Impacted Crop: Henrietta’s Struggle

I want to start this post with a disclaimer: I’m not a vet, just a chicken keeper who loves her flock.  I’ve tried a variety of things to solve Henrietta’s impacted crop; I’m still not sure any have totally worked, but this is just my experience, not advice on how to get rid of impacted crop in your own chickens.  Attempt at your own risk. 

As I noted in a dashed-off post yesterday, on Sunday morning, I found Henrietta weaving on her feet in the chicken coop, her eyelids half closed and her temperament greatly affected (she was docile to the point of nearly being comatose).  Most of our girls start circling madly from the moment I enter the coop.  Something was clearly wrong.

After I fed and watered her peers, I picked  her up and discovered a hard lump, roughly the size of two golf balls in her crop. 

I brought her inside and installed her in the bathroom for the next 24 hours.  I spread fresh (old) towels on the floor and warmed her, feeding her water with a tablespoon of olive oil in it and regularly massaging her crop every hour or so.  When she would eat, I gave her a bit of yogurt with olive oil, hoping to get things moving, but she’s eaten virtually nothing in the last 24 hours, as several sites suggest.

She has passed droppings several times, and they are increasingly solid, so I’m hopeful that the worst has passed and she will continue to process what’s in her crop over the next 24 hours.  She also seems much more alert.  I’m even shocked to report that she laid an egg in the bathtub yesterday!  However, she still has a lump this morning, so I’m continuing on with the olive oil and water, which I’ve added a bit of apple cider vinegar to, in hopes of avoiding the development of sour crop.

At Jason’s suggestion (his patience for a chicken in the bathtub only lasted so long), she is now installed in a dog crate in the chicken coop, so  I can keep a close eye on her (and so she’s not left unattended in the house while I’m at work).  So if you are a great lover of chickens, please say a little prayer for Henrietta; I’m hoping she’ll make a speedy and full recovery!

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Henrietta and I thank you!

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5 thoughts on “Impacted Crop: Henrietta’s Struggle

    • It works great and is so easy to clean up afterward! Now, if only I could get my fiance on board… :o) Poor guy, this morning. All he wanted was a shower, and I had to get Henrietta back outside.

  1. I know how upsetting it is when chickens get ill. Makes me wish I’d become a Veterinarian! I’ve lost many a bird to strange unknown illnesses and have even tried (unsuccessfully) ‘mouth to beak’ resussitation (sp?) on a favorite old girl.
    I haven’t brought a bird in the house for treatment, but I did raise a piglet in the tub for a couple of weeks until a proper home was built. (She was an unexpected gift [the runt of the litter] from an old farming uncle). Ahhh ~ the life of a small time farmer! ;~D

  2. I’m not a praying person but I will send lots of positive thoughts, my very best wishes, and extra virtual hugs to you and Henrietta. I hope she recovers quickly.

    (I would totally have put her in the bathtub, too!)

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