Very enlarged crop, no other symptoms

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by AVF, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. AVF

    AVF Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 19, 2011
    Lafayette, CA
    Hi our 5 month old barred rock (not laying yet) has a very enlarged crop. Probably the size of a golf ball or a little more. The crop is medium hard - a little mushy, but definetly not soft.

    She has been this way for at least 4 days. She is not exhibiting any sympotoms of discomfort. She is active. She is eating (feed as well as free ranging). I have seen her poop (it is a little watery). I think the crop has grown in size a little, but it is difficult to tell since she is so feathery.

    We have 5 other hens. One other is exhibiting similar symptoms.

    Do I need to take some action now?
    Can crops get so full that they pop?
    Should I feed her anything special?
    Some threads suggest vegetable oild to get stuff moving. Is that really a good idea?

    I've read some of the other threads on impacted crops (but I don't think hers smells funny). I'm a first time chicken person so I'm jsut a little hesitant to do a lot of the things people suggest. However, if chicknes sorta go though times when they have a full crop for an extended time and it resolves itself, I just want to know.

    Thanks,
    AVF
     
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Some pullets/hens crops are barely noticeable when full, while others end up looking like lopsided Dolly Partons. If you want to put your mind at ease, put all food up this evening when they go to roost and check her first thing in the morning (before she's had access to any food). I'll bet that her crop has shrunk again and she's just fine.
     
  3. Aimless Farmer

    Aimless Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 25, 2007
    N. Central MA
    If the crop hasn't gone down by morning, you can give Laxatone (cat hairball remedy) or just plain petrolium jelly. I used a short, rubber tube and syringe to force feed 1ml into the crop (bypass the wind pipe) every 12 hours. I don't know if you could trick her into eating it by mixing it in with something else. I had a hen almost starve to death from an impaction last winter. by the time I noticed her baseball-sized crop one morning, she had evidently been blocked for a while. She ended up losing about 1/3 of her body weight! The vet who helped me save her life said that olive oil (and any other food oils) get digested, so if the blockage is further down the digestive tract, the food oils get broken down and their lubricating properties become ineffective. Petrolium/petrolatum-based products, like Laxatone, are not digested, so they lubricate all the way through.

    If the crop becomes squishy, you have an additional issue, but don't assume it is "sour crop". I was treating mine as such (along with the impaction), and it turned out to be a bacterial infection in the crop, not yeast. If it smells like bread dough/bad beer, it's yeast. My hen's crop smelled like she had been snacking on dog poo! Whatever treatment kills yeast, feeds bacteria, and vice versa, so you have to be careful how you treat it so as not to grow further infection. I was already in it financially for the crop draining, antibiotics and an x-ray (to check for metal, long grasses and/or larger stones in the digestive tract), so when the vet offered to culture the crop contents, I agreed. In the end, it cost less than I had expected, and she's still with us today (after spending the entire winter in our livingroom in a giant dog crate), so no regrets.

    Good luck, and keep us posted!
     
  4. AVF

    AVF Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 19, 2011
    Lafayette, CA
    Both hens seem better in the morning.
    Thank.s They quickly filled back up when they sstarted eating.
    For now I'll stop worrying. Thanks for the replies.
    AVF
     
  5. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    [​IMG] It's hard not to be a nervous chicken mom, isn't it???
     

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