Very Swollen Crop, comb horrible bluish white color

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Angela902, May 14, 2011.

  1. Angela902

    Angela902 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 18, 2009

    I've spent a couple of hours researching this subject here, but I'm still not sure exactly what to do next.

    My hen is sitting there with her wings and tail down, eyes closed, and very blue white comb. She doesn't appear to have a breathing issue. i brought her in yesterday and gave her amoxicillin. She had two doses of that yesterday. Three days ago I treated everyone with ivermectin drop on.

    She has likely been sick for some time. I've had a loose eye on her as a possible problem; then I got sick myself and couldn't take on anymore vet responsibilities for anyone else (I've had a sick chicken in the house for months now, plus I have to bring my rooster in every night because of the neighbors).

    The immediate obvious problems are: very swollen crop. When I opened her mouth to try to get a look inside, liquid came up everywhere. The same thing happened when I grabbed her out of the coop yesterday; she opened her mouth and liquid food came out all over my foot. She didn't appear to eat much of anything yesterday, I did see her drink. All the droppings in her cage from yesterday were greenish yellowish liquid with a few specks of undigested green (I gave her some weed sprouts she must have tried a few). I tried to get a smell for her breath and it does seem like bad breath but my own smelling ability right now is not so great so I'm not sure its exactly sour, but probably is.

    The inside of her mouth looks fine except for the ease with which liquid comes pouring out.

    Should I try to turn her upside down and empty her crop that way or will that only kill her? I don't think I can get her to eat anything like the applesauce/yogurt mixture on her own. I offered her yogurt and organic cheerios this morning and she didn't go for it at all. I don't feel anything hard in her crop--it's just swelled up like a mushy balloon.

    I feel like I need to so something immediately but I don't know what it is.

    Please help! Usually when I post here no one writes back, but I have to try again...

  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I have no experience with either of these, only done a lot of reading here. Not sure why a swollen crop would cause a circulation problem in the comb, or whether the two are unrelated. Usually a blue comb is heart and / or lung I think. I'd probably do whatever I had to do to try to get that crop empty.

    Best of luck to you.
  3. corrae

    corrae Out Of The Brooder

    May 25, 2009
    Hi Angela--
    I don't know very much, so take this for what it's worth--but she sounds like she might possibly have "sour crop." I lost a hen of mine to that--my fault--but I did research here and found a lot of advice. One thing I would do immediately is gently massage her crop--kneading and rubbing. You want to get the stuff in there to get going and digest. I had good luck with apple cidar vinegar and water--best of luck to you. I know how upsetting this is.

  4. Angela902

    Angela902 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 18, 2009
    Thanks for replying Dawn.

    It is true that there is probably more wrong than a sour crop. My chickens did not come through the winter all that well and I have been worried about them. But I am now getting overwhelmed by it. One suddenly died. Then I discovered the whole flock had pox; I've had a chicken in the house for months with a respiratory issue that antibiotics help but aren't curing. Another was in the house for a month before I put her back in with the flock. I held off on the ivermectin till I thought they were healthier and could take it. I have suspected so many different things. The last was gapeworm so I went ahead finally with the ivermectin.

    It does seem though that with this latest sick chicken, the crop issue has to be dealt with now.

    I read a post here about a baking soda flush where you don't hold the chicken upside down, but rather syringe in a baking soda solution and then push up on the crop to get it out. This sounds a bit safer, but I still worry about putting the liquid down the wrong hole. Have you ever done this? I don't want to err by putting the fluid down the breathing side. It sounds like, facing the chicken the feeding tube should go to the right?, while the crop is on the left. Is that right? I am very uncertain about chicken anatomy.

    This is the post I found that I was thinking about trying:

    "To flush a crop is not hard to do this:

    once again I will try and express the manner in which you do a flush


    (1) chickens do not throw up!!!

    (2) so it is you that have to keep them right side up and come up from below the crop and push, bringing the spoiled food etc out the chickens beak. tHIS IS DONE WITH YOUR PUSHING WITH YOUR HAND UP AGinst the chickens crop area.

    (3) to flush you need
    1 pt of warm water
    1/2 cup of baking soda
    now mix and fill a childs ear syringe
    as the syringe has a tuve on it then enter the tube to the right side to the back of the throat
    then put the soda water into the chicken by pressing on the ear syringe gently to expell all of the water into the chickens crop

    (4) so when flushing the crop you only want to get the spoiled things out of the crop
    to do this you have to have the chicken on a table looking at you
    it is good if you can have some one hold the chicken for you

    now with your one hand on the chicken take the other hand and come up hard pressed against the chickens crop asrea

    forcing the spoil food out the beak of the chicken
    you do this manually as the chicken can't do it

    (5) as for leaving the baking soda in the sour crop that is important as it is what cures the sour crop
    so hopefully some of the baking soda stayed in the crop

    (6) you have to do the flushing three times in a row when doing the flush. this generally gets the bird started on being well

    (7)as that is what gets the spoiled food out

    important is the day of flushingg do not feed any thing but give ACV in water

    (9) next day and for a week only feed the chicken 1 slice of bread with milk on it
    twice a day
    and have ACV in the water all the time

    (10) when back on regular feed crumbles feed some wet mash probiotic
    email me for the recipe this is very important for the birds gut flora reactivated"

    Does this sound like good advice to you??? So many disagree here...
  5. bucky52

    bucky52 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2011
    was she like this before you treated her with ivermectin.i read that this is hard on chickens.i had ordered ivermectin for my hens but
    after doing some research on ivermectin i decided i was not going to use of luck with her.
  6. Angela902

    Angela902 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 18, 2009
    Thanks for replying.

    I don't know if her crop was swollen before the ivermectin. Checking the calendar, I guess I treated with ivermectin 5 days ago. I suppose if she'd had sour crop for that long, she'd be dead by now. Most of my chickens seem to lack overall health though. They are skinny, they have been getting over fowl pox. I have had a lot of off-color combs, most of which seem to be brightening up now. I saw a bit of gaping so I got worried about gape worm. They are skinny so I worried about worms in general. I last wormed them in July with a goat wormer. I decided that if it was gapeworm waiting until it was totally obvious would be a bad thing. I do see that opening the mouth thing; not so much the neck stretching thing. But from what I've heard, gapeworm spreads fast and isn't easy to cure except at the beginning.

    I am pretty frustrated with the chicken keeping thing right now. First a chicken died; then I noticed fowl pox; then I have a chicken in the house for about three months now with a respiratory issue that is not going away and appears resistant to antibiotics-- though they do help; they are all skinnier than I think they should be; a chicken is out there opening her mouth; I think this one with the crop issue was doing that too, though now I can't remember because I've been overwhelmed by all of this and my own illness. And I have a cat with mange. Just too much going on and it is driving me nuts.

    I want to try to treat this sour crop, but I'm afraid. Afraid of doing something because I don't know what I'm doing; afraid of doing nothing because then she'll probably just die.

    Part of me wishes I had the guts to just put them out of their misery. but it is a wish in vain. I have difficulty killing bugs some days.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by