Apr 22, 2012

Answers from The Chicken Vet on Impacted, Sour & Pendulous Crops


Today's question in my series "Answers from The Chicken Vet" comes from several fans: Q: "'What's the difference between impacted, pendulous and sour crops?
*note crop location
A: Impacted vs Pendulous vs Sour Crops
Although there are several presentations for crop issues in chickens, the root cause, and the actual disease is usually the same.  When chickens gorge themselves on long, fibrous foods, their crop (and occasionally gizzard) can become blocked.  Sometimes this results in an impacted crop, which is a crop that is full of a tangle of fibre that is firm, dry and relatively hard.  Sometimes, the bird will drink a lot to try to help pass the blockage....this will result in sour crop, which is a crop full of watery, half-rotten, acidic soup that actually smells worse than it sounds.  Sour crop may also be associated with fungal infection, although there is some question about whether the fungus causes the poor emptying of the crop, or is a result of it.  Finally, if the crop (which is basically a sac of smooth muscle) becomes damaged, the muscle will fail, and the crop loses its form and tension.  Unfortunately, it also loses much of its function.  This is what results in “pendulous crop”....the sac is saggy and enlarged.
The main factor in crop problems is prevention.  DON’T give your hens access to long, lush, springy grass, twine or other long, stringy things that they can eat.  DO make sure that there is plenty of good, palatable water near where the hens will be foraging.  If you yard is large, and you have some “bully” birds, it is a good idea to provide a few “drinking stations” where timid birds can get some water while they are feeding. 

These problems are more prevalent in the spring, when the grass is lush, and less likely to break when the hens peck at them.  This is especially true when the hens are coming into lay, and have large appetites that may cause them to gorge themselves when they get the chance.  You should cut your grass fairly short before releasing your hens for the first time in the spring, and if the cuttings are long, rake them up.  Naturally, keeping strings and twine away from the hens is a good idea.
Treatment for crop disorders involves 1) emptying them as appropriate and 2) treating for secondary infections if necessary.  Sour crop can be helped by holding the bird face-down, at about a 60 degree angle, and massaging the crop towards the throat....the stinky mess should come out like vomit, and reduce the swelling.  Be sure to let the hen breathe between bouts of massaging, and keep her inside for a couple days after, feeding soft foods and adding a little bit (1tbsp/gallon) of baking soda to the drinking water to combat the acidity.  Do NOT use cider vinegar to treat this, as it only adds to the acid burden.  Treatment with an anti-fungal agent might be of value, but often, once the sour crop is dealt with and the hen is back to eating well, it is unnecessary.
Impacted crop can be treated by flushing the crop with water to help soften up the “ball”.  Using a syringe and tube, put water gently into the esophagus, behind the opening at the back of the throat that goes to the lungs.  Gently massage the crop several times per day, softening the mass.  Adding some vegetable oil may help a little, but you will usually get reasonable results from water alone.  I would NOT recommend surgery on your own....if you cannot get the impaction resolved through massage, water and oil, contact a vet to help you out....gastrointestinal surgery has a HUGE potential to go horribly wrong in an amateur’s hands.

If the crop becomes pendulous, there is little you can do to help.  Feeding very digestible food will help her health, massaging the food through the crop and allowing it to empty fairly regularly will help as well, but the crop will seldom return to normal.  This problem is considered to be fairly heritable, so hens with pendulous crops should likely not be used for breeding.

Dr. Mike Petrik, DVM, MSc
The Chicken Vet


*Anatomical illustration reproduced for educational purposes, courtesy of Jacquie Jacob, Tony Pescatore and Austin Cantor, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. Copyright 2011. Educational programs of Kentucky Cooperative Extension serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability, or national origin. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, M. Scott Smith, Director, Land Grant Programs, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Lexington,and Kentucky State University, Frankfort. Copyright 2011 for materials developed by University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension. This publication may be reproduced in portions or its entirety for educational and nonprofit purposes only. Permitted users shall give credit to the author(s) and include this copyright notice. Publications are also available on the World Wide Web at www.ca.uky.edu. Issued 02-2011

99 comments :

  1. That is interesting but what are the signs of this?
    Curious,
    Jeanine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jeanne and thanks for your question.
      Some of the signs of crop impaction are that the crop will feel full and firm, the crop will be full first thing in the morning when it ought to be empty after not having eaten all night, a late sign is weight loss.
      Sour crop is easily detected by the sour smell coming from the chicken's mouth.

      Delete
  2. Thanks so much for all the info. So much to learn, but very much worth it.
    Denise Barry-Santiago

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congratulations Denise, you have won the CHICKEN ADDICT vinyl, window decal!
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    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    3. Better late thank never, right? LOL I'll send it out tomorrow Denise. Thanks for participating!

