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#12124 - 05/13/05 11:21 PM impacted crop?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Dear everyone:

My son's pet Ameraucana hen has an impacted crop. I've read everything that I can on this site about this problem and I think that the culprit is probably spring grass clippings. I've read the posts but some of the suggested solutions didn't specify any details, i.e., molasses water, molasses and bread, epson salt water. How do these work and what are the proportions/ratios of molasses/salt to water? Also, how long can I withold food to treat this problem before it becomes dangerous to the hen? Finally, how long should I attempt treatment before resorting to the more drastic measures (opening her up)? And if I do decide to open her up, how do I knock her out? Any help on this issue would be really appreciated! Thank you.

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#12125 - 05/14/05 08:15 AM Re: impacted crop?
Mr. Magoo Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 11/20/04
Posts: 397
Loc: Southern Pacific
how long has it been full? is it squishy or hard? how are her droppings? is she eating or drinking?
i will look for the proportions i guess you already read the topices under- "chicken and poultry health" "Crop Trouble"?

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#12126 - 05/14/05 02:42 PM Re: impacted crop?
Bill Ludwig Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 2582
Loc: Ohio
From the Chicken Health Handbook by Gail Damerow

Flushes- When a chicken suffers from an intestinal disease or food poisoning, you can hasten its recovery by flushing its system with a laxative that absorbs toxins and removes them from the body. Although Epsom salts make the best flush, chickens must be handled individually, since they donít like the taste of an Epsom salt solution and wont drink it readily. When a number of birds are involved, or handling the birds would cause undue stress, use molasses in a flock flush. Flush only adult birds, never chicks.

Epsom salt flush: 1 teaspoon Epsom salts in 1/2 cup water, poured or squirted down birds throat twice a day for 2 or 3 days, or until bird recovers.

Molasses flush: 1 pint molasses per 5 gallons water, given for no longer than 8 hours.
-------------------------------------------------

A flush (laxative) will clean out the lower digestive tract. If that is where the slow down is located it may get things moving. You used the word "salt" in your post above. Most likely you just skipped "Epsom". Epsom salts is in no way related to table salt the spice. I just wanted to clarify that because salt water will kill a bird.

If you read the information that mr magoo referred to then you should know that dehydration is a concern. Make sure the hen has fresh cool water to encourage her to drink.

I second the questions asked by mr magoo.

Anyone I know (myself included) that has done crop surgery did not put the bird out.

Bill L

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#12127 - 05/14/05 05:29 PM Re: impacted crop?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Dear Mr. Magoo and Bill:

Thank you for your replies. To answer your questions, I noticed last week that the hen had a very full crop. I just assumed that she was eating a lot. Then, I noticed that it was really full and HARD all the time. By Thursday, this week, it was quite noticeable, even when she was just walking -- there was a bulge under her breast feathers. After reading all the info I could on crop problems (the posts on this site were very helpful), I squirted olive oil via syringe into her mouth, about 10 ccs, twice a day and massaged her crop. The oil definitely softened the stuff in her crop and massaging it really seemed to help. I isolated her with just water and grit all day Thursday, Friday, and most of today. I also fed her small amounts of plain yoghurt, bread softened in milk, and soft scrambled eggs -- not much, just a few tablespoons at a time. She never seemed stressed or sick, that's why I didn't notice the problem until this week. I monitored her for droppings (they were pretty small/non-existent).

Her crop got smaller and softer after each oil/massage treatment, but I still felt a definite lump or mass in her crop that felt kind of hard. And then afternoon, I felt her crop and it suddenly felt a lot softer and emptier. I'm hoping that she is finally on the mend.

She seemed really anxious to get out of her small pen, though. In fact, she was down right feisty. So I let her out this afternoon and she went right into the hen layer mash (I replaced the pellets with mash). Her crop is full again, but definitely NOT HARD. It feels full but squishy. I'm hoping that I didn't rush it, but she seemed so hungry and anxious to get out. I'm going to keep a close watch over her and continue to feel her crop several times a day to make shure that it doesn't get hard again.

Am I doing the right thing? Should I have continued to isolate her? Also, I read that the crop should be on the left side of the hen, but it definitely hangs on the right side on my hen. Is this normal or is it a sign of problems?

