Mrs Madeleine Richards

Question

Mrs Madeleine Richards - Started off with messy vent - bit white, bloody etc. Once cleaned up no more discharge from vent.

Not eating or drinking now, sits about on own - very weak. Can feel grain in the crop yet she hasn't eaten for days. She is a pekin bantam, not sure of age but think about 20 weeks or so.

Have only had her a few weeks and hasn't laid yet. I have tried drops of olive oil for a few days, bathing her in warm water, natural yogurt, all foods have to be syringed into her as she doesn't touch food.

She was drinking a few drops of water occasionally but not at all now. She just sits now and does nothing.
Answer

When you can feel grain in the crop of a chicken that hasn't been eating, this generally means the crop contents have become too dry to dissolve and digest.

This can be a deadly condition, as it blocks the digestive tract from being able to absorb nutrients.

At this stage it's probably necessary to clean out the crop. You can do this by offering plain water, or a mix of 1/2 cu water with 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (raw and organic is best).

But the most important thing to do is get her to swallow several tbsp of fluids and gently massage the crop pouch, from the outside.

Once the contents are more mushy, you will need to invert her so you can gently milk the crop contents out of her mouth.

When you have most of it out, continue to offer liquids to help rinse out her crop. Cider vinegar will help kill off some of the bacteria that has been growing in her crop due to it being impacted and sour.

This may sound drastic, but soured crop contents will give her food poisoning and make her sick enough to die.

Adding new food to an already sour crop is making a toxic soup in there. The new food becomes contaminated and may just become a rich food for bacteria.

I hope you can help her in time. This is a very serious condition. If you can, you may want to get the help of a good poultry or avian veterinarian.

But time is of the essence and her life is at risk. Once the crop is cleaned out, only offer wet foods. Yogurt is good, avoid oils.

Pureed apple would be very good, even baby cereals with a bit of apple cider vinegar mixed in.

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