      Delete
  3. Great information to know. What would we all do without you? Our chickens thank you too for everything you do to help us be informed in keeping them healthy & happy!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for sharing this information. Every day I learn so much. The more I learn, the better I can care for my girls. Again, thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is my new favorite website! So happy I stumbled upon it!

    ReplyDelete
  6. robin mcdowell4/22/12, 6:34 PM

    I had a chicken with impacted crop, It swollowed a piece of straw so we got a little olive oil down it and massaged it and repeated it for a couple days and it finally passed through.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Good to know! So, should I prevent my chickens from getting near any kind of long grass?

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am now fallowing your blog! idk why i wasnt before!

    Im actually really glad you posted this, im in my second year of chickens, and had no idea! Even if something like this did happen, i wouldnt know what it was or what to do until now!

    Thank you...

    ReplyDelete
  9. One of my pullet's breast is larger on one side than the other at times. Is this a sign of a crop problem or is it normal after eating a lot? I don't recall which side is "swollen/larger".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is normal for chickens' crops to be full after eating, it should feel soft-ish and empty within a few hours. When it does not empty is when there is a problem. It's easist to check first thing in the morning after a night without eating.

      If you look at the diagram above, you can see where the crop is located so you know where to feel.

      Delete
  10. I raise Cornish cross broilers. Two of the roosters gorged themselves on food until the crop was the size of a baseball. Then they couldn't breathe and choked to death. This happened within an hour after gorging themselves. The crop contained only chicken feed. There was no long grass, fibers or anything else. These chickens will actually continue eating, even when they can no longer stand up.

    How can this gorging be prevented or diminished?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never raised meat birds but I understand that their feeding regimen is different from layers. Would it be possible to feed them incrementally so they cannot ingest more than their crops can process in a two hour span?

      Delete
  11. My chicken had sour crop and had vet treatment for it. A week after the treatment has finished and it had recovered, it now seam to have impacted crop.Do these problems often go hand in had?

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Should feed be withheld if a chicken has sour crop? My rooster has it and I have "barfed" him two mornings in a row. The weird thing was worms from four days ago came out both times. Also I gave him a yogurt mix with feed yesterday. I have read conflicting info regarding yogurt for sour crop. PLEASE HELP HE IS REALLY SICK.
    LH

    ReplyDelete
  13. My chicken is dealing with sour crop.  I'm sure it was impacted initially and now its sour for about two weeks now.  I tried what was suggested without success and have received Nystatin liquid to try to treat the sour crop.   Its day 5 now.  I had one empty crop  two mornings ago, now she is starting to balloon again.  The problem I'm also having is she has had diarrhea since the treatment and it watery green.  I haven't had anymore normal poops.  I'm feeling the Nystatin may be causing her the diarrhea, is that possible?   Should I take her off?  thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  14. TheChickenChick2/12/13, 10:59 PM

    I very strongly suggest that you consult a veterinarian about your hen's problem, I'm sorry that this is not something that I can help you with.

    ReplyDelete
  15. My chicken has what I think is an impacted crop. she is young - has not started laying yet - and was recently introduced to my hen run along with her sister.  she was clearly at the bottom of the heap and i think she has probably eaten the sawdust from the chook house.  The swelling is big and is on her left side. A number of articles i have read say the swelling should be on the right side.  I have been massaging and putting olive oil mixed with warm water down her throat. She is hungry so I have been giving her soft bread soaked in probiotic yoghurt.  She appears to be pulling her feathers out. she is on her own now.  I am running out of ideas as it doesn't seem to be going down in size. am I on the right track?  Much as I am an animal lover I am not able to spend money on vet bills for this type of thing

    ReplyDelete
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  20. I dont know if my chickens has this, my vet doesnt know much about chickens and she just gave me a dewormer and antibiotics.

    She has not eating in 3 days now, unless a little apple sauce yesterday.
    She has become more quiet since a while, one day she also passed out 3 flesh colored lumps next to ther poo... and she was sick that day.

    Now she layes down almost all the time. Also since yesterday her crop is big and mushy;, like an air filled balloon. I feel nothing in it. She had bloody poo yesterday at the vet and its mostly yellow diarrhea now. She drinks a lot. She shakes her head sometimes, scratches her head, yesterday she yawned a couple of times in a row. Whenever she wants to drink she kind of moves her head to the side a couple of times...

    Can this be sour crop?
    Since I already went to the vet and they dont know what it is :/ we dont have an avian vet nearby.

