rooster with large crop

JCaseyHammond

Crowing
Sep 6, 2020
696
2,114
296
California Delta
hello,
I have a NN silkie rooster that has a very large water balloon type feeling crop. It is a large handful and hangs low and hangs to the right side more than I have ever noticed. I have been away for several days and not sure how long he has been like this. my husband was kind enough to feed and water but I'm certain he wouldn't have noticed it if it was there in previous days. I noticed it this morning when I trimmed his nails. he was happy to eat breakfast when I put him back in his pen. the crop feels about the same as this morning. it doesn't really feel hot but he is a naked neck so with no feathers their skin always seems hot. this afternoon he seems like he has the hiccups is the best way to explain it. he has his neck arched in a S shape and periodically he moves his neck back and forth at his shoulders. I have never had this problem but it was suggested to me it might be sour crop. If that is the case I have heard so many cures what is the recommended treatment . some say to drain it out the mouth by massaging his crop with him upside down. Others say Never do that he could aspirate. I know the best of the best chicken keepers are on this site so that's why I'm here. I am sure there are many posts on this subject but I am having computer connection issues and if I stay on here too long I get blown off the internet so searching has been hard. thank you in advance for any help. also being I do not know how long he has been like this how emergent is this situation in general. obviously each case is different. a photo of my boy below. i will sign off and check back for replies so I don't get blown off the internet again
View attachment 2493382
A Google search for sour crop returned a result on August 11, 2012 backyardchickens.com post #10 by TwoCrows states ***exactly how to turn the bird upside down and massage out the crop impaction, 8 seconds at a time, allowing the bird to breathe in between attempts.***
 
Last edited:

JCaseyHammond

Crowing
Sep 6, 2020
696
2,114
296
California Delta
If it were my bird, I’d keep him warm and quiet until the vet can see him. Let him drink water with probiotic and vitamin b niacin mixed in. My go-to is Savachick or Nutridrench from Tractor Supply
Not knowing how else to link the info, I copied and pasted TwoCrows advice here:
(Quote)
First, you need to keep her isolated by herself and no freeranging. Do not feed her anything that is not water soluable. So only her layer feed, dampened, maybe some hard boiled eggs drenched in yogurt. When her crop gets too bloated, you will need to "vomit" her to get that gunk out. It is poisonous. So hold her in one arm like a football and with the other hand, support her at the crop. Lean her forward only, beak down. Massage the crop till the gunk pours out her beak. Only hold her like this for 7 or 8 seconds. Tip her back up and let her catch her breath. Do it again. You may need to vomit her twice a day for a day or two, but that stuff will not move thru her and is toxic. Keep her confined until her crop emtpies over night.

Put apple cider vinegar in her water, 3 tablespoons for one gallon of water. Have her drink this for one week. Offer it to all the flock for a week. You can also put probiotics in the feed. The ACV will keep the yeast/fungal infection in the crop at bay.

She will not starve to death if she does not eat for a day. Keep this program up for several days til you get a hold of the sour crop.
(End quote)
 

crittercaretech

out of the house and into the grow out coop
Mar 1, 2020
90
253
101
Not knowing how else to link the info, I copied and pasted TwoCrows advice here:
(Quote)
First, you need to keep her isolated by herself and no freeranging. Do not feed her anything that is not water soluable. So only her layer feed, dampened, maybe some hard boiled eggs drenched in yogurt. When her crop gets too bloated, you will need to "vomit" her to get that gunk out. It is poisonous. So hold her in one arm like a football and with the other hand, support her at the crop. Lean her forward only, beak down. Massage the crop till the gunk pours out her beak. Only hold her like this for 7 or 8 seconds. Tip her back up and let her catch her breath. Do it again. You may need to vomit her twice a day for a day or two, but that stuff will not move thru her and is toxic. Keep her confined until her crop emtpies over night.

Put apple cider vinegar in her water, 3 tablespoons for one gallon of water. Have her drink this for one week. Offer it to all the flock for a week. You can also put probiotics in the feed. The ACV will keep the yeast/fungal infection in the crop at bay.

She will not starve to death if she does not eat for a day. Keep this program up for several days til you get a hold of the sour crop.
(End quote)
thank you so much for the info. this morning his crop was about the same so I massaged it for a while and seemed to get it to go down some. He had spilled his water in his crate so I tried to clean it while holding him to keep him from eating anything and accidently had him tilted upside down while I was bending over and he vomited a small amount of fluid. at that time I finished his crate cleaning and put him back inside while I got online to see any responses and I saw this post. after studying it I got him out and was about to give it a try but noticed his crop which started out the size of my closed fist or slightly bigger was down to golf ball size and much harder feel to it. I assume this is good news but it didn't go all the way down so maybe only partially good news. I will continue to withhold food and see what happens.
 

