RIR difficulty with pooping, possible crop blockage, advice needed!


In the Brooder
10 Years
Mar 10, 2009
Portland, OR
Hi BYC peeps! Need your advice.

We have a 2yo RIR hen, who upon return from a 2 week vacation is now looking very sick. Droopy comb, sleepy eyes, lethargic, still eating, swollen vent is whitish/pink in color. Infrequent pooping, is coming out in little balls, she seems to be struggling with the pooping and she seems like she has not been laying for awhile. We are not sure how long she has been like this, perhaps a week (our friend only came to take care of water and feed).

They did not get a lot of grass because they did not free range during this period. It has also been raining almost everyday.

This hen has previously had a scary bout with coccidosis which we treated with Sulmet. While some of her symptoms seem similar to cocci, it seems she is either eggbound or constipated, and the swollen vent is a new thing for us.

We did a warm bath, massage of the vent. Did not feel an egg but I could have missed it. She had some matted poop/featers are her vent which she hasn't had before.

I'm figuring they didnt' get much dirt bathing in because their favorite spot is outside of their run, in the flower bed. All of our 3 hens have a bit of matting going on which is unusual. They also do not like to roost much, preferring to sleep on the coop floor - they have done this for almost 2 years without incident.

Thank you for any help you can provide, Eleanor will appreciate it!

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We thought for sure she was eggbound, but we just can't find any evidence of a stuck egg. I put a oiled finger up her vent and felt around, no egg up or down.

But, she keeps pushing and pushing, especially when we dip her in the warm water bath. Is this what leads to prolapse?

She is pooping more regularly, still lethargic. We have started her on Sulmet, but she is not really drinking much. We forced some sulmet'ed water down her beak today. Her vent seems to be pretty smelly, I think may also be a symptom.

Any advice would be helpful, thank you.
We are now thinking it might be an impacted or blocked crop. She seems only interested in soft foods, will not drink water on her own, and seems to crane her neck at odd angles.. suggesting she's having trouble getting things through.

The big symptom now, since we understand she is not eggbound, is that she continues to push but is not producing droppings. When she does get something today, it's been very liquid and seems to suggest there is more poop inside her, not coming out. I have felt her crop and it feels a bit swollen and perhaps gassy, but I do not smell anything foul coming from her beak when I do this. When we massage her crop, she closes her eyes and seems to enjoy it. We tried to get some veg. oil down her beak but she wasn't having it.

I hope someone might have some advice, thank you.
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Maybe I'm just talking to myself (I know you helpful folks are out there!) but wanted to keep updating this thread.

She put out a bloody poop overnight, we have taken away her food and keeping her on just Sulmet water for today to see how she does. She does not seem very interested in eating or drinking.
i'm a newbie and have no advice for you...i just had to cut a toe off one of my RIR roos and that freaked me out....i hope someone will have some advice for you soon...sooo sorry i coundn't help but i'll try to help keeping your post current till you get some answers.
We had to put Eleanor down today after a visit to the vet.

We are getting a necropsy and fecal done, I will post any useful results here so that others may benefit from the information. Thanks, Katdam, for your concern.
soo sorry!!!! i hope you get the answers you need to prevent this from happening to the others...i'm still shocked that no one responded to your post....please let me know what it was just for the sake of knowing..i hate not knowing why an animal dies. hope the rest of your chickens are good and healthy.
Just to follow-up, Eleanor had Marek's and that's what she died from, she was unvaccinated. She also had some worms. We learned a lot through the process, especially the necropsy, and to never take your chicken to a city vet! $260 later and we learned an expensive lesson.

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