    ReplyDelete
  21. How is your chicken doing now? Can you tell me what happened because my chicken has similar symptoms

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi I know this may be inappropriate but im having a major issue treating a parrot, a day before yesterday the patient was fed chick peas which were soaked overnight. However the usual diet was a mixture made using flour of a different set of chick peas. Till the parrot was on the flour mixture he was fine, but after the solid peas were given hes gotten very ill. One of the parrots died last night, tarry coloured dropings as well as lethargy and the crop is distended and shows undigested chickpeas inside. My diagnosis was sour crop, but now im thinking its maybe some sort of poisning. At the moment im just giving it pediatric fluid mixed with honey. Any help would be great thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Whoa! My chicken Petunia has exactly all of these symptoms. My vet is in the process of taking classes on chickens so we weren't sure what to do. She ended up taking 10days of antibiotics (Clavamox drops) and I gave her apple cider vinegar and soft foods. She also passed 3 fleshy masses with her stool and I sent them off to be tested. They came back as being a bacterial intestinal cast of some kind???? basically a ball of pus! gross. so she was diagnosed with necrotic enteritis which is basically a gut infection. Petunia's crop was mushy like that too and we concluded that it was sour crop that was secondary to her infection. Bc her gut was hot and inflamed she was not digesting and the food went bad in her crop. anyway...you need to get bacitracin (BMT) powder. Its an antibiotic for chickens that treats the gut. You might have to order online. For 1 chicken, mix 1/8 tsp into 1 gallon of water and make sure this is the only water source for at least 2 weeks. She wont drink it all but you have to remake the water everyday. Its also good to find a chicken probiotic to replace the good bacteria. You still have to treat the sour crop and I wouldn't make her puke...I just got a perscription of Nystatin and it went away. Your vet can give you that just ask for it and tell them why you need it. Petunia is still in recovery and its been 3 weeks but she doesnt have a fever anymore and she goes outside to be a chicken during the day and spends her nights inside the house. She is still so skinny and her comb is still floppy but she feels much better than she did. She was a deaths door before. You should not give up on her and try to encourage you vet to take continuing education classes for chickens. So little is known about chicken illnesses and few research is done unless it has to do with production and money, and even on the farm if a chicken seems sick they just off them. Times are changing and having a chicken as a beloved pet is very common now and its up to us to make vets change with us. Chickens have food sensitivities, allergies, and unique genetic makeups just like dogs and cats and should receive the same kind of care that they would, but its up to chicken lovers to make that happen. Good luck with your lady I hope this isn't too late.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi. I enjoy your page and have a problem that you may be able to advise me on.



    I have a hen who has been acting strange for over a week. She was on the roost panting with her arms sort of out. I noticed that she had diarrhea. Sadly I didn't pay too close of attention. Two days ago I saw her just standing over on the side and she was closing her eyes off and on. (She is my best egg layer and was still laying eggs and is the mean hen. So I guess I thought she was panting from stress because she was not on her normal roost bar.) Anyhow I brought her in and gave her some aspirin water with probiotics.

    I noticed this morning she has a nearly full crop. And I think it is oyster shell. The oyster shell cup was full day before yesterday and I noticed yesterday it was nearly gone. This morning I gave her a couple sips of olive oil/water and tried to turn her down to massage her crop.


    Now that I think she has oyster shell in her crop I don't know what to do.


    She is hungry and did not lay an egg today in the crate.


    What would you recommend I do. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Help!!! My chicken has a sour crop i think. She started being sluggish a week ago, but still ate and drank. Her crop doesnt seem to empty and there was a squishy lump between her legs. She hasnt layed an egg in awhile. Not reallt eating now but drinking. Worms or crop....

    ReplyDelete
  26. Help, sour crop or worms. Week agoshe started to be sluggish with no eggs. Choked it up to molting, but now squishy lump between legssmetimes, but crop isnt emptying. Was hard now soft. Massaged it and she burped up stink. I am afraid she will have it saggy now if thats what it is. Help

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  27. How much bread and oil should I be offering my hen with an impacted crop?

    ReplyDelete
  28. I recently had a hen with sour crop. She got well quickly after I made her vomit. I advise to wear protective clothing. It was pretty gross.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hi there I just wondered if you could she some light on a problem one of my wee chookies (NZ slang for chicken) is having. She is no more than 9 weeks old - infact is still shedding the waxy coating of her new 'hard feathers'. I noticed that she has a build up of clear mucus in her mouth and sounds snuffly but there is nothing bubbling out of her nose. There is no smell and she's moving around/is bright enough. (not sitting or standing fluffed up with her eyes closed). She is VERY thin with no condition on her. She is eating steadily and is pooping normally but her crop never seems to be full. I took her to the vet 5 days ago and she is on some antibiotics which has cleared the build up of mucus in her mouth but she still sounds snuffly. There are 4 more doses (1 per day) to go with her antibiotics. I am hoping she will be ok!