JCaseyHammond

Crowing
Sep 6, 2020
696
2,114
296
California Delta
thank you so much for the info. this morning his crop was about the same so I massaged it for a while and seemed to get it to go down some. He had spilled his water in his crate so I tried to clean it while holding him to keep him from eating anything and accidently had him tilted upside down while I was bending over and he vomited a small amount of fluid. at that time I finished his crate cleaning and put him back inside while I got online to see any responses and I saw this post. after studying it I got him out and was about to give it a try but noticed his crop which started out the size of my closed fist or slightly bigger was down to golf ball size and much harder feel to it. I assume this is good news but it didn't go all the way down so maybe only partially good news. I will continue to withhold food and see what happens.
Glad to hear the crop is smaller, but the golf ball size firm mass is concerning. Can you gently massage the crop in circular motions just slightly up? Does it feel like the firm mass inside the crop is breaking up into smaller bits, or no? Also make sure the hospital crate is lined with a towel or puppy pad and not anything he can eat like shavings?
 

crittercaretech

out of the house and into the grow out coop
Mar 1, 2020
90
253
101
Glad to hear the crop is smaller, but the golf ball size firm mass is concerning. Can you gently massage the crop in circular motions just slightly up? Does it feel like the firm mass inside the crop is breaking up into smaller bits, or no? Also make sure the hospital crate is lined with a towel or puppy pad and not anything he can eat like shavings?
I can massage the mass and it went down a little more but what is left feels like all the fluid is gone and the mass can be moved a little but the shape doesnt really change. feels kinda like one of those exercise balls for you hands that you can squeeze but it still stays within the shape of the ball. he is very thin something his fluff hid pretty well. i usually feel the keel bone but it is hard to feel on him . i really had to part the feathers to get a good feel this morning and it is very prominent. I am afraid he is a victim of mom not paying attention while she dealt with some things related to my uncles cancer diagnosis and after he passed things related to his estate. I have my eyes on my birds daily but obviously my hands on interactions for health checks the last few months failed this bird or the weight loss would have been noticed before his crop became so large after watching some videos today while my internet has been on good behavior I am debating doing a crop surgery so that he doesn't loose more condition. my suture skill s are pretty good and i worked as a tech for years on large animals so the surgery part wont be upsetting other hen its hard to do on your own pets. hospital crate has puppy pads and water only.
 

crittercaretech

out of the house and into the grow out coop
Mar 1, 2020
90
253
101
How’s your pretty silky doing today?
I am happy to say he is feeling better following crop surgery. still not out of the woods but he is very much his ole self again. I apologize for not posting an update. he would be in a lot worse shape without all the help and support this group provided me. he has had two small meals since surgery and I think if I don't offer him a third soon he is going to bust out of his crate. he is being a good boy about leaving his bandage alone too. About a month or so ago my dogs destroyed a chair cushion on the back porch. the wind had blown some of the foam stuffing into the chicken area. the pieces where pretty big so I didn't think about it being something the chickens would eat. apparently all the pieces I picked up were big because little boy Sparky ate all the little ones. He was literally a stuffed animal. in the midst of the foam where several pencil eraser pieces. I have know idea where those came from. he is a new family member and has only been with us since beginning of Dec. I guess they could have come with him from his old home but I guess we will never know. thank you for asking about him and we will post an update in a few days.
 

JCaseyHammond

Crowing
Sep 6, 2020
696
2,114
296
California Delta
I am happy to say he is feeling better following crop surgery. still not out of the woods but he is very much his ole self again. I apologize for not posting an update. he would be in a lot worse shape without all the help and support this group provided me. he has had two small meals since surgery and I think if I don't offer him a third soon he is going to bust out of his crate. he is being a good boy about leaving his bandage alone too. About a month or so ago my dogs destroyed a chair cushion on the back porch. the wind had blown some of the foam stuffing into the chicken area. the pieces where pretty big so I didn't think about it being something the chickens would eat. apparently all the pieces I picked up were big because little boy Sparky ate all the little ones. He was literally a stuffed animal. in the midst of the foam where several pencil eraser pieces. I have know idea where those came from. he is a new family member and has only been with us since beginning of Dec. I guess they could have come with him from his old home but I guess we will never know. thank you for asking about him and we will post an update in a few days.
Wow, foam and pencil eraser pieces, I’ve heard of chickens eating styrofoam. Give yourself credit. It gets windy here and trash could blow into the run. I zip tied shade cloth to the bottom few feet of the fence and makes it easier to pick up and dispose of trash bits before the birds get them. Something similar might work for you. Chickens will eat anything! Glad he got surgery, he was not going to pass or vomit those items! Good job well done!
 

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