Sorry for the long post. If you could give me any ideas whether I'm doing the right thing, I would REALLY appreciate it.

Miyoung.

P.S. If I flush my bird w/epson salt, how much should I give her each time (ccs)?

Thank you!

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#12128 - 05/15/05 05:03 AM Re: impacted crop?
Bill Ludwig Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 2582
Loc: Ohio
It sounds like you are doing well. I have never noticed the crop being on the left. You can soften her mash with some water. Lots of water for her. I would also continue with a tablespoon of yogurt each day. When I use Epsom salts flush I try to get a 1/2 cup in the bird over 3 or 4 hour period. I think trying to get the full amount in all at once is rather stressful and if the crop is too full it comes back up. As long as food is moving through her and she is strong (sounds like she is!) you don't need to rush to surgery. Keep us updated.

Bill L

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#12129 - 05/15/05 02:16 PM Re: impacted crop?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Well, I guess I rushed things a bit. After I let her our last night, she gorged herself on layer crumbles and guess what? Her crop is really big again. I wonder if it got stretched out from the impaction and needs time to shrink back. So, I put her back in isolation with just water. I will keep up the oil/massage and small amounts of soft food regimen. I was just wonder, though, if the the hen's problem is something lower down, would an epsom salt flush help her? What also, what's the difference between olive/food oil and mineral oil? Would either have the same affect of moving the food along in her intestines?

Thank you Bill for helping me with this. You appear to have quite the expertise on chicken crop/intestinal problems!

Miyoung.

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#12130 - 05/15/05 03:03 PM Re: impacted crop?
Bill Ludwig Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 2582
Loc: Ohio
I can't answer about the oils. I have never used oil myself. I believe the purpose is just to lubricate the contents to help it move out of the crop. I don't know enough about the topic but I question what that oil does further down the digestive tract. I would try the Epsom salt flush if it was me. Even if it doesn't help I cant see any harm from it.

You are correct that the crop can be stretched, it also becomes weak. It is mostly muscle and has to push the food down to the gizzard. When it gets impacted the muscle keeps trying to push the food down and gets over worked. It may take some time before it is working fully again.

If her crop is full now it may be hard to flush her system. You can empty the loose, soft contents of the crop. To flush just the crop; make an Epsom salt flush solution as described above, using an eye dropper squirt the solution in her mouth about 1/2 ml at a time. Allow her to swallow, get a breath and then repeat. After you have several droppers full in the crop you should feel the fluid in the crop. Massage gently so as NOT to push the fluid up into the throat. Now with one slow steady motion turn her head down while bringing her bottom up. The crops contents will drain out her beak. Only hold her like this for a few seconds and then right her so she can breath. Repeat this until the fluid comes out clean. Now you can give the flush.

Bill L

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#12131 - 05/15/05 10:42 PM Re: impacted crop?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Dear Bill:
Thanks for the suggestions. I will get some epsom salts tomorrow and try the flush. I think that the crop is probably stretched and I'm also wondering if she doesn't also have something slowing down her digestion further down the tract. -- she's still not having normal droppings (they look small, grey, and pebblish). I will also continue to keep her isolated and on soft foods. I'll let you know how it turns out! thanks again for all your help. Your experience is invaluable.

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#12132 - 05/16/05 06:19 AM Re: impacted crop?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Sorry Peoople I need to ask you a silly question still getting the hang of the terminology.

WHAT does CROP refer to? I have seen this now a few times. Does it mean their feaces?

Beacuse I wonder if My weak chicken suffers from what is stated above and I need to take action as suggested above - I would appreciate HELP !! Thanks

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#12133 - 05/16/05 06:21 AM Re: impacted crop?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Me again - an Impacted crop yes re read above but still no idea what it means - as I mentioned - in another issue Rosie i s not full in weight at all. HELP AGAIN

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#12134 - 05/16/05 01:43 PM Re: impacted crop?
Bill Ludwig Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 2582
Loc: Ohio
Click here to see what and where the crop is. http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/resource-room/nutrition/poultry/poultrydigestivetract.htm

It takes a long time for a chicken to put weight back on. Be patient.

Bill L

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#12135 - 05/16/05 02:54 PM Re: impacted crop?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Thanks Bill

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