Author Topic: Hen has large crop issue - Any suggestions would be appreciated.  (Read 26695 times)

Beth C

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Hen has large crop issue - Any suggestions would be appreciated.
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2012, 12:00:48 PM »
Sharon: I don\'t know how much she\'ll be able to absorb with an impacted crop, but it can\'t hurt to try the Nutri-Cal. My best wheaten pullet this year (isn\'t it always the best one?) managed to get her head trapped behind a loose board during a wind storm. She was alive when I found her but her neck was so sore she couldn\'t even lift her head, much less eat or drink. Figured she was going to die anyway, I didn\'t have anything to lose, so I stuck her in a crate in the garage, syringed water into her to keep her hydrated & force-fed her Nutri-Cal, and she did fully recover. But I don\'t think she would have w/o the Nuti-Cal, because it was at least a week before she could eat on her own.

Sharon Yorks

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Hen has large crop issue - Any suggestions would be appreciated.
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2012, 03:00:20 PM »
Well, I fought the blizzard and bought me some: Nutri-Cal, mineral oil, & IV tubing (Pet Supplies Plus has the tubing). I got her to throw up a lot more and it smells real sour. I can\'t feel any blockages, but the big question now is how to get it all to pass on through, and if there\'s no blockages, why isn\'t it digesting?  

After she threw up quite a bit, and I let her settle for several minutes, I fed her a little Nutri-Cal and got some mineral oil and apple cider vinegar in her. I\'m still not understanding the reasoning behind holding her totally upside down. If I threw up that way I\'d surely choke. And when a chicken throws up after drinking too much water, they don\'t have any problems with their head facing forward. I held her almost all of the way down, but when the stuff started coming out, I let her pick up her head a little and I kept pushing the stuff out for 10-15 seconds. She didn\'t choke or cough at all. I hope I didn\'t mess things up. If she got some into her lungs, how soon would I know? And she didn\'t fight me at all.

She acts hungry, and as long as I sprinkle little pieces of egg shell on whatever I\'m trying to feed her, she\'ll eat it. Looks like candy sprinkles to her, I guess. I\'m going to mix her up a very small batch of raw egg, mineral oil, ACV, & Nutri-Cal and give it to her in an hour or so.

Any other thoughts on how to get her digestive system back on track or what else to do for her. Her crop is still large. I\'m thinking a lot of this was cause from the lack of grit. I normally mix it into their feed instead of free choice. I had one bird that would eat every bit of grit I\'d set out. But since she\'s no longer here, I will start setting it out again.

Sharon  
Sharon Yorks
Mark 11:23

(Don't tell God how big your problem is, tell your problem how big your God is!)

Beth C

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Hen has large crop issue - Any suggestions would be appreciated.
« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2012, 05:09:28 PM »
I\'m way out of my realm here, but I\'ll throw this out there anyway: my buddy almost lost a really nice doe kid when she treated the mother with antibiotics, which passed to the kid through the milk, sterilizing her gut. When she didn\'t respond to probiotics they did a manure tea from a healthy animal to restore gut flora and it worked like a charm. But a crop isn\'t the same as a gut - does anyone know if there is a similar trick for birds?

greeneggsandham

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Hen has large crop issue - Any suggestions would be appreciated.
« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2012, 09:30:17 PM »
Well, if her crop is still large it either is not emptied of the sour feed or there is a mass in there you are just not recognizing.  Or sometimes, there is air in the crop, maybe because of gas buildup?  If you can\'t feel any solid matter in her crop and she is not pooping, she must be blocked further down the digestive tract.  There isn\'t much to do in that case, except hope the extra fluids help her pass it.  
So all I can advise is treat her for sour crop and hope it clears up.  Try to get all the sour food out of her crop before treatment, which ever way you feel comfortable with.  I will tell you, it is easier to empty or clean that crop if you add a little water to it.  After a few days of treatment, if it is still filling and not emptying, she probably has a blockage further down.  I can only suggest extra fluids in the hope it will move it along.  Other than that, there really isn\'t anything that I think can be done.  Hope she makes it.
Sharon
Hubby rues the day he brought the chicks home...