    ReplyDelete
  30. I need advise so our chickens have had some kind of disease coming and going for a yr now and I can not get rid of it besides temporarily there symptoms are
    *bubbly eyes
    *loss of weight/apatite
    *eyes being closed shut and unable to open them
    *sneezes (but we are going into winter now so i expected sneezing)
    But the one that causes there death is when the cannot breath in order to breath they stretch out there necks and gasp for air and 2-3hrs later they are gone would giving the coop medicated food help or is there a medicine to help them
    If u could respond I'd appreciate that thank you

    ReplyDelete
  31. my chicken is acking werid it wont scatch in the dirt or eat it is normaly the bose but is not her crop is empty too PLEASE HELP

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hi, lovely site. Ive got a hen thats got sour crop. it looks like a regular thing with her. she eats and fill her crop to much and then she gets sour crop. Is there anything i can give her or buy from a vet to give her to help the process on when shes got sour crop. looks like she cant breath. i gave her baking soda in water and she is drinking some.

    ReplyDelete
  33. ive got a hen and would like to know if there is anything that i can give her to help her get through sour crop easier and faster by giving her the best medecine there is.do you know if there is something. thank you

    ReplyDelete
  34. I need help with a duck we were "given". Feefee is a pekin and has a horrible limp. After inspection, she has bumblefoot on both feet but is favoring her right horribly to the point of using her wing. I watched your video, read as much as possible, and gathered supplies. I did exactly what was supposed to be done but found nothing. No hard core, no pus, no real foul smelling seapage. I stopped, cleaned her up and bandaged according to your notes and I have no idea what to do now. We've only had her for a few days and shes inside now with her mate (a mallard) because they were both soaked to the bone. We gave them a nice lukewarm bath and let them clean up and now were hoping they will get their oils back. HELP!

    ReplyDelete
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  36. I have a young chick that was given to me by a neighbor I noticed two days ago that it's crop is swollen n its losing its fur on it. I dnt no wat to do any suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
  37. I have chickens of mixed breeds. They keep getting sick. They are having problems breathing. They arw breathing thru their mouth and not their noses. We have lost several chickens bc of this. What could it be and whay do we do for it.

    tattooedcowgirl1981@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  38. Hi there, I am in the mid-west and it been a cold winter; real quick 1 of 5 hens became quiet I know right away she is headed down hill. I brought her in added anibiotics to water and she is constatly drinking (all the water) I realized she is just eliminating the water out the other end... she is eating some but not much at all any thoughts
    thank you

    ReplyDelete
  39. TheChickenChick1/27/14, 9:54 PM

    That's not enough information for me to say anything other than she needs to be seen by a vet right away.

    ReplyDelete
  40. hi my chicken i thinks got sour crop ive done the massage a little only came out then i put water down her neck now do i feed her i put bakin soda in the water for all the chickens just in case is that ok want shall i try feeding her

    ReplyDelete
  41. Lisa Kurtz2/7/14, 4:29 PM

    My chicken seems to be vomiting up fluid and keeps his mouth open. He's a skittish Rooster and I can barely touch him without him stressing out. He seems to be unable to eat, and vomits the fluid.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Mum Za Bella2/10/14, 2:15 AM

