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So I noticed a couple weeks ago that one of our easter eggers was always last out of the coop, and instead of heading towards the food with everyone else, would stroll around acting pretty normal, just not very hungry. And she was always first to roost in the evening. But, otherwise, she acted fine.
So this past week I plucked her off her roost and felt around, and not only is she very thin, but she has a large mass, which turned out to be her crop, packed full of who-knows-what. But when I put her down she walks off (all offended-like of course). My experience with crop-bound chickens is limited to one we had when I was a kid. My parents did "surgery" on her and emptied her crop out, stitched her up, and she healed fine, but later got crop-bound again, and an old-timer told my dad that usually there's something wrong with them that their crop doesn't empty normally, and so it usually happens again. So I think we probably end up with that one in the stew pot.
So the next day I caught her up again, and let her hang upside down so she would be calmer, and felt that mass again. Still felt pretty hard, and she still didn't appear to be eating. But, I'm working full time, and only see the chickens in daylight in the morning and then quickly at lunchtime. I decided that since she was not huddling in a corner miserable, I'd let her be until this weekend and if it she was still around, I'd either try some home remedies or just put her down.
Well, I swear the next day she was out of the coop with the rest of them eating and has been since then. I've seen her eat and drink, and poop, none of which I had seen her do in the previous days (albeit I'm not home during the day to really watch). I haven't picked her up again, but I'm pretty sure that the mass of food has disappeared or gone down significantly.
I wonder if that brief time hanging her upside down had anything to do with it? I don't really see how, unless something was jammed against the opening from the crop to the rest of her system and that dislodged it.
So far I have been lucky and have not had to deal with this issuue.The only thing I know about it is what you have already said if it happens once it will happen again,the other is to massage the crop and to give olive oil in hopes that it will go down. Good luck
Well, she's still running around acting like a chicken and now eating normally with everyone else. I didn't do anything except catch her twice and the second time let her hang upside down while I felt her crop. Something happened though because she's now back to normal!