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#88601 - 03/16/10 05:02 PM Normal crop function looks like what?
Art Ana Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 07/14/08
Posts: 160
Loc: Montana
I am wondering what is the range of normal for a crop expanding and contracting over a 24 hour period?

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#88605 - 03/16/10 11:25 PM Re: Normal crop function looks like what? [Re: Art Ana]
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8483
Loc: Montana
Depends upon the amount of feed ingested. Crop is full and rounded after a good feed of grain. You can feel the grains. It continually empties a little at a time, so in the morning, just off the roost, the crop is soft and empty.

Chicks have little body meat to shape around the crop, so a full feed of crumbles will make a good lump that sits on one side (either) of the breast bone and can look like a tumor to the uninitiated. Since chickens eat off and on all day, the crop size will vary according to type of feed consumed.

Have you cleaned a fryer or roaster? The crop is just a soft sack that expands easily and can be peeled out of its area as the bird is cleaned. Size fits the age of the bird. If the crop does not go down overnight--or becomes oversized (it can stretch enormously)--it is time to check for possible impaction. CJR

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#88622 - 03/17/10 08:32 PM Re: Normal crop function looks like what? [Re: CJR]
Art Ana Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 07/14/08
Posts: 160
Loc: Montana
Thank you. My hen had her crop emptied by the vet a week ago and has been on soft foods. She is "growing" a large crop again. I took away her food tonight. I guess I will call the vet in the morning and hear what she has to say. I will not likely take the bird back to the vet, but if there are some reasonable options to help this bird out, I want to know. The vet's opinion last week was her crop impaction was not severe but in the moderate range. I thought that would likely mean the function would return to normal, but apparently that isn't happening. At least it isn't sour at this point.

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#88623 - 03/17/10 11:20 PM Re: Normal crop function looks like what? [Re: Art Ana]
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8483
Loc: Montana
Feel the crop gently and see if you can feel food, soft, or other. If it isn't emptying, there may be a problem further down the digestive system. Not much you can do down there.

You can test if food is moving (she may have been extra hungry and just be overeating) by checking the crop in the morning before she has had any food. It should be smaller than when she goes to roost. The crop doubtless was stretched, so she might have trouble emptying. I doubt the vet can do more. You are lucky to even have a vet who "does" poultry! Good luck, CJR

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#88643 - 03/18/10 07:31 PM Re: Normal crop function looks like what? [Re: CJR]
Art Ana Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 07/14/08
Posts: 160
Loc: Montana
Thanks. She is a greedy hen. She did much better today, but then I had doubled my efforts to give her runny food and to pace her food intake. She only had one slight odd neck movement that now means crop issues to me. There is only so much I can do to mediate the reality of the conditions available to her once she joins the group again.

I felt her crop tonight, and it isn't as bad; but it still has some mass to it. She doesn't want to be in that water tank (empty of water, of course, except for some in a dish), so she will have to rejoin the flock sometime this weekend. She would need to live with the vet and be cleared every few days if her crop and eating habits don't cooperate with each other. The vet does have chickens, which is probably why she treats them (no one else will touch them around here). I may leave a message and offer her the bird in case she has an interest. I will be surprised if this hen's crop will keep up with her intake.


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#88648 - 03/19/10 03:08 AM Re: Normal crop function looks like what? [Re: Art Ana]
Foehn Offline
Administrator
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1968
Loc: New Zealand
Cider vinegar in her drinking water might help her break up what is in her crop so it can pass into the gizzard. You can also gently massage the crop and work her stored food up to the opening to her gizzard. Perhaps the stretching of her crop has damaged the muscle movement that pushes food up to the opening.

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#88659 - 03/19/10 02:58 PM Re: Normal crop function looks like what? [Re: Foehn]
Art Ana Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 07/14/08
Posts: 160
Loc: Montana
So, one massages and pushes UP? I do have apple cider vinegar in her water and add oil to her food. I was hoping since the vet said this was a middle-of-the-road impaction that she would be "cured" after the vet opened her up and removed all the hay in her case. I have a call in describing the recurrence and am wondering if there was anything different to do. I am not quite ready to give up on her, but I don't know if a period much more than the 10 days it will be tomorrow will make any difference.