    Hello... I have a hen in distress and would love any insight possible. Jez is a 3.5 year old Ameraucana backyard hen. Roams the backyard, has a chicken yard, a coop and 4 girlfriends. In the winter, they have full use of the entire backyard all day. I noticed earlier this week that she wasn't going after the scratch etc., when I threw it out, at either time of day. I noticed her standing on her own, and she seemed puffed up on her head and neck. She had a pasty bottom as well. I brought her in the house and started with recommendations for a potential impacted egg or constipation as she seemed to be straining. Warm bath with abdominal massage and lubrication of the vent. She seemed to become more alert afterward. I did not provide food or water the first 12 hours as she did not seem interested. The next morning I did the same but fed her water with a dropper. She did not eat that day. Day three I repeated the bath and massage etc., and I gave her water via dropper, buttermilk diluted in warm water, and epsom salts and molasses diluted in warm water...all dropper fed. I peaked in a couple of hours later, expecting her to be standing in her stoic stance and actually found her drinking on her own. Yay! I repeated everything on the 4th day and again she drank on her own. I put her outside in the yard for some exercise as I thought the exercise might help with abdominal issues. She seems like she is in pain when walking, like she is really, really pregnant. When one of the other hens started pecking, I brought her back in. I actually got her to eat a little cooked rice while she was out after I separated her from the other hens, and tiny pieces of steak late yesterday on her own. She was actually quite determined :)
    I still have not uncovered the cause.
    I am a massage therapist..I cannot locate an egg in her abdomen, but she is tender, and slightly guarded or distended...definitely not relaxed in the abdomen. I massaged her abdomen today for about 30 minutes without the warm bath while she was on her back. I was hoping reversed gravity might help.
    Tonight when I came home I picked her up to put her outside for a little while before sundown and liquid came up through her mouth. I searched causes and found potentially impacted crop or sour crop, which would also address her watery feces according to the site. I palpated her crop and found it a squishy, and gravely but no large/hard objects. As I began the massage of her crop, there were gurgling sounds and the occasional quiet vocal response.
    After feeding with the diluted buttermilk and the diluted epsom salt and molasses mixtures, she seems to improve, but still seems to be in a stoic stance and to some degree straining.
    It is my intent to assist her/nature and give her a chance to resolve whatever might be going on. Not totally sure which end I should be treating. :( She is greatly improved as she is eating and drinking, but the spells of standing and seemingly straining, as well as the change in her walk still have me concerned. I know it's a lot of info... but anything you might have to add would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  43. TheChickenChick2/10/14, 8:35 AM

    Given her age and the symptoms you describe, egg yolk peritonitis is the first thing that comes to mind as a possibility. If you can get her to a vet, they can do a needle aspiration of her abdomen for you, which will likely be telling.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Mum Za Bella2/11/14, 10:53 AM

    Thank you so much! Vets who will take, or even specialize in avian or chickens is a challenge where I live. But I did get a clue from a friendbthatveorked out :) Ms Jez indeed has egg yolk peritonitis. We started a course if antibiotics last night. They do not drain the abdomen as it is likely to put them into shock. I am hoping the fluid reduces rather quickly over the next 24 hours, so that her heart and lungs are no longer at risk. Thinking good thoughts! Thank you again. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  45. TheChickenChick2/11/14, 9:50 PM

    Keep me posted. Sending positive vibes that the antibiotics help. ♥

    ReplyDelete
  46. Loads of
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    ReplyDelete
  47. This is an important article. However, it's pretty easy to treat impacted crop by feeding pineapple, papaya, or the juice. Papaya seeds have the added benefit of worming chickens. I've rescued hens with severe problems, and this treatment cleared it up in a few days. Of course, a stretched out crop is going to be a continual problem, so it's best to treat early. Feeding these items is terrific prevention to keep a chicken's digestive tract working well. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  48. christina Greene3/8/14, 9:22 PM

    Hello, first of all thank you so much for this insightful blog. I have a 2 1/2 year old rhode island red. She developed a large crop 2 weeks ago that sounds much like the sour crop. She did rapid neck movement to empty it. So I helped her by tilting her a bit and lot came out. It did not smell sour and it seemed to relief her greatly. I again did it the next day with great result. We put her to rest in the shed with water, baking soda etc and had the other chickens visit ;) and daily massages, olive oil, scrambled eggs and lots of love.
    Then a week later I noticed that she lost weight and is becoming more lethargic. So we went to the Vet. He did an xray to make sure that there are no foreign objects, impaction etc. It turned out that she had more rocks in her gizzard then usually a chicken has but he was not concerned about it. So she got 20ml in each leg for hydration and an antibiotic injection. Now we give her Clavamox 125mg twice a day since Wednesday evening. And she seemed to perk up a bit for two days.
    This morning i discovered a big crop again filled with water, and with a little gentle squeeze the liquid comes out of her beak. Her stools are watery with white stuff. and she is in a sad chicken pose. I hold her a lot and have been gently massaging her and she seem to really like it.
    I am at a loss about this after paying 180 dollars and a chicken that is not feeling better. Do you have any intuition of what else it may be? It makes me so sad to see her not well and fill up with water. Thank you so much for getting back to us. with gratitude. ~christina

    ReplyDelete
  49. Boo! You didn't post my comment about pineapple and papaya, which a vet told me to do. Shame on you for close-mindedness! Look it up! Look up papaya sees as wormers too!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Mum Za Bella3/10/14, 3:56 PM

    Hi again! I just wanted to let you know that Jez is alive and well!
    I apologize for the late response, but the day after finishing her antibiotics we headed out of town. She continues to eat and is working back to her weight, though it will take a little time. Earlier last week, her poo was still a little watery and yellow, but by the end of the week it was looking pretty normal. She was a bit of a loner at first, but is doing much better. She was harassed by the head hen the first few days out and we would bring her in or separate the bully to be confined on her own, which she did not like, so soon started being tolerant of Jez. We tend to bully the bullies a little bit when they are being obnoxious and it seems to make them change their tune. :)
    Thank you so much for your great advice and valued evaluation. So thankful that we could save her. She is a wonderful friend.
    Namaste

    ReplyDelete
  51. TheChickenChick3/10/14, 8:25 PM

    I certainly don't know more than the vet. I highly suggest calling him about this issue.

