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Red Rangers--fat deposition?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by David Meiland, Jun 5, 2017.

  1. David Meiland

    David Meiland New Egg

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    Jun 5, 2017
    We have ~30 Red Rangers that are about 10 weeks old. We have had two that developed what we believe is "fat deposition", extremely large chest/breast area that literally swings when they walk. The first one died shortly after developing this, the second one we just noticed a few days ago. I have segregated it from the others and am wondering if this can be treated somehow. We are more of the "pet chicken" types than flock managers, so I'm not looking to put it down unless there's no alternative. At the moment it's in a large crate/kennel in the chicken yard, in the shade, with only water. Any suggestions appreciated.

    FWIW, we have been feeding them meat bird crumble that is ~21% protein. We did the same thing last year with the same breed and had no issues.
     
  2. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    Hi and welcome to BYC.

    It sounds like a pendulous crop to me. I've never heard of "fat deposition".
    A pendulous crop can occur when they over eat and the crop becomes stretched but most often it is the result of an impaction. The crop becomes clogged, usually with fibrous material (straw or grass/hay)which forms a soggy plug that prevents food from passing. The birds eat more because they are starving so the crop gets bigger and heavier and more stretched, but if the impaction isn't cleared they will literally starve to death even though they have eaten plenty of food. Usually by the time you notice the crop is pendulous, the problem has been going on for a while. Giving very sloppy liquid feeds and regular massaging of the crop 3-4 times a day can help to break it up or at least help food to get through it. Some people use Dulcolax with success if massaging doesn't work. The final option is crop surgery, where the crop is cut into and the fibrous material removed. If the birds breath smells bad, then usually the crop has gone sour and a yeast infection has set in. If you do some research on impacted crop and sour crop you should find lots more details of possible treatments.
    If you don't mind me asking, I'm a bit curious about why you get Red Rangers if you are more into chickens as pets than livestock? As I understand it, Red Rangers are meat birds.

    Good luck with your sick bird.

    Regards

    Barbara
     
  3. David Meiland

    David Meiland New Egg

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    Jun 5, 2017
    Thank you for the comment. Here is an update. We tried the Dulcolax and massage treatment for three days, with no improvement. The bird is alert, active, and does not seem to be in distress. He was getting harassed by a few of the others, so he is now ranging in the yard around the house during the days, and seems to be enjoying himself. He eats, drinks, and either sits around in the grass, or wanders along the fence looking at the other chickens. He goes in the coop at night.

    If anything, the problem area has gotten slightly larger. It is definitely pendulous, and fairly firm. From what I've read, it sounds like taking him to the vet for surgery is the next step.

    My comment above about "pet chickens" is to say that we don't automatically put down a bird that has problems. We've had few problems in the past, have lost a few birds to medical problems, and taken a few to the vet. I know it's odd to be pondering life-saving treatment for a meat bird, when all of his ~30 brethren are going for processing in a week, but there you have it. This one isn't going for processing, he's probably going to the vet and if he survives he'll live with our flock of layers. 003c.jpg 011c.jpg
     
  4. Sublight

    Sublight Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't want to be a jerk, but do you really want to use a chicken with this kind of problem as a breeder? I don't know if its hereditary but why take the chance. My opinion would be to breed the largest most healthy chickens. Why take the chance you know?
    But I don't want to get in your business, you probably know more about this then me.
     
  5. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    Pleased to hear that he is still on his feet and eating and drinking, even if his crop is getting bigger. It will do him good to have plenty of space to walk around as exercise definitely helps. How is his body condition? Is he starting to lose flesh, particularly off his breast.....compare him to one of his healthy flock mates. You might find that a crop bra is beneficial for him and you could try vomiting him to see if you can relieve it that way. Vomiting is risky because there is the possibility of them aspirating their vomit. You need to give them frequent breaks in between inverting them and massaging. I have broken up one hen's impaction that way.
    There are You Tube videos that demonstrate the technique.
    It is possible to do the crop surgery yourself if you are not squeamish. I've done it twice now. The first time was amazingly successful, the second time, the surgery went well but I had left it too late to operate and she was too weak to recover. I watched a few you tube videos which were really instructive on how to go about it and I glued her back together with super glue which was so much easier and quicker than stitching. You want to be sure it is necessary though as it is a last resort and I would try vomiting before you resort to surgery or an expensive vet's visit.

    It does concern me that the impaction is hard. Is that because he is back to eating solid food or has it always been hard? Sometimes a load of sand and grit settles like sediment and fills up the front of the crop and stretches it forward making a sump below the level of the outlet to the gizzard. This becomes a self perpetuating problem. Feeding sloppy/liquid feeds and tipping them upside down and massaging can help to break up that sediment and help it to come up or go down, where normal massaging just leaves it sitting there.

    I hope all of that makes sense. I can't justify the cost of taking my chickens to the vets, so I do my utmost to treat them myself. It has been a big learning curve but it feels amazing when you have a success.

    Best wishes

    Barbara
     

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