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#88664 - 03/19/10 05:44 PM Re: Normal crop function looks like what? [Re: Art Ana]
Foehn Offline
Administrator
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1968
Loc: New Zealand
Artana, have a look at the physiology of the chicken as seen in this link. Notice how the opening is not at the bottom of the crop and you will see how gentle upward massage can help with the emptying of the crop. Don't force the weight in her crop too high, or she may regurgitate and get food particles in her lungs.

http://www.ca.uky.edu/smallflocks/Factsheets/Anatomy_and_Physiology/Anatomy_respiratory.pdf

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#88697 - 03/23/10 06:17 PM Re: Normal crop function looks like what? [Re: Foehn]
Art Ana Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 07/14/08
Posts: 160
Loc: Montana
She is back with the flock, and we'll see how she fares. She would rather--not sure what--but she doesn't seem keen on being handled. She is alert and active, but that crop stands out. It seems to easily fill and not easily clear. I have the vinegar in the water for all of them, add oil and try to provide more runny food then usual. This was her second full day back. She now has an odd sound emitting as she breathes. It would be like hearing someone with a chest cold breathe, noisy.

The last two nights she was on the roost. Tonight she has settled into a nest box. I am going to let her stay there. Perhaps the noise attracts the others to peck at her. There is only so much I can offer for accommodations and food offerings for one bird among a flock. She was so agitated being isolated for 12 days that it seemed we had given it our best shot.

Thanks for the lessons on physiology and chicken massage therapy. I have looked and learned, now we'll see if she makes it.

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#88832 - 04/04/10 11:48 AM Re: Normal crop function looks like what? [Re: Art Ana]
Kareema Offline
Chick

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 11
Loc: California
I also have an older (8-9 years old) rescue hen that is acting like she is gagging. I had to rejoin here, so I have been following the advice in this thread while waiting to be approved.

My hen does not have any big lump that I can feel, but she stretches her neck, gapes, then puts her head down and scratches at her beak with her foot. This hen is also greedy and is the lead hen to boot. I am sure you will understand when I say that I have told her a thousand times not to stuff like she does when eating. I have settled on putting vegetable oil in bread crumbs for her, and she seems to be "better," i.e., has her tail up most of the time and seems to care about leading her friends again. I will now go put vinegar in their water and see what happens.

It seems that her obstruction must be farther down, but I will keep massaging her crop periodically during the day. Thanks so much for that illustration. I have a better understanding of what I am trying to accomplish now. She started the gaping behavior about 4 days ago, so I will stick with the program. Any additional advice will be appreciated.

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#88835 - 04/04/10 12:39 PM Re: Normal crop function looks like what? [Re: Kareema]
Foehn Offline
Administrator
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1968
Loc: New Zealand
Kareema, there are a few other things that might make hens do something like you describe. If the food she is eating is dry, like dry mash or wheat, some hens will greedily scoff and then get a temporary blockage halfway down their oesophagus. In this case, they will stretch their neck, emit a sound half way between a sneeze and a cough, and give their head a little shake. If they can't dislodge, they will often drink water to wash the food down.

The other occasion may be soundless, although it can have a strangled sounding cry but is a hen actually "crowing." Some get quite good at it and do sound a bit rooster like; others are mute. This is often triggered by changing hormones, such as when beginning to moult, beginning to lay again, going off lay, or going or coming from a clucky spell.

Welcome back. Did you post under the same name?

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#88838 - 04/04/10 03:25 PM Re: Normal crop function looks like what? [Re: Kareema]
Wieslaw Offline
Moderator
Classroom Professor

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 3751
Loc: Denmark
Kareema113, do you mean gape like "yawn"? Yawning is often a symptom for worms sitting in the upper part of the respiratory system.

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#88841 - 04/05/10 01:06 PM Re: Normal crop function looks like what? [Re: Wieslaw]
Kareema Offline
Chick

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 11
Loc: California
I am not sure what name I posted under before. I will try to figure it out. You chicken experts have helped me through two successful bumblefoot treatments and an unsuccessful impacted crop. I know what impacted crop feels and looks like. I would like to add that I am currently unemployed, so the vet is out of the question.

I have shot a video of the hen with my phone. Sorry for the poor quality, but I think you will get the idea. "Goober" (she came to me as an adult rescue hen with that name already) is listless, isolating, picking at food, stretching her neck like she has indigestion, etc. If she were a child or a dog, I would think her symptoms of general malaise, head shaking, scratching on only one side of her head, and keeping the eye at least partially closed would be symptomatic of an ear infection. I have had her for a good 7 years as an adult. She really doesn't lay much any more.