    ReplyDelete
  52. creationscapes3/12/14, 10:14 AM

    Thank you for your help...my black tail was shaking and stretching her neck, I noticed her crop very swollen....I did has you said and loads of vomit like mess came out, after several goes she seems a lots better....

    ReplyDelete
  53. Jennie Saunders3/22/14, 9:21 AM

    Hello, I've only been raising chicken's for 7 month's and believe one may have sour crop. She (Cochin bantam) just started laying 3 weeks ago and eats like a pig. I noticed her crop looked very large a couple of day's ago and have been massaging it each day. I also gave her a little vegetable oil as well. It didn't seem to be helping, so I took her food away. I attempted to empty her crop but it feels like crumbles of food in there, not watery or soft. I brought in her inside yesterday and have only allowed her to drink water. She has been jerking her head around here and there, I assume to move that food along. Again, I attempted to empty her crop this morning and only a little came up and smelled sour. It still feels like crumbles of food in her crop. Is this normal for sour crop? How long should I keep her food away? Should I wait for that food to soften before trying to empty her crop again? She is acting normal other than jerking her head around. Thank you for this wonderful website full of great information~Jennie Saunders

    ReplyDelete
  54. TheChickenChick3/24/14, 11:29 PM

    Don't take her food away, that will create other problems. Sour crop is not the same as impacted crop.
    A normal crop is supposed to be large and full during the day, but it should empty overnight. That's when you should check the crop- before she has eaten anything in the morning. Does she have grit (to be clear: grit is NOT the same as oyster shell)?
    A chicken with sour crop should have sour-smelling breath, not just a sour smell when feed comes back up that is to be expected.

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  55. Jennie Saunders3/25/14, 8:05 AM

    I now believe it is impacted crop. She has been inside, isolated from the flock for 5 days. Her crop will not empty completely. However, it has gone down a little. I started giving her soft food that will easily digest, then a good massage. This seems to help. She is digesting what I feed her but there is a golf ball sized matter that will not break up. It feels like a mixture of food crumbles and possibly grass. Am I doing the right thing and is there anything else I can do? To answer your question, yes she does have access to grit.

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  56. Vic's Chicks3/25/14, 9:41 PM

    Help help! I have 14 chicks of various breeds. All about a week old. Yesterday I changed their footing from small gauge hardware cloth to pine shavings. Today I have chicks with impacted crop, a couple of which are very hard :( . . . others are soft but saggy, some larger and some small. Oh my goodness what have I done! I can only suspect they are eating the pine shavings when they pick up the food that has been pecked out of the chick feeder. I put them back on the hardware cloth (which is what I have always used in the past), and I have been gently massaging the crops - to no avail. I am sooo sad. Any thoughts, help, ideas?
    Vickie

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  57. TheChickenChick3/25/14, 9:57 PM

    Are you certain their crops are impacted vs full from eating? I would take the food out of the brooder, leaving only water in it and check again first thing in the morning. Their crops should be empty in the morning.
    It's really better for chicks NOT to be raised on wire floors because they cannot build up their immunity to coccidiosis on wire.

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  58. i have been loosing my hens without knowing what type of dieses

    are causing their death after treating and vaccinating. one had a swollen eye became weake not eating and died. the other didn't have any signs but collapsed and died what might be the cause

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  59. TheChickenChick3/26/14, 1:55 AM

    If the impaction does not break up, you will need to get her to a vet for surgery to remove it. Soon the mass will begin to ferment and then there will be other problems such as thrush to worry about.

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  60. Jennie Saunders3/26/14, 7:46 AM

    I will keep you posted on her progress. Thank you for the help, it's greatly appreciated!

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  61. I have a chicken with what I believe is a broken wing. It doesn't appear to be the rope part of her wing ( I believe it's called the humerus) but I thinks it's the very tip. You can feel it moving around and even hear it. There is hear coming from it and she drags it. It doesn't seem to bother her to much but I do notice it shaking from time to time. Is there anything I can do to fix it? I tried to Vet wrap it but it's to heavy for her and drags even more.

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  62. TheChickenChick4/1/14, 12:22 AM

    Despite the fact that she does not appear to be in pain, she IS. Chickens don't exhibit pain the same way people do (or other animals, for that matter). If you cannot get her to a vet for pain control and to address the broken bone, you may wish to consider whether it is kind to allow her to live in that type of pain.

