We started with Cocci - now it looks like clogged crop's!

BigSoftee

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 8, 2009
17
0
22
Pfafftown, NC
Hi everybody;
I'm trying to save my few remaining bantam's from a recent hatch. About a week ago, I had 15 chicks, they were all doing well and happy. There have been some heavy rains here in the state for the past few days, and suddenly my chicks started to pass. I found one outside in the cold rain, and five more inside, all dead. I had assumed it was exposure related problems, so I made sure the chicks had good water, clean food - and plenty of light/warmth (the heaters were unplugged because the chicks are almost a month old - but thinking about the cold rain I plugged them all in). The next evening, I found five more had passed - the rain had continued all day and night.

Being despondent the better half and I started searching the web to see what may have been the cause. These fifteen bitties were not alone in the coop - in fact they were with two other sets of bitties - each set about a week older than the next, the oldest being almost a month ahead of these remaining bantams.

The bantams were the only ones having problems surviving.

The wife and I treated everyone for cocci - we moved the bantams indoors, (the remaining five) and made sure they received the cocci treatment (liquid medication) as well as nutri-drench. I set them up in a warm cage line with shavings, and a good heat lamp (they had plenty of room to self regulate). The bitties have been sitting under the light constantly, all bunched together; their droppings have been sparse, and runny. The have been on chick feed, I believe 20% is the mix.

That was two or three days ago, I've only lost two more of the bitties, the three remaining having been alive for over 48 hours and seemed to be doing well. Yesterday while sitting with the little guys I noticed that all three seemed to have swollen crops. They were full of what appeared to be liquid.

Doing further research I suspected sour crop, or maybe a clog. I pulled their feed and water last night to make sure it was a real problem - and not just them being greedy. Sure enough this morning when I checked on them, their crops are still full of what feels like grain (a mush type consistency) - although all the liquid had drained out. I gave them back their water, and am looking for advice on what steps to take next.

They were outside in a run - so they could have some kind of "fiberous clog" as one article suggested - but at the same time, I'm wondering if the cocci medicine may have something to do with it - as I know I gave them a bit higher of a dose than recommended. Anyone have any suggestions?

I would really like these last three to live - out of fifteen it's horrible odds....

Chris
 

tulie13

Songster
10 Years
Feb 12, 2009
641
11
143
NW Florida
Is there somewhere they could have gotten ahold of a lot of grass or something that could be wadded up in their crops? Runny/watery poo indicates that they may not be getting enough to eat, possibly because the crop is jammed and food is not passing through.

Try seeing if you can get the crops to empty by turning them upside down and gently massaging the crop upward, sort of "pushing" the food up/out. If not, try giving them some olive oil - even if it doesn't loosen everything up, it will probably go down itself and they will get a bit of nutrition (fat = calories).

I would try a baking soda flush on them if the olive oil doesn't work within a day or two - normally you would want to withhold food and wait to see if the crop goes down on its own, but you've done that for one day and it hasn't. Also, you've already lost 12 to this malady!
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If you do the baking soda flush of their crops, you should get a bunch of stuff out, and then they may recover. 1/2 cup baking soda in a pint of warm (not hot!) water - fill a child's ear syringe with it and squirt some down the throat (behind the tongue, not in front - that's where they breathe!). Wait a minute, rub the crop a little, and then turn the chicken upside-down and rub the crop in an upward direction, basically "inducing vomiting". See if you can get anything to come up - you should be able to, and it should (theoretically) be a lot of nasty stuff!

If they have big wads of grass in there, the flush might not get it out, but it should get out loose/nasty/rotting stuff. Something you may want to do - if you have the body of one who has died, cut the crop open and look in there. Whatever is in that one is probably in the rest of them. If you have already disposed of the bodies, then hopefully no more of your remaining 3 will die, but if they do cut it open and look. Good luck, and keep us updated!
 

BigSoftee

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 8, 2009
17
0
22
Pfafftown, NC
Thanks for the reply... When I went home at lunch to check on them they were all still alive and kicking - although their crops again were small they still were present. I changed out their water, putting in fresh water with nutridrench, cocci meds, and some olive oil. We'll start there and see if anything happens by this evening when I get home.

These guys sure did have access to things like grass - they were in their outdoor run (one of the few places in the yard that has grass!). If their condition hasn't improved by this evening I'll try to "induce vomiting" - in the mean time I have been giving their crops a little rub to see if I can help anything along at all. Hope they're fine by tonight - I hate to have to go through and induce vomiting in all three :)


Chris
 

Judy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
594
448
South Georgia
Remember the crops are supposed to be full in the evening. A little massage won't hurt, though. It's in the morning when they should feel empty; that's when you'll know if they really have a problem.

Here are some threads you probably need to read. Inducing vomiting is not without risk.

https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=1198

Scroll way down to the links to the crop problem threads.
 

tulie13

Songster
10 Years
Feb 12, 2009
641
11
143
NW Florida
Quote:
I agree - if the crops are "going down", even if it's not fully flat, then some stuff is passing through and you can nurse them along with olive oil and some vitamin-electrolyte water, maybe some soft food (no grains/scratch - moistened crumbles only).

I fought for 3 weeks with a sour/impacted crop - it finally cleared up. I started with olive oil-soaked bread crumbs, and vitamin water, then some egg yolk for protein. She was puking so much on her own I did the baking soda flush just to "clean her out". After that, no food for the evening, and then started feeding her the next morning. She recovered quickly after that.
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BigSoftee

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 8, 2009
17
0
22
Pfafftown, NC
Well, things are looking up, all three appear to be passing food (at least that's what the droppings say at the bottom of the cage!).

I'm going to continue monitoring them, and keep the olive oil in the water for another day or so (along with the nutridrench and cocci medication). As of lunch today though, they were all moving around quite well, their crops were about half full and looking normal (I also gave them some more chick-grit yesterday, which I figured couldn't hurt).

Thanks for the help everyone, so long as their condition continues to improve - it looks like they will be moving back out of the house for the weekend!

Chris
 

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