Mike Gilbert

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Hen has large crop issue - Any suggestions would be appreciated.
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2012, 12:30:40 PM »
Sharon, how about an update?

Sharon Yorks

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Hen has large crop issue - Any suggestions would be appreciated.
« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2012, 02:29:03 PM »
Yesterday morning, her crop was as large as it has ever been, probably close to a small grapefruit. She was acting fine, very alert, poop was a little runny, but at least there was poop. I massaged the lump a lot and made her throw up again, then fed her some Nutri-cal with grit and egg shell stuck in it. Thankfully, she still had her appetite. I called Peter Brown to get his input and he told me to try to flush it and make her throw up.

Teresa came over and she held \"Ruby\" and got her mouth open. I gently stuck a 3-4 inch IV tubing down her throat and syringed in some warm water. Peter told me to use 1 or 2 CCs of water, massage and make her throw up, then repeat in an hour or so a few times...and to be very careful not to put too much water in to where it starts to come back up on its own or I\'d drown the bird.

Okay, so here is where you can shake your head at my stupidity and say, \"Only by the grace of God...\" I didn\'t have anything that measured CCs so I guessed at it by feeling how much empty room I thought was in the crop and I put about 2 teaspoons in the syringe. When I just now thought about the online measure conversion, I Googled to see how much water 2 teaspoons was...= 10CCs...oops!

Teresa and I flushed Ruby 4 times within an hour (yes, I know what the doctor said, but we were pressed for time) ...each time Ruby threw up a little more than what I put into her. After that, you could tell most of the liquid was out of her, but there was still this large squishy ball that felt like loose hay that hadn\'t hardened. I then watered down (just enough water to make it runny) some Nutri-Cal and syringed it into her so I knew she would be fed. (Nutri-Cal is a thick paste-like substance that is full of calories and vitamins. Many almost-dead animals have been revived with this great product.) They seem to like the taste, too.

THIS MORNING\'S UPDATE: The lump is about the size of a lemon and is real soft...Yea! I made Ruby a small quarter size glob of watered down Nutri-Cal, a few bits of bread to soak it up, and egg shells and she gobbled it up. Teresa is coming over this afternoon to help me flush her again. I\'m not sure how much water to use, probably 5CCs. I think its really a matter of using as much as you can without overdoing it. The more water, the better, but also a much higher risk.

I really think this was all cause from a lack of grit. That\'s my best guess anyway. I\'m sure there may be other possible reasons. Thankfully, I caught this real fast. I will give another (much shorter) update again tomorrow. Thanks for your thoughtful concern. And I hope this helps others who may find themselves in this situation.

Sharon
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Mark 11:23

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greeneggsandham

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Hen has large crop issue - Any suggestions would be appreciated.
« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2012, 07:04:28 PM »
Well, grit could very well be what caused it.  I my experience, grit didn\'t make a difference.  They had access to it, but the hay still wadded up in the crop.  I guess some chickens just eat more of it than others and it causes problems.  If they are penned, I make sure my hens don\'t have access to it anymore.  But I would recommend giving them access to grit anyway.
Sharon
Hubby rues the day he brought the chicks home...

Mike Gilbert

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Hen has large crop issue - Any suggestions would be appreciated.
« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2012, 08:34:29 PM »
So why does anybody feed hay?   I don\'t, and cannot remember the last time any chicken on the place had an impacted crop.   I do feed chaff, gathered up when hay is moved from one barn to another, but it has very little long stem in it, and is primarily alfalfa leaves.  No way would I feed dry grass.   Wood shavings are much better bedding, and the chickens don\'t eat them.  My birds do get free choice grit, not mixed in the feed.

