REALLY NEED HELP: I've read swollen/sour/impacted/pendulous crop(pic)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by LoveMyChicks2, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. LoveMyChicks2

    LoveMyChicks2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 2, 2009
    Raeford, North Carolina
    and I still don't know quite what to do. Someone please tell me which condition my hen has. I noticed a couple of days ago her crop was hanging down and swinging like a pendulum. I researched here and read all about different conditions and different ways to correct them. I felt her crop and could feel what I think are grains and/or small stones. There was also a very solid ball. My daughter said she thought she saw her eat a frog so I was thinking okay that's what it is. However, I decided to push harder on it and it will break up and feel squishy and then form into a lump again later but not as hard. I isolated her night before last without food (only water). Her crop was the same the next day. I went ahead and released her (probably should not have) and then when we returned home I isolated her again since she looked no different. Today she still has her huge crop. I'm keeping her in isolation now with only water and I really need some reassurance on what to do. Our birds free range and are locked up at night. We feed pellets and some scratch grains (maybe I've been giving them too much of that) but she is the only one of her breed (I have 4 others like her) that this has happened to. I know I'm rambling but a few days ago my 12 year old daughter witnessed a hawk killing one of our chickens and then she had to handle that on her own (I was not home) and then her goat died last night and I don't think I can stand another mishap. Here are a couple of pictures. Let me know if you need better ones and please help me. Thanks.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    As you can see, she still looks beautiful, clear eyes, very energetic..etc.
     
  2. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Not sure I've ever seen that, here's a bump. sorry I can't help.
     
  3. Buugette

    Buugette [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]Cra

    May 26, 2009
    Bucks County, PA
    Wow... no idea. Beautiful girl... hopefully someone will know whats up.

    D
     
  4. AnnainMD

    AnnainMD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 1, 2010
    Eldersburg, MD
    So her crop feels hard? Squishy? Air-filled? Is there an putrid/foul odor coming from her mouth (sour crop)?
    Unless this has been going on for a long time, it's probably not pendulous crop.
    I have personal experience with impacted crop, including doing the surgery but not either of the other conditions.

    If you took the food away and only gave her water, it'll likely feel more squishy in the AM. Feed her before she goes to bed, and check her crop in the AM. If it's hard again, it's impacted crop. Crops should always be empty when a chicken wakes up in the morning. She needs to be isolated for you to be sure of what's going on.
     
  5. ipana

    ipana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 10, 2010
    If the crop is hard, impacted crop may be the problem. If it's squishy, it is probably sour crop. Either way, the bird is not getting nutrition. If you have a way to isolate her so you can monitor her, it would be a help. You need to know if she is pooping. If she is, then some nutrition is getting through.

    It would be helpful if you had a way to get fluids into her crop. A feeding tube is the easiest way. It may sound ominous, but it's not hard once you get the hang of it. If her crop is hard, then some oil (olive oil or vegetable oil of some kind) into her crop will help. Two tablespoons would be plenty. Get that into the crop and massage it to try to break up the impacted food. Try to massage gently and often. By gently, you want to try to break up the impacted area without damaging the crop itself. You cannot cause the chicken to vomit with an impacted crop because the material is too large to come out.

    If it's sour crop, you will not have the odor unless the food has been in the crop long enough to sour. If the crop is squishy, you want to get the stuff out by making the chicken vomit. The crop is not a muscle, so the chicken cannot do this itself. If you can get some additional warm water into the crop via the feeding tube and then massage the crop a bit prior to making the hen vomit, that would be great. The warm water seems to help.

    Be sure to hold the chicken's head down while getting it to vomit. If the hen raises her head, the liquid coming out will pool in her mouth and she can aspirate it into the lungs, causing death. There is an opening to the lungs in the mouth so that's how that happens. While holding her upside down, making sure to keep her head down at all times, massage the crop from the bottom to the top as if to push the contents out. It will probably take several massages. I found it helpful to do this over the toilet bowl so I could see what the contents is. If there is grass, you can make sure that bird does not get into the grass, etc.

    After vomiting her, let her rest for a couple of hours...no food, no water, no nothing. If you vomit her in the evening before bed, let her go the night with only water available...no food. Then, in the morning, you can check her crop. If it's flat, you've been successful. If not, you need to do the process again. This is a process. It will not correct itself overnight. You must keep the bird away from any hard foods for several days after you get that crop flat. In the case of your hen, since the crop is so large, I would keep her off solid food for at least 4 days. Baby food, applesauce, are good things to start with, then add some scrambled eggs. Small meals but frequent is best. After she's been flat each morning for several days, you can begin to add a SMALL amount of crumbles to the baby food, then gradually increase. You should take another couple of days to get her back to full crumbles. Then, keep her off the free range if you can for several more days.

    THat's the best I can offer. I've done this with a hen and it took me a long time to get her to good health because I didn't know the grass was such a problem for her. She no longer can have any grass at all but is doing great.

    If you have further questions, please fire away. I hope you can save your bird. She is lovely.
     