The little Sebright hen in the video "crows," so I know what that looks and sounds like. She thinks she is big stuff and had to be in the video, it appears.

I will now figure out how to upload the video so you can access it.

Thanks for your help,
Kareema



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#88842 - 04/05/10 01:47 PM Re: Normal crop function looks like what? [Re: Kareema]
Wieslaw Offline
Moderator
Classroom Professor

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 3751
Loc: Denmark
Head shaking and scratching plus closed eyes can be a sign of heavy infestation with ear mites. (A magnifying glass can be useful.)

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#88844 - 04/05/10 05:26 PM Re: Normal crop function looks like what? [Re: Wieslaw]
Kareema Offline
Chick

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 11
Loc: California
Thanks for the tip. She is a white Brahma and has had it with me chasing her around today, so I didn't really get a good look. I had some caged bird (canary, etc.) lice/mite spray, so I sprayed her with that to see if there is any change in the head shaking, etc. Since this spray is for tiny birds, perhaps it's not strong enough for a chicken. I also had some Hartz Mt Home flea and tick spray, so I gave the inside of their coop a cursory spray with it. It is getting dark here in California, and it looks like it's going to rain, so proper treatment will have to wait until tomorrow.

I have some poultry grade Sevin dust, but I really don't like this stuff. Is it possible to use Advantage or Frontline on chickens? We only have 5 pet hens: 3 large fowl and 2 bantams.

I am having technical difficulties with uploading the video from my phone. Sorry.

Thanks for your input.

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#88847 - 04/06/10 01:32 AM Re: Normal crop function looks like what? [Re: Kareema]
Wieslaw Offline
Moderator
Classroom Professor

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 3751
Loc: Denmark
Problem with ear mites is described in the thread "My cock moves his head."

http://www.the-coop.org/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=88238#Post88238

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#88848 - 04/06/10 05:49 AM Re: Normal crop function looks like what? [Re: Wieslaw]
Rhea Dean Carter Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/24/03
Posts: 1379
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By: Kareema113
Is it possible to use Advantage or Frontline on chickens?


These products are not approved for poultry. Therefore, we do not discuss their use in open forums that are accessible to anyone who visits our Website. The Classroom @ The Coop was listed in an online article a while back about having members who advocate and use such non-approved products on their poultry. Since then those threads have been deleted.

Whether we realize it or not, "Big Brother" does visit poultry forums from time to time to see what subjects are being discussed. I don't think any of us wants a government official showing up at our front door questionning our misuse of products that are not poultry approved. This is why we do not discuss using these products in an open forum. However, what you discuss with other members using the private messaging system is up to you.
_________________________
Rhea Dean

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#88849 - 04/06/10 09:12 AM Re: Normal crop function looks like what? [Re: Rhea Dean Carter]
Jocelyn Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/02
Posts: 1467
Loc: Canada
Ear mites drown easily. Any vegetable oil can be warmed up pleasantly warm (test on your wrist) and poured into the ears. Mites drown. Repeat every 3 or 4 days until the bird acts normal. Mite eggs don't drown as easily, and the repeat treatments get the new hatched ones. It's an old trick our vet taught us for the cats and guinea pigs...and chickens.

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#88851 - 04/06/10 10:29 AM Re: Normal crop function looks like what? [Re: Rhea Dean Carter]
Kareema Offline
Chick

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 11
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Rhea Dean Carter
These products are not approved for poultry. Therefore, we do not discuss their use in open forums that are accessible to anyone who visits our Website. The Classroom @ The Coop was listed in an online article a while back about having members who advocate and use such non-approved products on their poultry. Since then those threads have been deleted.


I understand. In the meantime, I decided to use the Sevin dust because I already have it. I have had a great number of migrating wild birds come through my yard, so that must have been where this came from since I have never encountered it before since I have had these chickens. I usually dust the hens in the spring anyway since I have a lot of squirrels in my yard as well. I am also going to look into the warm oil method Jocelyn mentions above. She is still shaking her head this morning. None of the others are.

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#88854 - 04/06/10 04:10 PM Re: Normal crop function looks like what? [Re: Kareema]
Kareema Offline
Chick

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 11
Loc: California
Well, she seems better today. Not nearly so much head shaking. Of course, I feel like things are crawling all over me.