Sharon Yorks

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Hen has large crop issue - Any suggestions would be appreciated.
« Reply #23 on: January 05, 2012, 09:23:04 PM »
I don\'t \"feed\" hay, but I use it for the hen boxes. I never had a problem with anyone eating it until I mixed the younger girls (now 7 months old and starting to lay) in with the older girls. The young one thinks it\'s cool to get in the boxes and take all of the hay out. The older girls see the hay in their mouths and take it away from them and eat it. It\'s a very strange situation here. I could never use pine shavings with my older girls because they would eat it all. They never bothered with the hay. Now, the young girls are after the hay. That is one reason (other than dust) that I thought about trying shredded paper. I have my 5 week old chick (in my office) on the shredded hay. He loves nestling down in it and I\'ve never seen him eating it. Haven\'t tried it out in the coop yet...to be continued...

RUBY UPDATE TONIGHT: When I brought Ruby into the garage to work on her this evening, she started making a stressful breathing sound that sounded like a child with asthma. I have three black hens that are all out of the same pen from Joseph Woodiel who sent me eggs and I hatched out 16 months ago. All three are almost identical (Tonya, Tucker, & Ruby) and are exceptional in \"every\" way. I have wonderful stories about each one, but will spare you the details. It will be a miracle if I ever find anything close to them ever again. They will submit to \"anything\" I ever try to do, but this time, when she let me know she was feeling stressed, I submitted. I just loved on her for a little while, then put her back in the coop and put Tonya in with her. I\'ll see how she\'s doing in the morning and go from there.

Just for the record: These three hens are Paul Smith/John Blehm cross. I tried to get more eggs from Joe earlier this year, but the rooster was attacked and killed. I think by a fox.  
Sharon Yorks
Mark 11:23

(Don't tell God how big your problem is, tell your problem how big your God is!)

Sharon Yorks

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Hen has large crop issue - Any suggestions would be appreciated.
« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2012, 03:47:33 PM »
I checked on Ruby at 8:00pm last night and her stressful breathing had stopped. No signs of it this morning, either. The lemon-size ball is now a golf ball. It seems to have gone down a little more. This morning I fed her a chopped up hard boiled egg with a tsp of watered down Nuri-Cal poured over it which the yolk soaked up. She ate it right away. I\'ll keep her on a light diet for a few days, then try her on a little chicken feed if the lump goes away.

Just checked on her at 3:00pm. Lump is the same size. She\'s a little quieter than normal and didn\'t want anymore food. And I\'m not sure if she\'s drank any water. I\'ll have to keep better track of that. She still hasn\'t laid an egg since 12-30-11. Hope she\'s just tired. It\'s warming up here. I may take her for a walk outside this evening. More later.
Sharon Yorks
Mark 11:23

(Don't tell God how big your problem is, tell your problem how big your God is!)

greeneggsandham

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Hen has large crop issue - Any suggestions would be appreciated.
« Reply #25 on: January 06, 2012, 06:12:11 PM »
Quote from: Mike Gilbert
So why does anybody feed hay?   I don\'t, and cannot remember the last time any chicken on the place had an impacted crop.   I do feed chaff, gathered up when hay is moved from one barn to another, but it has very little long stem in it, and is primarily alfalfa leaves.  No way would I feed dry grass.   Wood shavings are much better bedding, and the chickens don\'t eat them.  My birds do get free choice grit, not mixed in the feed.


You misunderstood me.  I don\'t feed hay, I used to use it as bedding as it was free.  I still have it in the nest boxes, but that doesn\'t seem to present a problem with older hens who are free ranged anyway.  It was the younger birds that I grow out that were kept penned with hay bedding that I had problems with.  They get bored with feed and turn to hay I guess.
Sharon
Hubby rues the day he brought the chicks home...

greeneggsandham

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Hen has large crop issue - Any suggestions would be appreciated.
« Reply #26 on: January 06, 2012, 06:26:00 PM »
Quote from: Sharon Yorks
I checked on Ruby at 8:00pm last night and her stressful breathing had stopped. No signs of it this morning, either. The lemon-size ball is now a golf ball. It seems to have gone down a little more. This morning I fed her a chopped up hard boiled egg with a tsp of watered down Nuri-Cal poured over it which the yolk soaked up. She ate it right away. I\'ll keep her on a light diet for a few days, then try her on a little chicken feed if the lump goes away.