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  63. I just got three baby chicks one week ago, they were all two days old at the time. One of them started sneezing a few days ago, I didn't think anything of it until today when it blew a bubble out of its mouth and nostrils. I watched it, no more sneezing or bubbles that I saw, but noticed that it's breathing with its mouth open and seems to be breathing harder than the others. However, it's still active and eating and drinking. Should I be worried? I googled it, and only read responses that all had very sad outcomes...

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  64. Hi, Thanks for the good information. There's one thing I'm not sure about, however, and that is whether it is good to make the hen vomit for a sour crop or not. I have read of quite a few people inadvertently killing their birds by doing this, because the bird accidentally aspirated some of the vomit. Do you still recommend making the bird spit up when the crop is sour? For those that have lost birds, they say to absolutely not do this. I am torn since I have seen advice both ways. My Silkie hen has a sour crop and I want to do what is best, but I would hate to harm her, possibly even fatally, in an attempt to help. Thanks.

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  65. Nice info
    Thanks

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  66. TheChickenChick4/14/14, 2:53 PM

    Thank you for reading!

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  67. Just opened up one of my 8 week old backyard chick and found uncooked rice inside the crop. The crop was swollen and its contents smelled like vinegar. Also i could see multiple yellow foci on liver, can you suggest something ? Necropsy was done within 16 hrs of death. Kind regards

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  68. Shelly Walker4/19/14, 9:37 AM

    I bought some chicks yesterday. White rock and aracana's. The rocks gorged themselves on the food to the point of massive baseball sized crop. I lost one of the chics this morning. Will the crop go down? or should I get them to vomit?

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  69. Would some sort of digestive enzyme, like papaya, help to dissolve a fibrous impaction?

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  70. Melanie Parsons4/29/14, 8:31 PM

    My week old chick has impacted crop. I am thinking she may have swallowed a piece of pine shaving. I have been trying to massage and give olive oil but to no avail she still is impacted and not eating. Trying to call a vet around here is next to impossible since no one want's to help a baby chick which is sad especially living in the Midwest. Anyway, am I going to lose this chick? Her crop is so impacted...I need help.

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  71. Farmerfranny4/30/14, 1:16 AM

    HELP! Uncertain if my hen has sour crop or something else. I have a hen that forages at least three times a week, weather permitting. Two days ago as we were putting them up for the night and I noticed that she was acting rather strange. She was not the spry thing she usually is and let me scoop her up to put her inside her run. The next day as I went to go feed the farm, chickens included I noticed that she has not come out of the coop. I thought nothing of it, and went about feeding. This morning I went outside and she was lying in the rain on her side. I thought she was dead, but saw her breathing. I scooped her up with a towel and brought her inside. She is VERY lethargic and wants nothing more to do than sleep. I gave her some water and feed but she won't take it. I gave her some water via a syringe. She swallows but seems like its hard for her to. And won't eat any feed. She STINKS too. More than chickens usually do. And her poop is green. When I open her beak to give her water her saliva looks slimy.Her crop doesn't seem enlarged. About the size of a small lime.I don't know what is up with her. I am getting worried. Any suggestions?

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  72. Colleen Rhodes-Golub4/30/14, 10:47 PM

    Thank you! I have read such wildly contradictory things about sour crop and always wanted to know the facts. How refreshing!

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  73. A true impaction is an emergency situation. If it is not emptied, she certainly can die from it.

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  74. Melanie Parsons5/5/14, 7:05 AM

    Luckily my brother in law is a physician and he did his first baby chick surgery ever in his life. He saved her life three days ago by giving her a local anesthesia, cutting the crop and I emptied it and for such a small bird the amount of food and pine shavings she swallowed it was a miracle she was even alive. Her name is now Miracle : ) and she is healing and doing wonderfully.

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  75. DoubleBAcres5/15/14, 9:47 PM

    How did you determine it was egg yolk peritonitis?

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  76. Michelle Gamache5/20/14, 11:46 PM

    We just slaughtered out first chicken. She had an impacted crop and before e could her to her to massage her she sliced her crop open with her claw. Can we eat the meat? It looks fine to me. My husband is concerned because of the crop injury.

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  77. How could my entire flock of chicks get sour crop at once? Please help!

