This morning, I returned a much improved Henrietta to the flock.
As I said yesterday, when I returned from work, her crop was completely empty, she’d produced normal droppings, and she was clearly hungry. I mixed up a soft mash for her to test her crop and digestive system and to gently reintroduce her to food. The mixture follows:
Post-Impacted Crop Mash
1/4 c. Layer Pellets
2 T Greek Yogurt (with live cultures)
2 t Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (OACV)
2 – 4 T Water (hot but not boiling)
I also gave her a bowl of warm water with 2 T of OACV, which went to the flock this morning (and they drank it like it was the greatest thing they had ever encountered).
Although the mash clearly wasn’t what she wanted (she’d been clucking over around the cracked corn bin), Henrietta tucked right in, and this morning her crop was empty again. Given that she was behaving normally and seemed really anxious to be alone in the dog crate, I reintegrated her to the flock by letting them all out into my work area where she was already settled in. The hens circled her, clucking and rubbing against her and the roosters, well, we’ll just say the big rooster was happy to see her again and the little rooster got out of her way when she was ready to lead the crop back into the coop (as she is pretty high in the pecking order).
I watched the chickens for about ten minutes, while I spread fresh shavings, changed their water and refreshed their food. Henrietta helped herself to some water and nibbled on some of the food before settling herself in among the girls. I think she’s on the mend!
I will note that I have marked her with a loose green zip-tie, so I can check on her regularly and easily. The hens have access to layer pellets, but until Henrietta is totally on the mend, there will be no more cracked corn treat before bed in the evening. I’m also going to stop throwing down loose hay for the girls to play with, as I think that might have been a mitigating factor in her impacted crop. While I’d never seen them eat it, I just can’t take the risk. I’m also going to be more careful to chop up whatever veggies they get, rather than throwing in larger chunks for them to pick over (they’d received a quartered winter squash only a day or so before the impaction.
Thank you for your kind thoughts and comments about Henrietta. I’m certainly happy to see her on the mend.