Young hen craw issues

Linda Hawkins

Chirping
Dec 17, 2020
20
74
51
Good morning, I have a hen with a really big craw, she is over 5 1/2 months old, I found a soft shell egg in the nest, and all of a sudden it appears as though this one hen of the dozen had ingested a cup or cup and a half of water. her craw was hanging down and swaying as she walked. The day before, she was not like that. I watched her for the next day to see if she panicked and drank a bunch maybe not knowing what was going in, if she was even the hen that layed the egg???I brought her in Friday night to warm her up, assess her action body function ect… through out the weekend, she would drink and spit up. I limited her intake of feed and water, to times that I could sit and watch her. I noticed she spit up a longer blade of grass. I put her back in the coop this morning, for exercise and to see if she drinks a lot today. I will massage her craw and see if grass is impacting her craw?? Will Yogurt help her? I will bring her in again tonight and keep massaging, to see if this is an issue, I tried to call a vet, they are not taking patients through the holidays, and now it is an emergency vet bill if she is in danger, or I am way off base with what I am seeing. She does not have diarrhea and is regular

Has anybody experienced anything remotely close to this before? Will yogurt help? some people are mentioning soaking her feet in warm Epsom salt bath and warm compress on the craw. I do not want to do the wrong thing with her.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
100,783
144,270
1,867
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Sounds like she has an impacted crop.

I would isolate her in a crate for the next few days/nights to assess her further.
Remove feed and water at dark and feel crop, check crop again first thing in the morning before restoring feed and water. Check poops, take pics.
Do the same the next night.

If she has a lump in her crop, feed a 1tsp coconut oil and massage crop gently thru the day, squishing the lump to help break it up.
I like to mix 'melted' CO with crumble, easy for them to eat it up.


I isolate bird in a wire cage within the coop for a day or two....so I can closely monitor their intake of food and water, crop function(checking at night and in morning before providing more feed), and their poops. Feel their abdomen, from below vent to between legs, for squishy or hard swelling. Check for external parasites or any other abnormalities.

Best to put crate right in coop or run so bird is still 'with' the flock.
I like to use a fold-able wire dog crate (24"L x 18"W x 21"H) with smaller mesh(1x2) on bottom of crate under tray.
Then you can put tray underneath crate to better observe droppings without it being stepped in. If smaller mesh is carefully installed, tray can still be used inside crate.
 

Linda Hawkins

Chirping
Dec 17, 2020
20
74
51
Sounds like she has an impacted crop.

I would isolate her in a crate for the next few days/nights to assess her further.
Remove feed and water at dark and feel crop, check crop again first thing in the morning before restoring feed and water. Check poops, take pics.
Do the same the next night.

If she has a lump in her crop, feed a 1tsp coconut oil and massage crop gently thru the day, squishing the lump to help break it up.
I like to mix 'melted' CO with crumble, easy for them to eat it up.


I isolate bird in a wire cage within the coop for a day or two....so I can closely monitor their intake of food and water, crop function(checking at night and in morning before providing more feed), and their poops. Feel their abdomen, from below vent to between legs, for squishy or hard swelling. Check for external parasites or any other abnormalities.

Best to put crate right in coop or run so bird is still 'with' the flock.
I like to use a fold-able wire dog crate (24"L x 18"W x 21"H) with smaller mesh(1x2) on bottom of crate under tray.
Then you can put tray underneath crate to better observe droppings without it being stepped in. If smaller mesh is carefully installed, tray can still be used inside crate.
 

Linda Hawkins

Chirping
Dec 17, 2020
20
74
51
Thank you so much for the information. I will start that ASAP! I work so will not be back with her until afternoon. She was returned to the coop yesterday and I pulled her back to go to the house, for isolation and observation. I do have her in a wire kennel, with newspaper, so that I can keep it clean. Her crop was, as I thought full of water yesterday. I massaged it several times last night. She appears to spit up the water, but her poo is normal looking and her appetite seems to still be good. However, she is mighty skinny with all that is going on and seems to be getting skinnier daily. I feed her and she eats. I will try the CO as you suggest and massage. I suspected grass, because she spit up water with a blade of grass approx. 4" long. I will get pics also, I didn't think of that. I appreciate your input and will keep trying for her.
 

Linda Hawkins

Chirping
Dec 17, 2020
20
74
51
How does the bird act? Is the bird alert, walking around, active, interested in her surroundings? If so, she is not in danger of dying.
She is active and eats and has solid poo, but she drinks a lot of water and fills her crop to the size of an orange and spits up. I notice when she drinks, she dips her beek completely under water, I have never seen this behavior, however, as a young lady on a farm, with mostly free range, and possibly because I was a teenager, I never noticed silly quirky chicken behavior before. With that said, I am a newby, and need to learn more. Thank you for your response
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
100,783
144,270
1,867
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Diagnosing and treating a crop issue takes time and patience.
It's too bad you can't tend to her during the work day.
Hard to leave enough crumble soaked in CO to last the day.

This morning, after the night with no feed or water, what did her crop feel like?
...and what did her droppings look like?
 

Linda Hawkins

Chirping
Dec 17, 2020
20
74
51
Diagnosing and treating a crop issue takes time and patience.
It's too bad you can't tend to her during the work day.
Hard to leave enough crumble soaked in CO to last the day.

This morning, after the night with no feed or water, what did her crop feel like?
...and what did her droppings look like?
Her droppings were solid, normal looking blackish green with the white film. My son takes her out. when I get home She will come back in. I have contacted him to bring her back to the wire crate. Yesterday she was full of water, when I brought her up. I leave at 4:30, I peeked in on her and of course, when I turned the light on she started eating. that is when I checked her poo loo
Diagnosing and treating a crop issue takes time and patience.
It's too bad you can't tend to her during the work day.
Hard to leave enough crumble soaked in CO to last the day.

This morning, after the night with no feed or water, what did her crop feel like?
...and what did her droppings look like?
...looked normal I will assess as you asked tonight and in the next morning.
 

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