When I massage my hen's crop she acts like she's choking

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jbs, Jan 26, 2015.

  1. jbs

    jbs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm having an issue with one of my hens. It started as diarrhea and listlessness and has progressed to the point where she won't eat or drink. This has been going on for around 10 days. I figured out along the way that she had a bad mite infestation, so I dusted her (and the rest of the flock) for mites. She was still eating and drinking (and producing normal looking droppings) so I left her in the coop unless it was especially cold. Since she's stopped eating and drinking I'm keeping her inside my house. This has been 3-4 nights.

    She does not have sour crop, but her crop is gurgly, it sounds like a person with an empty stomach. I've read several posts about impacted crop or gizzard, so in case this is what I'm dealing with, I've been giving her water with electrolytes and probiotics via an oral syringe. When I get some water into her crop it sounds gurgly again. She's producing watery stools. I've started giving her yogurt via the syringe, and she has some more normal looking stools, watery and green. I took her feed away when I read about impacted crop, but she wasn't eating anyway. She won't eat anything on her own now, not even hard boiled egg.

    I've read about massaging the crop, but when I touch this hen's crop, she acts like she's choking. She'll stand up very straight and shake her head, like she's trying to clear something from her throat. I read that I should massage downward, so that's what I'm trying to do, but I still feel like I'm choking her. I don't push very hard. The crop is not huge, and I don't feel anything hard inside, but I'm not sure that I'd be able to detect an abnormality.

    I once took a hen with sour crop to an avian vet in Baltimore and it was an awful experience. $175 and my hen died a few hours later anyway. The vet seemed very dismissive, said it's often an internal problem that causes sour crop, and my hen would likely die regardless of treatment. So I'm reluctant to take my current hen to a vet, but if I can find a different avian vet in the area I may try. For now I'm trying to load my chicken up on water and massage her crop, but I don't want to choke her to death. Can anyone give me advice on this?
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Many times chickens with any type of illness can have a slow crop that will fill full. It can be dangerous to massage the crop when it is very full of liquid, since it can cause aspiration or choking. I would not massage the crop. Coccidiosis, worms, or enteritis could be possible problems. I would try worming with Valbazen, and think about treating her with a sulfa antibiotic, such as sulfadimethoxine or Sulmet. Corid is better for cocci, but the sulfa might treat cocci and other infections. Sometimes without vet advice, it is hard to tell what exactly is wrong.
     
  3. jbs

    jbs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks Eggcessive. I felt like I was doing more harm than good with crop massage. I won't attempt it again. We're in a bit of a snow storm now but when I can get out again I'll see what sort of antibiotics I can find at TSC. It may be too late for my hen now anyway; she's not looking good.

    Even WITH vet advice it's hard to tell what's wrong with a chicken. The avian vet I saw told me that chickens get tumors and this and that, and a lot can go wrong internally.
     
  4. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    No need to massage the crop if there's not a crop impaction. Can you post a picture of her poop?

    -Kathy
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2015
  5. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    If she were mine I would de-worm with Safeguard liquid for goats or Safeguard paste for horses, but I would only do it if I knew she was properly hydrated, which you can do with a tube and syringe very easily. Then depending on what her poop looked like I might start her on Corid and/or an antibiotic.

    Check out this link:
    http://www.lafebervet.com/avian-medicine-2/avian-nutrition/tube-feeding/

    Send me a pm if you want to learn how to tube.

    -Kathy
     
  6. jbs

    jbs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2011
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    I already threw out the papers with this morning's chicken droppings on them, but it's been mostly dark green and watery, or else completely watery, depending on how much food I can get into her beak.

    I'm going to buy some Tylan so I'll at least have it on hand for my next sick hen. I'll also get Wazine at TSC. I doubt that worming is going to save my chicken, but it can't hurt. I have Pyrantel Pamoate but I can't find dosing information for chickens, so I don't think I'm going to chance it.
     
  7. jbs

    jbs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the link, Casportpony. I'm not sure that I can handle tube feeding on my own, and I'm afraid that I'd injure my hen. If I can find an avian vet in time, maybe s/he could show me how to do it though.
     
  8. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    Safeguard or Valbazen would be a better wormer to use.

    -Kathy
     
  9. jbs

    jbs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2011
    Maryland
    I called around and found TWO avian vets near me, but neither is in the office today. Both will be in tomorrow and can see my sick hen then. So if I can keep her alive overnight I'll get her to the vet. I wish I had called last week before my hen deteriorated to her current state, but I had such a bad avian vet experience last time that I decided I'd never do that again. Can't do much now other than try to keep her hydrated.
     
  10. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    Fingers crossed for you.

    -Kathy
     

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