sick hen with hard big crop - any advise?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Hennenmom, Nov 23, 2013.

  1. Hennenmom

    Hennenmom New Egg

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    Nov 19, 2013
    Hi ,
    I have a about two year old Red Sex hen who seemed a bit slower yesterday and today even more. She has a bend body posture with tail down. This is my first flock and I am not so used in touching them, but her crop seemed quite large and hard when I picked her up and I compared with another hen which confirmed my suspician - is there anything I can do for her?
    So far I separated her from the others and brought her inside. On the advice of a friend I am giving her every two hours some water with antibiotic (sulmet).

    thanks
    Ilka
     
  2. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 21, 2012
    South West France
    In order to help you it would be good if you could give us a bit more information.


    What is her poop like - normal, runny, a weird colour or smell (or has she stopped pooping)?

    What time of day did you feel her crop - does it feel smaller in the morning that in the evening, or is it the same all the time?

    Are any other hens showing the same symptoms?

    Has anything different happened recently - free ranged in a new area, eaten a different type of feed or special treat, new birds introduced to the flock, had a shock or accident etc?

    What are the living conditions - barn / run / free range etc, and what sort of bedding do you use?

    The more information you can give us the easier it is for us to give you suggestions as to what may be happening.
     
  3. Hennenmom

    Hennenmom New Egg

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    Nov 19, 2013
    Hi Kay,

    thanks so much for responding. I am a bit overwhelmed since I lost one hen two weeks ago and am tackling bumble foot on another and now this one.

    I have 8 hens and they are free ranging in about 1/4 of an acre that is fenced in. I have this hen now 1.5 years and so far never had a problem. They get regular egg layer feed and I treat them with salad, potatoes, cooked rice with butter, oatmeal with butter, yoghurt, cottage cheese and bananas. In the yard they have plenty of greens they can forge on.

    About a month ago one hen got sick and I brought her to the vet, since this is my first flock and I didn't have a clue. He found mites and thought she was just exhausted from that. Her vent appeared fine. So I treated the mites and they were gone within a day, but the hen declined and after a week of nursing her indoors she could barely keep herself on her legs and that is when I decided to put her down. He said now her belly was extended, but she did not seem eggbound to him. He just didn't know what was wrong with her.

    I put the whole flock on a week of antibiotic as a prevention, since the vet did not know what it could be. Now a week later ( after they have been for a full week on regular water without abx again) I noticed yesterday that this one hen did not come off the roosting bar until later in the day. I had to travel that day and could not really observe her. But this morning she was still with the other hens and feeding on the rice, but she was slower, her body posture round and her feathers puffed up and she seemed slower.

    So I brought her inside - she is not eating at this point and I am giving her fluids with antibiotics about every two hours. She is not pooping solids but only a mixture of white and see through liquid. Since this is my first flock I really didn't know what to look for, but when I gave her the fluids I was massaging her where the crop is and I noticed it being very hard in comparison to the other chicken. She seems to enjoy when I massage it. I just explored it a bit more and it feels as if there may be sharper things in there - as much as I can judge it with my total lack of experience - it did not seem that much larger, but rather hard and not as smooth than on the other hen. I have only felt it tonight for the first time and she has not eaten since this morning - so I have no other comparison, but to the other hen.

    From what I am reading I should feed her stuff like yoghurt, apple sauce etc.. nothing hard, I gues - correct? should I shove oil down her throat?

    thanks
    Ilka
     
  4. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 21, 2012
    South West France
    If there are absolutely no solids at all in the poop then I guess it could be an impacted crop. Massage and oil could help to loosen it. I am very wary about force feeding anything to chickens, as apparently is easy to get liquid or food into their lungs by mistake, but you could try mixing oil with anything else she will eat (yogurt etc).

    I had a chicken with quite similar symptoms a while ago. At first I suspected an impacted crop - did the massage, oil etc, but it didn't make any difference. My vet didn't have a clue either. Then I found a thread about clostridium perfringens : https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/613918/undigested-food-in-droppings-update-on-page-3/40

    The picture of the poop and description of the chicken fitted mine perfectly. I gave her massive doses of amoxycillin for 10 days, as well as a daily dose of 'probiolog' powder ( a mix of bifidobacterium lactis and lactobacillus acidophilus). My thread about it is here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...r-posts-on-byc-a-public-thank-you-to-nambroth

    I know you say that you have been giving antibiotics, but I don't think that sulmet is effective against clostridium (it seems more used for coccidosis, and I also tried a coccidosis antibiotic for a week on my chicken with no success at all). I found an article that lists various effective antibiotics for clostridium:

    " C. perfringens, as well as most other Clostridium spp. are generally, but not universally susceptible to penicillin-G, amoxicillin, ticarcillin, piperacillin, cefazolin, cefoxitin, cefotetan, third generation cephalosporins, chloramphenicol, clindamycin, erythromycin, metronidazole, imipenem, meropenem, tetracycline, vancomycin, rifampin..."

    In any case I find that when I have to give antibiotics (which I do as rarely as possible), a probiologic given at the same time seems to help counteract the side effects of the antibiotics.

    I don't know if your girl has a simple impacted crop or if it has progressed to cause an intenstinal infection (as I suspect happened to my girl). Only you are in a position to make the decision on what treatment to give. I hope this information helps you to treat her effectively.

    Please keep us updated on the situation - it helps others to know what treatments do and don't work.


    (edited to add antibiotic treatment information)
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2013
  5. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 21, 2012
    South West France
    Just an added note to my above post - I have never found that antibiotics in drinking water are certain to give the correct dose. I prefer to take a small amount of a treat (a couple of teaspoonfuls of boiled rice, for example), and sprinkle an individual daily dose of powder onto that, mix it in, and feed it to the chicken first thing in the morning, making sure that she is separated and no-one else can get at her food. That way I am certain she has received the full dose for the day.
     

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