  6. LoveMyChicks2

    LoveMyChicks2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 2, 2009
    Raeford, North Carolina
    I do have her isolated but I did not feed beforehand. Just water. I did give her a bit of grit and oyster shell just to see. Her crop does not feel like air it just feels like if you were to have a small bag of pebbles and squished it in your hand. The hard part is smaller now and it is the only part that feels squishy, I would say almost like modeling clay but it's only a small part that feels that way (when I press it between my fingers it breaks apart). There is no smell whatsoever from her and she is alert and bright as ever. I suppose I'll need to update everyone in the a.m. I certainly don't want to lose this hen. As with most everyone here, all our fowl are named and we sit and watch and laugh at their wacky personalities. I appreciate everyone's input. I did take a better look at the other girls of her breed and noticed they have pretty big crops too. My first post said they did not but I was mistaken, just none were pendulous and swinging like Tommiehawk's crop (thanks to my daughter's friend for her name) LOL. She has had this big crop for quite a while now. It's just that she is so healthy I never thought anything of it being a bit newer to the chicken world. Once I realized it was getting bigger, I started to be concerned. I sure hope this is not my fault.

    They are only around 5 months old and they started laying not quite a month ago (which I thought was pretty early). They didn't start laying all at the same time however. It was kind of like a domino effect.

    Oh geez the joy of owning creatures. Can't help but love them.
     
  7. ipana

    ipana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good that she's isolated. Check for poop. Nutrition is of greatest concern. Keep massaging that crop to break up the junk. Do not feed her any hard food to add to the problem. Baby food, applesauce would be great for now as they are easily passed from the crop unless it's totally plugged. If there's no poop, don't feed her anything but water. Keep us posted, will you? I'll check the board in the morning.
     
  8. LoveMyChicks2

    LoveMyChicks2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 2, 2009
    Raeford, North Carolina
    ipana said: Good that she's isolated. Check for poop. Nutrition is of greatest concern. Keep massaging that crop to break up the junk. Do not feed her any hard food to add to the problem. Baby food, applesauce would be great for now as they are easily passed from the crop unless it's totally plugged. If there's no poop, don't feed her anything but water. Keep us posted, will you? I'll check the board in the morning.

    I checked and no poop this morning. I did not have any applesauce or anything in the house so I went and bought some yogurt, applesauce, and a small tube to put the water into her crop with. When I got home I felt her crop and there was no hard mass only what felt like grain (still a huge crop) and still no poop. I got my daughter to help and we managed to get the tube into her (the hen was so sweet about it) but I don't think I put enough water in. We made sure her head was down and I tried to massage the food up and out. We got out what I think was all the liquid we put in and boy did it stink! Only a couple of grains of corn came with the water. I was afraid to keep on so I made sure her throat was clear and let her up. I figure I'll let her rest until my husband gets home which will be in a couple of hours and get him to help me vomit her again.

    BIG QUESTION: Can I give her applesauce and/or yogurt now? I took her water away-- was that right (and she has no food)?

    I have an ideal coop (what used to be a rabbit hutch) on our front porch that I can keep her isolated in so that is working out wonderfully.​
     
  9. AnnainMD

    AnnainMD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 1, 2010
    Eldersburg, MD
    Are you keeping her on newspaper or something? Can you tell if she's getting anything out? My hen would just shoot out jets of water with bits of grit, no actual poop. So all I would see was dried newpaper and pieces of crushed granite. Until I saw her shoot that jet of water, i wasn't sure she was getting anything out.

    I would not take her water away.
     
  10. ipana

    ipana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good work so far. You're doing well. Here's the thing about food for her right now. If she isn't pooping, she isn't getting anything through. The main objective is to get something through. Filling the crop will only make it harder to get to the stuff that you want to come out. If she hasn't been stoved up too long, she can probably go a couple of days without eating, although I know it will make you uncomfortable. Hopefully, you'll begin finding that you're getting the crop back to normal. And, of course, you'll try to accomplish that with the warm water into her crop and then vomiting it out. I call that "flushing." Anyway, it is OK to do flush several times at a go. When I was working with my hen, I put 120cc of water into her at a time. I was using a 60cc syringe with the feeding tube. You will see her crop filling up as you watch from the outside. When the hen seems too stressed...you will know from her breathing, body heat, etc...let her rest a few minutes. Once you get stuff out, you'll know you're making progress. If she's free range, it's my guess there is a bunch of grass in there. That will be the last thing to come out, of course!

    Once you have done all the vomiting you plan to do for that day, give her some diluted baby food through the tube you're using. Applesauce doesn't really have much in the way of calories and that's what she's going to need. My hen really liked the Gerber Ham and Gravy. I made the food dilute enough to go through the tube. At least she will have something that may be able to "leak through" the blockage and give her some nutrition. In the morning, you can check to see if she's pooping.

    Here, by the way, is a link I found from someone at BYC that gives pictures of chicken poop and explains the condition that may exist with each kind. My hen was like the one with not enough food. Perhaps that's what you will see when she starts pooping. At first, it will probably be really runny and some dark "hunks." Do not be alarmed. At this point, any poop at all is good poop!

    Tomorrow, if you haven't seen any poop, I would recommend you do the flushing again. Keep us posted, will you? You're doing a great job and I pray that you will have results soon. Once you do, we can discuss how to get her back to real food. It is not a quick transition so try to keep that in mind. If you try too much too soon, she'll end up with problems again.

    If you have more questions, please post them. I will check again later and others who have info to help probably will, too.
     
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