) she had slept in the nestbox and was still slow and hunched. I gave her abdomen a gentle massage and then went to feel her crop and it emptied under my hand. Then she ate some mealworms, then she ate some sesame seeds, then some cucumber (lots), then some breadcrumbs. Then, we went for a walk and she explored the garden and had a scratch! Still veeeery slow but she was going for flies and woodlice and even made a couple of vocalisations before bed.
I am hopeful she will rally again and feed herself up (and start to poo properly). She is growing new feathers in between the old ones and has just got a full new set of primary wing feathers so I hope she will be able to use them.
I am pleased I did not agree to let her be put to sleep even tho I thought she was bound to die. I wanted the other chickens to see her go as they were all very distressed when the last one died and they did not know where she had gone.
I'll post again when she lays an egg/dies!
 

nestleaver1

Songster
May 20, 2012
76
37
111
Dundee, UK
OK - last post was 2 months ago and Psycho chicken had been doing very well. She was eating and pooing fine, although I had been giving her extra rations of mealworms and cucumber most days. I think she did lay one egg but not 100% sure as the others are erratic this time of year.
Anyway, her crop was bunged up again about a week ago and on Xmas day I decided to drain her abdomen again. I had a larger hypodermic this time so hoped it would not take so long. It was more difficult to get the needle in as she had more energy to resist! The first puncture site drew a tiny bit of blood so I relocated it to get clear fluid. It was clear and yellowish and flowed with a steady drip for about half an hour, when I had 250ml out of her. Thinking this was plenty enough, I withdrew the needle, but the hole continued to drip, and drip, and drip for a further 5 hours. Poor chicken left a puddle wherever she stood. So not sure how much came out in the end but at least 500ml. This does not seem to have helped with the crop issue tho. She is now not eating anything, not even mealworms. The only thing she will touch is cucumber and her poos have degenerated into watery nothing.
She still had the energy to get up on the perch this evening; I have been massaging her crop/abdomen quite a lot today so will see how the crop is tomorrow. She also moulted a load more feathers as soon as she was drained, I don't know why this would be?
Still clucking tho!
 

Sarevan

Songster
6 Years
Sep 30, 2013
448
50
103
White Swan, WA
You drained the yellowish fluid out of her abdomen? I'm still new to chickens but recently I had a leghorn die, I did a necropsy on her and found she had been an internal egg layer. There was a very small amount of slimy fluid in the cavity sounds similar to what you drained out.

I would look up the internal egg laying, EYP - and this thread too. https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...gn-for-an-internal-layer-egg-yolk-peritonitis
 

pwand

Songster
12 Years
Sep 10, 2007
1,367
78
221
BC Canada
OK - last post was 2 months ago and Psycho chicken had been doing very well.  She was eating and pooing fine, although I had been giving her extra rations of mealworms and cucumber most days.  I think she did lay one egg but not 100% sure as the others are erratic this time of year.
Anyway, her crop was bunged up again about a week ago and on Xmas day I decided to drain her abdomen again.  I had a larger hypodermic this time so hoped it would not take so long.  It was more difficult to get the needle in as she had more energy to resist! The first puncture site drew a tiny bit of blood so I relocated it to get clear fluid.  It was clear and yellowish and flowed with a steady drip for about half an hour, when I had 250ml out of her.  Thinking this was plenty enough, I withdrew the needle, but the hole continued to drip, and drip, and drip for a further 5 hours.  Poor chicken left a puddle wherever she stood.  So not sure how much came out in the end but at least 500ml.  This does not seem to have helped with the crop issue tho.  She is now not eating anything, not even mealworms.  The only thing she will touch is cucumber and her poos have degenerated into watery nothing.
She still had the energy to get up on the perch this evening; I have been massaging her crop/abdomen quite a lot today so will see how the crop is tomorrow.  She also moulted a load more feathers as soon as she was drained, I don't know why this would be?
Still clucking tho!



You drained the yellowish fluid out of her abdomen? I'm still new to chickens but recently I had a leghorn die, I did a necropsy on her and found she had been an internal egg layer. There was a very small amount of slimy fluid in the cavity sounds similar to what you drained out.

I would look up the internal egg laying, EYP - and this thread too. https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...gn-for-an-internal-layer-egg-yolk-peritonitis

X2

It does sound like that is what is going on. Unfortunately this outcome isn't good. A complete removal of her female organs seems to be the only option. I would say she is full of infection from the internal lay. You could treat her with antibiotics, this will clear up infection, unfortunately when the antibiotics stop, infection returns.

Now if its sour crop on top of her problems, antibiotics can cause yeast infection. A misconception with sour crop is you can smell sour, this is not always the case. I have dealt with this and did not always smell this. I vomited my hen about twice a day and maybe that helped. Sour crop can also be cause by other things causing slow emptying of the crop like having worms. Deworm her to rule that out. Use a good dewormer like safeguard or valzaben. If you need doses i can post links for them. Also if she is internal lay the mass in her belly may be pressing on her insides causing a slower emptying of the crop.
 
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nestleaver1

Songster
May 20, 2012
76
37
111
Dundee, UK
Hi there, thanks for your responses! I would have thought infected fluid would be cloudy with bacteria - this fluid was completely clear with just a tinge of yellow colour to it, making me think it was more likely to be ascites?
I wormed my flock about 2 months ago (Flubenvet) but it was at a time when the Psycho chicken was not eating much so I am not sure whether she got a full dose. I did not find any worms in the others' poo; on previous occasions when I have wormed them I found dead worms coming out. Since she is not eating I would have to force-feed liquid wormer; is that possible with Flubenvet??
Thanks very much for your help!
 

pwand

Songster
12 Years
Sep 10, 2007
1,367
78
221
BC Canada
Hi there, thanks for your responses! I would have thought infected fluid would be cloudy with bacteria - this fluid was completely clear with just a tinge of yellow colour to it, making me think it was more likely to be ascites?
I wormed my flock about 2 months ago (Flubenvet) but it was at a time when the Psycho chicken was not eating much so I am not sure whether she got a full dose.  I did not find any worms in the others' poo; on previous occasions when I have wormed them I found dead worms coming out.  Since she is not eating I would have to force-feed liquid wormer; is that possible with Flubenvet??
Thanks very much for your help!
I'm not familiar with Flubenvet. The other wormers are given orally. Guarantees the right amount to each chicken.

Heres the links for dosage:

Valbazen dosage on this thread:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/606881/valbazen-de-worming-question

Safeguard:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...er-for-chickens-can-it-be-used-in-their-water
Kathy has good info at the bottom of this thread. #14
https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/688579/fowl-pox-what-to-do-with-flock#post_12532231
 

nestleaver1

Songster
May 20, 2012
76
37
111
Dundee, UK
Flubenvet is 1% flubendazole, it's the most common dewormer in UK. Given in food over several days.
You are right; she has sour crop. Making the awful neck movements and not eating. She recovered with bicarb water the last time but I am sure she has cancer or something - could be internal laying, as you say - making this a repeated issue. I am keeping her indoors overnight tonight.
Thanks so much for your suggestions.
 

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