fortoria

Chirping
6 Years
Jun 23, 2015
8
1
69
I have an older hen (5+ years) who has a pendulous crop. A year ago we took her to the vet for an impact problem and she's doing much better but we keep her in a "crop bra" (a modified face mask strapped to her wings and held in place with a clip) to help keep her supported and help her digestion. I'm not sure how well it's working but since she's monitored more closely now it's definitely less of an issue (no impact, rare swelling).

Because of her health issues though she doesn't put on weight like she used to. She's a fussy old gal and it's hard to always discern what she might be upset about, but lately with the weather changing we've been wondering if she might just be cold.

I know that chicken sweaters— while cute, are not great because they can prohibit natural cleaning habits. But I've been wondering if it might be worth it to keep her more comfortable. Potentially also serve the dual purpose of helping support her crop.

I'm looking for advice or insight on helping her be less fussy and uncomfortable throughout the day (no advice needed on treating sour crop etc).
 

Eggcessive

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azygous

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11 Years
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A chicken sweater, while making a very cute photo, is dangerous. The hen can tease a bit of yarn loose and pull on it, unraveling it. I've seen this. The risk is getting the yarn wrapped around their neck or ingested where it can cause choking.

If you are handy with a sewing machine, here's a very detailed pattern for a crop bra I came up with. I even added a "push-up" insert that can further help to support and lift the crop. https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/making-a-crop-bra-for-a-hen-with-pendulous-crop.1464848/
 

esme13

Songster
7 Years
Apr 22, 2014
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For warmth concerns, I guess my question would be , does she sleep next to her flock? Because they should keep each other l warm enough. You can always provide a low volume heat pad, for her/them to walk on or lay on. I’ve used those for small pets.. and occasionally if a chicken needs it.
 

fortoria

Chirping
6 Years
Jun 23, 2015
8
1
69
I think that @coach723 has dealt with pendulous crop, and I remember her posting that crop bras may need to be repositioned to be effective. I would probably try a different one, perhaps purchase one from one of the commercial makers, or make another one to try. @azygous has a design for making her on her thread. Here is her link:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...w-to-know-which-one-youre-dealing-with.73607/
Thanks this is helpful. I can now see other threads pertaining to pendulous crop and crop bras.
 

fortoria

Chirping
6 Years
Jun 23, 2015
8
1
69
For warmth concerns, I guess my question would be , does she sleep next to her flock? Because they should keep each other l warm enough. You can always provide a low volume heat pad, for her/them to walk on or lay on. I’ve used those for small pets.. and occasionally if a chicken needs it.
Yes, but she has very little body fat and is missing feathers in the front that would help insulate her during the cooler parts of the day when she's not sleeping.
 

fortoria

Chirping
6 Years
Jun 23, 2015
8
1
69
A chicken sweater, while making a very cute photo, is dangerous. The hen can tease a bit of yarn loose and pull on it, unraveling it. I've seen this. The risk is getting the yarn wrapped around their neck or ingested where it can cause choking.

If you are handy with a sewing machine, here's a very detailed pattern for a crop bra I came up with. I even added a "push-up" insert that can further help to support and lift the crop. https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/making-a-crop-bra-for-a-hen-with-pendulous-crop.1464848/
I'm not very handy with a sewing machine but perhaps I can get some help. I've meanwhile ordered one online (I had no idea anyone made them commercially).

I understand the problems with a sweater. I'm still concerned about her keeping warm. Insulation from feathers has been mentioned but if she's not adequately digesting food because of the crop issues she's also not really putting on weight and able to burn adequate calories in order to keep warm. I'm not an expert on chicken thermoregulation though...
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
25,357
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Colorado Rockies
You can offer her a heat source to warm up near. I do this in deep winter for my older hens that seem to be more affected by the cold. They do use it when the days are below freezing.
 

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