Too late to try to save this hen?**updated**


8 Years
Jul 19, 2011
NC Foothills
We've been getting 4 eggs from our 5 hens for the past several days. We have 5 hens and we always have 5 eggs. I thought maybe their cycles were just off and each day it was one's turn to not lay, so I haven't been worried. Last night when my hubby closed them up for the night he said one of the hens didn't come down from the roost.
This AM when I let them out, one of them didn't come out at first, but when she did she was slow. Her comb & wattles have shrank & aren't as bright. Her feet are barely just slightly paler than the other hens. She didn't eat, and one of other hens kinda pecked at her, so I figured maybe they weren't letting her eat. So I put her back in the coop, and took her some food, but she wanted nothing to do with it. I started petting her from the front to the back, but her crop is severely impacted, she stood up and backed away a little when I got to her crop. She blinked very slowly, so pitiful.
I didn;t do anything yet. We had a hen get an impacted crop last summer, and I massaged, and massaged, and fed it oily bread & yogurt for 3 days, made it throw up. And it died, but that ones crop was squishy, and was all stretched out and wobbly. This one is hard, and huge, but close to her body, so you can't tell by looking at it.
I think she's too far gone- I feel like at this point we would just be prolonging her suffereing.
Someone chime in! Should we try to save her??? If she doesn't make it, is it safe to eat her???

**** It's been about 14 hours since I first discovered the crop impaction. I massaged & got her to drink oil out of my hand. The impaction seemed to break up & go down each time. About 2 hrs ago, I went down with the hubby to put them up for the night, so I could give her more oil. It was already dark- when we opened the door, she was on the other side of it, down in the corner, huddled up alone. Her crop was squishy. She drank a little more oil, but didn't seem interested in it. We removed all the food, but I guess that won't keep them from pecking around in the litter. I didn't see her eat or drink all day, just the oil that I gave her the 2x earlier today. I don't want her to suffer. If she's still squishy in the morning, I'm gonna check our local mill for the Bragg's ACV. If I can't find any, I will give her the kind from Wal-Mart- I already have some of that. *********
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I would try to save her. Bring her inside where it is warm, and start the oil and massaging. It sounds like your other bird may have had sour crop which is different. I am quick to euthanize birds for the big problems, but crop impactions are not one of them unless you cannot budge the impaction after working on it for a while. I would give her a couple days. If the impaction won't break up after the first couple days, then I would consider culling her. I don't know that I would ever perform crop surgery on any bird other than a favorite.

Sorry for your situation. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
I just went back down there, and she was out with the other hens in their run, but her activity level wasn't what it normally is. I took her in the coop & shut bothdoors, and her crop didn't feel as big as it did earlier, but it was still hard and bigger than normal. She did fight me on the oil, but did very willingly drink it out of my hand once she tasted it- I was using EVOO, only oil I have- I'm guessing she probably got about a tablespoon of it. I massaged and massaged, and as with the other hen that we had who's crop went wonky (but that one's activity level never changed), I was afraid I was massaging too hard, but she didn't seem like it bothered her. It got noticably smaller & softer, but not down to what the other hens crops felt like-I checked theirs. It also seemed to 'spread' to her other side, which at first I thought maybe I'd made her crop burst, but she didn't act any different. So I ended up kinda massaging with my thumb & index finger in a 'V', kinda of a pinching downward motion. She really perked up at the oil. I let her run around the coop alone to see if she would try to eat or drink & she didn't. When I opened the door, the other hens came in and out, but she stayed in. I hung around and played with the other hens a few minutes & tormented the rooster, and she was standing in the corner when I came back out of the yard. I don't have anywhere in the house that I can put her, and we don't have a garage. I'm gonna check on her again in a couple of hours.
How's she doing today?

She's didn't come out of the coop at all this AM, her crop is really squishy, and I sniffed around her pretty good yesterday, but didn't smell anything that would indicate a sour crop, but she burped or something like that while I was checking her out just now, and it smelled pretty bad. She did eat a bite of food & a couple 'bites' of oil out of my hand, since that's what I already had down at the coop. I called the mill & they don't carry Bragg's, so I'm gonna see if I can get a dropperful of regular kind into her crop, and maybe some yogurt with a probiotic capsule emptied into it. Her poop is still bright yellowy-green, but she is pooping. Also, if she recovers, and starts laying again, will it be okay to eat her eggs or should we hold off??
***Update*** I checked on her at lunch time- I found some Braggs ACV at the healthfood store in town, so I took a 2tsps in a dropper- she probably only got about half of it. She was outside with the other hens, but not moving as fast. In the coop she ate a little food, but mostly wanted to lay in the corner- I didn't see her drink any. She's still got bright green & yellow diarrhea. Her crop felt doughy. I thought she felt warm- it's alot warmer today that it was yesterday & the sun's out. I checked out a few of the other hens, she feels lighter, but as far as warmth, it was the same. Their crops felt like golfballs- her's seems alot bigger. I guess we'll see. I think I'm gonna start putting ACV in the water every now & then for good measure since this is the 2nd time we've had this happen. I just worry about vinegar b/c it dissolves calcium.
I've never had a crop issue with my birds but there are many many informative posts here on BYC about crop issues. Try using "Search" feature, and check for 'impacted crop' and 'sour crop' and see if any of the info is helpful to your poor girl. I believe Nathalie Ross had some older posts on treatment of at least one of these issues if you wnat to search by author. If avian vet is an option, I wouldn't wait too long. Alternatively, you might also try Peter Brown at First State Vet Supply (google and it will come up) - if you want to do a phone consult - he is a wealth of info.

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