Ethel started having issues. She became lethargic, wouldn’t eat, and drank a lot of water. This went on for several days until I became really worried about her. She’d been “off her feed” before and bounced back on her own.
I had another chicken with crop problems of a different nature before. You may remember the chicken that ate so much she choked herself to death with her crop?
I, of course, checked out the internet for solutions to Ethel’s problem. There was an article describing a chicken acting a lot like Ethel that had an impacted crop. The solution was the massage the crop toward the chicken’s mouth. Reading more of the article, I learned that it is quite possible for a chicken to develop sour crop on the heels of impacted crop, because the food sits and starts to rot in the crop. Gross. The way of dealing with sour crop is to turn the chicken upside down and massage the crop toward the chicken’s head and get the putrid liquid to run out of her mouth. Double gross. And to top it all off, sometimes when a chicken has been through all that, they develop distended crop, meaning their crop is all stretched out forever. When this happens, they are more likely to have a relapse of impacted and sour crop.
I went out and had a talk with Ethel. “Ethel, you know I love you, right? And even though you’re old and don’t lay eggs anymore, I want to help you. Please, pass the food and be healthy.”
Ethel sat by the water and looked at me. She was too weak to put up a fight, so I massaged her crop. She kept chewing and swallowing as if food was going into her mouth.
Lo and behold, it worked. Ethel was up and eating the next day and is healthy as ever. Thank goodness we didn’t have to deal with sour crop!