Just checked on her at 3:00pm. Lump is the same size. She\'s a little quieter than normal and didn\'t want anymore food. And I\'m not sure if she\'s drank any water. I\'ll have to keep better track of that. She still hasn\'t laid an egg since 12-30-11. Hope she\'s just tired. It\'s warming up here. I may take her for a walk outside this evening. More later.


That\'s good that the lump seems to be getting smaller.  Are you massaging it?  Does the food seem to be passing through her better?  The breathing is worriesome.  I hope food or water didn\'t get in her lungs.  Antibiotics might be called for if that happened.  Thanks for the updates.
Sharon
Hubby rues the day he brought the chicks home...

Mike Gilbert

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Hen has large crop issue - Any suggestions would be appreciated.
« Reply #27 on: January 06, 2012, 06:29:12 PM »
If the chickens are bored they oftentimes turn to vices that are not good for them, including feather picking.  Now that is another type of roughage that may be difficult to pass through the crop.   I\'m told that hanging a head of cabbage just above their heads, so they need to stretch a bit to reach it,  is a good ploy to keep them busy and eating something healthy for them.

Sharon Yorks

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Hen has large crop issue - Any suggestions would be appreciated.
« Reply #28 on: January 06, 2012, 07:44:22 PM »
It almost seems as though all the liquid has gone and now it\'s down to a small harder lump. It was a lot squishier when there was liquid in it, but we made her throw most of that up and she\'s pooped the rest of it out. I just went down to the coop again at 6:30pm and took a syringe full of water and dripped it into her mouth a few drops at a time until she got all of the water in her...probably 3 tbs. I sat and massaged the knot (which I should have done more often today) and tried to loosen it up. It did a little, but there still seems to be a small mass in there. But what was real surprising was, as soon as I put her back in her 5x8 run and put one of her sisters in with her for the night, she went over and drank some more water. That has me a bit confused. Maybe I just primed the pump.

She hasn\'t made the stress breathing sound since I took her out of the garage. I think that was just a stress issue that was relieved once she went back to the coop. Looking back, flushing her 4 times in an hour was way to much. I\'m sure it helped a lot, and she didn\'t rebel or fight, but that had to be hard on her. I think she felt internal panic when I brought her back in the garage, thinking we were going to stick that tube into her throat again. I don\'t think any water got into her lungs. She made that sound once last spring. It sounded so much like when my son had the croup, I rushed Ruby into the house and steamed up the bathroom, then stood her in a warm tub of water and steamed her up. ..okay, you can all stop laughing at me now. I\'m new at this...but she did stop breathing like that by the time I took her out of the shower, and I wrapped her in a towel, dried her off, then blow-dried her off. I remember standing her on my husband\'s work table, thinking...\"This bird actually acts like she likes this.\" She never once tried to jump off the table or get away from me. She hasn\'t made that sound since, until last night.

I need to get more liquids in her, I think. I hate to put ACV because it smells so sour, but it may help with the digestion. Ahhh! What to do, what to do?
Sharon Yorks
Mark 11:23

(Don't tell God how big your problem is, tell your problem how big your God is!)

Beth C

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Hen has large crop issue - Any suggestions would be appreciated.
« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2012, 08:11:53 AM »
Quote
steamed up the bathroom then stood her in a warm tub of water and steamed her up. ..okay, you can all stop laughing at me now.


No laughter here - I have an elderly Amazon parrot with chronic respiratory problems and this is exactly what my avian vet told me to do when he has flare-ups. (Which are thankfully rare in our hot, humid climate.)