Archive for April 10th, 2010

What do you want to learn about chickens?

Home to Roost offers informative workshops and classes on chicken care. What do you want to know?

Take our poll and submit your own ideas. If more than one topic, list in them all in the Other spot.

Hard crop emergency call

Last night I went out on a call for a chicken that had a hard crop. I suspected impacted crop.

The owner said the crop had been hard for a while and that she was lethargic and hadn’t eaten in a while. He isolated her in a carrier in the basement and put a heater in to keep her comfortable.

I arrived, expecting to treat a crop impaction, but instead found that Hildegard the buff Orpington was listless and lethargic. She had an empty crop and lots of poop. So the crop and GI system were doing ok; however, she had not eaten since the owner isolated her.

I gave her an external exam and checked the poop. There was nothing abnormal in the external exam, but the poop yielded a stone and a full kernel of wheat, which made me wonder if there was something wrong with the gizzard. It also looked like she had chipped her beak.

My recommendation was that the owners keep the hen warm and isolated and see an avian veterinarian; without the ability to know what was going on internally, this was beyond me. I recommended several avian vets in the area and asked that the owner follow up with me.

It’s always difficult for me when I am unable to help a chicken. They can stymie even the avian vets; birds are good at hiding sickness, and by the time you know they are not feeling well, it’s too late. More on this topic (subclinical illnesses) to come!