Two hens with swollen, protruding crops...what to do?


10 Years
Oct 5, 2009

Over the past week, two of my 1.5 year old Turken hens have developed really swollen crops. They don't have a lot of feathers on their chests to begin with, which seems to make the swelling all the more noticeable. Both hens are active, eating, drinking, pooping, chatting and running around. One of them looks terrible and seems to be in an aggressive molt, the other one looks like her normal self. I tried massage at first and it seemed to help for a bit, but now it's gotten worse. I can see the outline of the pellets in the crop of the hen who is looking really ragged. I've tried massaging them upside down and right side up, but that hasn't changed anything. I've given them castor oil & taken away their food, but so far no change. The crops are firm, warm and discolored (reddish).

I'm really concerned because three weeks ago, another of my Turkens died very suddenly. At the time of her death, her crop was distended, but nothing like what these two birds have. I've never heard of such a thing in multiple birds. I have 9 hens and they all eat egg-layer pellets and oyster shells, lots of greens and bugs. They live in a fairly sizeable coop and have a fenced in run.

I keep reading about opening the crop to empty out the contents. Should I do that? Is there anything I should try first? I am at a loss.

Thanks, in advance, for any information, suggestions or advice.

The crops are supposed to be full after a day of eating.

IF there is a problem, they will STILL be full early in the morning before the bird has a chance to eat any new food.
Thanks for your reply. Their crops have been consistently swollen for about a week, regardless of the time of day. I'll see if I can get a picture up.
Have they been on fresh cut grass? The longer strands of grass could have blocked the exit from their crop, causing an impaction. Alternatively they could have some disease that is backing up their digestive tract.

It does sound like impacted crop. You will probably need to surgically empty the crop. Personally I would contact a vet, but I think you can probably find the instructions if you do a search in this forum.

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