Possible Impacted Crop in poor Liz Johnson

AudraBrooke

Chirping
May 3, 2019
24
50
57
Washington State
(Yes our girls are named after professional women bowlers...tee hee).

I'm fairly sure our sweet barred rock Liz has an impacted crop...and sadly I think it's partially my fault. I've been letting them roam around the lawn and I was totally unaware of the fact that tall grasses can be harmful to their crop emptying (first time chicken owner as of this past March).

I noticed yesterday that she was doing a jerky motion with her neck that looked like she was trying to get something down and that's when I realized her crop was bigger/droopier than our other two. I massaged at her crop and can feel that it has a lot in there but I can move the stuff around and it feels like there is grit in there (this didn't seem to bother her at all). I locked them in their roost for the night last night so that I could make sure I checked her first thing this morning and sure enough she still has a ball of stuff in her crop.

I've tried to do a bit of research on how to help her and so far I've separated her into a separate run I have and put her on our porch so she can't get to anymore food for the day and given her access to water. I'm really crossing my fingers that she can process what's in there out and we won't have a big issue. Any tips or advice would be appreciated.

Of course she's my favorite....mainly in the fact that she likes me the most. She likes to fly up onto my shoulder if I come by her and she's got the funniest little sassy personality! I hope she can get past this!!
 

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Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Apr 3, 2011
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Sorry about your hen. You said that you felt grit in her crop, but that could be chicken feed or seeds as well. Do you have granite poultry grit available for your chickens? They don’t eat much of it, but need it when they don’t find enough small rocks in the ground to help the gizzard work.

Some hens overeat, and can develop a pendulous crop from the crop being overstretched repeatedly. Impacted crop surgery (ideally performed by a vet) is sometimes necessary if a crop impaction cannot be cleared with treatment.

The only times I have seen crop disorders is usually when something else is taking place, such as a reproductive disorder, or fluid in the abdomen which puts pressure on the organs. Here are a few good articles about different crop problems:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...w-to-know-which-one-youre-dealing-with.73607/

https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...ntion-and-treatments-of-crop-disorders.67194/
 

AudraBrooke

Chirping
May 3, 2019
24
50
57
Washington State
Yes you're right...it definitely could be her feed that I'm feeling in there. Yes they do have access to grit that I put out on the ground around where their food is.

I went home at lunch and massaged her crop some more....again it didn't bug her but it still feels similar in size. It didn't look like she has done much going to the bathroom so that concerns me. I got her to drink water with coconut oil in it and she also enjoyed eating up some chips of ice (I was pretty proud of myself for coming up with a way to get her liquids haha).

Honestly her personality does not seem off at all... and when I went out to massage her crop one more time before I came back to work she was working on laying an egg so I left her to be. She hatched March 23rd and she's been laying since she was 22 weeks and has only taken about 4 days off since then (not in a row but just every week or so).

I read both of those articles and I'm going to give her the 2-3 days it says it could take to hopefully correct itself. I will go pick up some Dulcolax after work to see if I can get her system moving better. I'm all anxious because I really want her to be ok!

If it doesn't go down within the 2-3 days I will make a vet appointment for her.
 

Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
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Apr 3, 2011
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Be sure to get doccusate sodium, colace stool softener. Dulcolax is only a brand name and usually it is a laxative. They also make a stool softener, but some have made the mistake of using a harsh laxative. Look for generic Colase or stool softener.

I forgot to mention that the best time to check a crop is early morning before she has a chance to eat or drink. Normally, then the crop would be mostly empty and flat. Do you feed a balanced layer feed? I would avaoid any whole grains or scratch while she is having problems. Egg and a small spoonful plain yogurt are good, as well as chicken feed made wet with water.
 

AudraBrooke

Chirping
May 3, 2019
24
50
57
Washington State
Be sure to get doccusate sodium, colace stool softener. Dulcolax is only a brand name and usually it is a laxative. They also make a stool softener, but some have made the mistake of using a harsh laxative. Look for generic Colase or stool softener.

I forgot to mention that the best time to check a crop is early morning before she has a chance to eat or drink. Normally, then the crop would be mostly empty and flat. Do you feed a balanced layer feed? I would avaoid any whole grains or scratch while she is having problems. Egg and a small spoonful plain yogurt are good, as well as chicken feed made wet with water.
Yes - I checked her crop this morning early before I let them out of their roost (before she had access to food). And also yes they are on a balanced layer feed and have been since they were just shy of 20 weeks (about a week before the first one ended up laying). I am going to avoid any food for today and check her again in the morning but once I do start on food again I will definitely stick to those suggestions...very similar to what I've read while doing a little research.

I will made sure to check what stool softener I pick up after work...thank you!!!
 

AudraBrooke

Chirping
May 3, 2019
24
50
57
Washington State
Be sure to get doccusate sodium, colace stool softener. Dulcolax is only a brand name and usually it is a laxative. They also make a stool softener, but some have made the mistake of using a harsh laxative. Look for generic Colase or stool softener.

I forgot to mention that the best time to check a crop is early morning before she has a chance to eat or drink. Normally, then the crop would be mostly empty and flat. Do you feed a balanced layer feed? I would avaoid any whole grains or scratch while she is having problems. Egg and a small spoonful plain yogurt are good, as well as chicken feed made wet with water.
I feel really bad withholding food from her....but I get that it will just add to the mound she's got sitting there. Hopefully a break from food and then the coconut oil, stool softeners and massaging will help!
 

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