Although they have made their own dustbath areas in the yard, I created one today following the directions in the mite/lice thread. I have tipped over the "coop," and we are going to replace some of the wood. I see that the hens have scaly leg mite as well. We have just narrowly avoided losing our home to foreclosure, so I have been preoccupied as of late. I have never dealt with these things before, so coupled with winter and the home problem I just wasn't on top of things.

Thanks for all your help.

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#88892 - 04/09/10 11:06 AM Re: Normal crop function looks like what? [Re: Kareema]
Kareema Offline
Chick

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 11
Loc: California
Although the hen seems better overall, her eye on the side that she scratches now sticks shut with matter. I am using the warm cloth method that I would use with a child to soak the eyelid open. Could she have scratched her own eye while scratching her head? Of course, it is possible that she got Sevin dust in her eye, even though we were careful to avert and cover all the hens' heads.

I have not put oil in her ears yet since I have subjected her to so many treatments in the past few days. How do I put the oil in her ears? With an eyedropper?

The entire group's legs look dramatically better.

Please advise.

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#88901 - 04/10/10 02:29 AM Re: Normal crop function looks like what? [Re: Kareema]
Wieslaw Offline
Moderator
Classroom Professor

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 3751
Loc: Denmark
I would definitely open the eye and rinse it with water.


Edited by wieslaw (04/10/10 02:30 AM)

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#88913 - 04/10/10 07:21 PM Re: Normal crop function looks like what? [Re: Wieslaw]
Kareema Offline
Chick

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 11
Loc: California
We opened her eye and rinsed it. Her eye looks clear, and there is no excessive matter, ulceration, or apparent damage to her eyelids. We also put warm vegetable oil in both her ears. Overall she is acting more like herself. However, now there is swelling on the same side of her head that she has been scratching at.

Once we irrigated her eye and put oil in her ears, she began to open her eye a crack, but the swelling appears to be preventing it. Do we need to give her an antibiotic by injection? We have done this before on another one of our hens (for bumblefoot).

Thanks once again for your help.

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#88920 - 04/11/10 09:07 AM Re: Normal crop function looks like what? [Re: Kareema]
Wieslaw Offline
Moderator
Classroom Professor

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 3751
Loc: Denmark
I have recently had similar problem with one of my breeding cocks. It started with some kind of wart on the upper eyelid, and after some time the swelling came. I don't want to spread horror, but all the sources I found always mention eye swelling in connection to a contagious respiratory disease. I was terrified that it was coryza again (I had it like 8 or 9 years ago), but this specific smell was not present, and he didn't have any strange symptoms with breathing. I remembered that in my childhood my grandmother had washed my eyes with chamomile, so I washed his eyes too. (I was thinking it would not make it worse.) He is better now, but it looks like he has some foam in the corner of his eye when it is windy (as it nearly always is here).

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#88924 - 04/11/10 02:04 PM Re: Normal crop function looks like what? [Re: Wieslaw]
Kareema Offline
Chick

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 11
Loc: California
Thanks for your input. Here is a front and side view of her head today.

Goober side view of head

Goober front view of head

The swelling did not appear until Thursday. However, she had been holding her eye shut for a few days before. It seems logical that there were ear mites since there was evidence of scaly leg mites.

If this were not a chicken, my Dr. Mom instinct thinks this is an eye and sinus infection to us. She acts like something is infected. Both my kids had recurrent ear infections as children which would lead to pinkeye if not treated immediately. This was due to the short length of the ear canal and they eventually grew out of it. I did some checking around the internet and it looks like this is possible and possibly fatal if untreated. This whole episode started with her shaking her head and scratching at her ear.

I am thinking about getting soluble antibiotic to put in their water since I see that others have treated the entire group for this. I may also give her some of the water orally with an eyedropper for good measure. If there isn't dramatic improvement, we can go the injection route.

What do you think about this course of treatment?

Thanks for your help once again.

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#88926 - 04/11/10 03:10 PM Re: Normal crop function looks like what? [Re: Kareema]
Wieslaw Offline
Moderator
Classroom Professor

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 3751
Loc: Denmark
I have absolutely no experience in treating this , so maybe somebody else can help. My rooster's swelling was above the eye.

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