safest way to clear impacted crop?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by TylerEngland, Nov 30, 2018.

  1. TylerEngland

    TylerEngland In the Brooder

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    May 17, 2018
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    Hi there! And thanks in advance! I feel like I'm having every new chicken mama problem and I'm so thankful for this community.

    My 8mo EE, Blanche, appears to have an impacted crop. I first noticed that her crop seemed rather full+firm yesterday morning, but I figured that maybe she had gorged herself in the coop (we had heavy rain and sleet yesterday so I didn't let the girls out until after 9am and had left a hanging feeder in the crop overnight knowing this would be a possibility). Otherwise she seemed fine, maybe a little more reserved than normal, but still staying with the flock and eating+drinking, so I tried massaging the crop and decided to monitor her.

    Today the crop seems even harder and more full. It's really firm, and I can almost feel some scratch grains etc in there. It does not feel liquidy or have a foul odor.

    I am trying the no food/olive oil massage method for now, but I need some advice on when to move onto more advanced solutions. Can I try this for another day or so as long as she doesn't get weak or lethargic? Would mineral oil or any other liquid work better?

    I've had a really difficult time finding a vet within a two hour radius to help me with my birds, so I'll likely have to manage this on my own.

    Is there any safe (or safer) way to manually empty the crop through the regurgitation method or otherwise? I'm so afraid of aspiration. I probably have the skillset for the surgical method but I'm not comfortable attempting it because of the risks of complication and the fact that I'm sure it's very painful :S

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

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    Can you get some electrolytes with vitamins to put in her water, or get some Poultry NutriDrench to give orally (up to 3 ml daily?) I would place her inside a dog crate with only water with electrolytes. You can leave her in the coop so that she sees the others. Give her up to a tsp of either mineral oil or coconut oil. The coconut oil can be refrigerated to make it solid, and you can give small pieces. Massage her crop for a few minutes several times a day.

    Making a chicken vomit can be dangerous, and although it may need to be done, you should read about how to do it properly. Many experienced chicken owners have lost chickens to choking and asperation. I wouldn’t rush into crop surgery unless you can go to a vet, but if you do it at some point, there are two different layers that will need to be super glued or stitched.

    Here are some good threads by others:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...w-to-know-which-one-youre-dealing-with.73607/
     
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  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

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  4. TylerEngland

    TylerEngland In the Brooder

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    thank you! I'm really hopeful that she can resolve this on her own. I'll add some nutridrench to her water and pick up some mineral oil if I don't have luck with the coconut oil. the other options just seem too risky. just added some grit as well. her crop seems to be ever so slightly more doughy and pliable now. I'm hoping thats a good sign.

    she still seems pretty feisty - is it okay to continue this for a couple of days if she seems to be improving?

    I assume that it means she's improving if she has a solid poop? (hypothetical, no such luck yet)
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

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    I would just give water with electrolytes, and the coconut oil today. If her crop seems a little better tomorrow, you could give her some raw egg mixed well with a tsp of plain Greek yogurt (I like Chobani or Fage, but just use a good brand with a lot of cultures.) Make sure that she drinks plenty of water to help break up the impaction. Each day evaluate to see when food can be resumed, and no whole grains at all until crop is flat. Watery chick feed with yogurt would be good eventually. I had seen only a few crop impactions, and those hens had underlying problems such as reproductive disorders that caused the crop disorder. Impacted crop will eventually lead to sour crop if not treated successfully.
     
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  6. TylerEngland

    TylerEngland In the Brooder

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    May 17, 2018
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    Thank you! I'll strictly follow your advice. She's had 5 little solid poo's since starting the oil/nutridrench+H2O treatment, I guess that means at least something is moving through? Seems to be a lot of grass and exoskeletons. I'm encouraged. I'll update tomorrow.
     
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  7. TylerEngland

    TylerEngland In the Brooder

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    May 17, 2018
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    Update: We've had about 5 normal sized poops today and her crop seems to be at least 1/3 to 2/5 smaller. Her waste is mostly thick blades of partially digested grass so I think that may be the culprit. Otherwise she seems to be in good spirits as we continue treatment.
     
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  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

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    Very good news. I would continue the egg and yogurt, a little coconut oil, and lots of water.
     
  9. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Crossing the Road

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    Sounds like you are doing good!
     
  10. TylerEngland

    TylerEngland In the Brooder

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    May 17, 2018
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    Hey! Sorry for the long lapse. I just wanted to thank everyone for your help! Followed the advice given on here (used mineral oil instead of coconut) and I'm glad to say that after a few days, Blanche was back to her normal self and is doing great! It turns out that it was a really big mass of thick, tangled, blades of grass. So. much. grass. Anyways, just wanted to follow up in case this post is helpful to anyone else in the future!
     
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