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  78. It's possible when the waterers become contaminated, Erin. http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2014/06/chicken-anatomy-crop-impacted-crop-sour.html

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  79. I have been dealing with a chicken with impacted crop for almost a week now. At first, I had no idea what to do, but with research, I'm massaging her crop a few times a day-trying to be gentle but also move the material around. I've given the chickens plain water (switched to plain water today as I didn't know any better than to give them the cider vinegar). The poor chicken is very weak now. She still drinks, at least she did yesterday. I haven't been able to watch her as closely today to see if she is drinking or not. I plan to continue the massage and the availability of fresh water. I'd like to feed her something, though, since she is so weak. You mention soft foods, but I don't know what foods are correct to give. I tried pulverizing some of her pellets, mixing in some chicken baby food and some baby cereal, adding some olive oil and enough water to make it soft and wet. Is this okay to feed her or am I doing something wrong again? Oh yes, and I haven't tried to "vomit" her, I'm too afraid to do it, especially by myself. She did a little vomit on her own after her first massage of the day. I also have no clue on how to insert tubing into her throat to "add water". I don't detect any smell - I figure that is a good sign. I only have 3 chickens and no place to isolate her, so she is still in the run/coop with the other chickie girls. I know that is not ideal, but it's the way it is. Is my food mixture okay? Should I use some other food mixture? I'd appreciate any help you can give.

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  80. I have a chicken with impacted crop. She has been "off" for a week now. She feels like she has material in her crop all the time - even when I go out to the coop in the morning. She keeps her beak open a lot of the time and holds her tail low. I am sorry, but I don't dare to try to make her vomit on my own. I know that is what it says above to do, but I am afraid I won't be able to hold her and stroke her crop at the same time. I have been massaging her crop 4 or 5 times a day while holding her in an upright position - admittedly, I didn't realize I had to do so until 3 days ago - finally found some helpful information online. I hope that just manipulating her crop regularly, having plenty of fresh water available and feeding her a slurry of ground up chicken pellets mixed with chicken baby food, baby cereal, lots of olive oil and water is the appropriate things to do for her. What I do is go out to the run and catch her, massage her crop for a few minutes then feed her the slurry. There is no sour smell to her breath. I felt that I had to start feeding her as she wasn't eating well at all, and she feels quite thin when I pick her up. I have no way to isolate her, but she shows no interest in pellets anyway, and the other chickens are not being mean to her. I hope I am doing the right things, and that I am feeding her a correct mixture, if it is not an acceptable mix, please tell me. Also, should I add some yogurt to the mix? She is lethargic, but I am still hopeful that I can bring her around. I am basically positive that her problem is grass. Ordinarily she is a little piggy for it, and with the rain we've had, the grass did get about 5-6 inches long one day. I'm not letting her have access to grass now, obviously. And a vet is not available as there are none around here who deal with avian problems. Oh yes, and she hasn't laid an egg since this happened, not that she was a prime layer - only averaging 3-4 eggs a week. She is a little over a year old and is a Buff Orpington - one of 3 we got at 8 weeks old last year. Sorry this is so long, I'm just trying to get all the information down.

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  81. Cleaned out the crop eating yogurt like crazy. Is there a limit and what else should we feed her?

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  82. my 4 year old bantam sleeping a lot not eating like she did and breathing a lot faster

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  83. Wendy Kelley Mason7/12/14, 4:49 PM

    Have a hen doing the same as Jennie.I isolated her last night and this morning it was still impacted. My question is do I continue her food? I was told to start her on a 24 hr no food just water. I also picked up an antibiotic to put in the water to try ?

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  84. Wendy Kelley Mason7/15/14, 1:54 PM

    I'm still trying to figure out about my hen. If it is Pendulous will she be suffering ? If she's still pooping and eating and drinking but her crop is not emptying all the way .. would this be Pendulous or impaction? I've given oil and she has vomited buy just liquid stuff . Could she have a blockage?

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  85. I have a hen that was sneezing. Now she seems lethargic, sitting in a corner of the coop by herself. She's puffed up and doesn't seem to be eating. What should I do?

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  86. Angelina Nguyen7/22/14, 8:03 PM

    One of my chickens is very sick. He has diarrhea, and is so weak that he has to stand with his head drooping down facing his chest, but not only that, sometimes he would fall forward and struggle to get back up. He eats and drinks a little, but not entirely on his own. Does anyone know how to help me with this?

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  87. I believe my RIR has an impacted crop. I picked her up today (which she usually won't allow), and her crop is about the size of a tennis ball. It isn't very hard but it is firm. She feels underweight and one eye is swollen closed. I know her eye only swelled in the hour before I noticed because I picked her up earlier and it was fine. I don't know why the eye and the crop would be related, but could they be? I have given her her own little space with water only until the morning to see if her crop empties overnight. I massaged her crop a little and it doesn't seem to be tender, but who knows since chickens don't usually react to pain like we do.

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