It is bad enough that poor Beatrix has been molting and looking quite ridiculous for the last few weeks.
She doesn’t exactly look her best during a molt.
But even as her feathers came back she looked pretty scraggly. I was concerned. Hens are aways lighter without their feathers, but Beatrix weighed nothing. She was too skinny! I checked her out and noticed her crop was very full..even in the morning. Not good.
After calling a friend and checking online, I decided two things. First, her crop was probably impacted and there was a bit of a sour smell. For some reason, her crop wasn’t emptying and bacteria was growing causing the smell. This can be fatal in hens so I knew I had to do something. The second thing I decided was that online “remedies” were too varied and some were things I was not comfortable with. That led me to my third decision, which was to call a vet. The first vet I called had no appointments, but they recommended another Vet. I was able to get an appointment with him for that afternoon.
So off we went. He agreed that her crop was sour and too full. He said it can be caused by eating a piece of metal or some other shiny non edible object, but he couldn’t feel anything. It can also be caused by eating too much long grass or not having enough grit…In any case he recommended separating her from the others, and massaging the crop and giving her lots of fluids.
He also prescribed Nystatin (which had been mentioned online as well) and metoclopramide (not sure of that spelling) for nausea. He said to call him in a few days to discuss how it was going. Poor Beatrix!
Here she is in her new quarters…not looking very happy at all. She was even less happy when I had to give her the medicine.
But she is a trooper and didn’t complain too much, though she was bored and lonely.
A mirror was added to her crate and she was fascinated with her new “friend.”
After a few days the sour smell went away, but her crop was still not emptying normally. She was allowed a bit of yogurt and pellets soaked in water. Not too exciting, but she did eat some. And she is pooping which is good. I am still giving her fluids and massaging her crop and it does seem to be improving.
But the weather has been SO nice (70F in November in New England!) that I couldn’t bear to let her miss it. She went up to the big run today for awhile.
Perfect day for a dust bath!
Her sisters, from now on known as “the Mean Girls,” were not that pleased to see her. They are best friends and have no use for poor little Beatrix.
They pointedly ignored her and finished their yogurt…
But Beatrix is used to them. She enjoyed her dust bath and did some pecking and scratching.
It was GREAT to be outside again!
Her crop is getting smaller so I think she is on the mend. She is still sleeping inside because she needs medicine 2x a day. But I am hopeful that she will be joining her sisters again soon. I will have to watch her closely for awhile to make sure she is ok. We are still not sure why her crop became impacted so that is worrisome, but Beatrix is looking better and wanting to get back to her life!
Hopefully that will be very soon!