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Seeking opinions regarding 5 y.o. hen

I brought our sick hen, Judi Dench, inside when we noticed her just sitting around outside, despite the 11 degree temps!  She has had water diarrhea for an undetermined amount of time.  I didn't notice her crop the first day but did notice that now it is squishy.  I have Terramycin to give her, but not sure if I should try emptying her crop (I know the dangers) as well?  She has been eating yogurt, some of her pellets, and some scratch (trying to get calories into her).  Now she is just sitting around with her eyes closed. :-(  So, I guess my question is whether I should worry about her crop or just try to get the abx into her?

Thanks for any advice,


  • doormousedoormouse Senior Member
    I have no experience of using medication for a crop issue but I have had to empty a few. You are right when you say it can be dangerous and it is quite a scary thing to do. If you decide to go ahead, the best tips I can give you are:
    • not to do it for too long each time as if she is struggling for breath (which she probably will be) there is a danger of getting some into her lungs
    • keep her tipped facing slightly downwards (c 45 degrees)
    • keep her neck stretched out straight (and down)
    • use your judgement to decide when to stop - you can always do more later (only you know your hen and how much she can stand)
    • put her in a cosy, quiet dark place for a couple of hours afterwards - she will be exhausted
    On the plus side - purging a crop is quick and recovery once the crop is empty has been pretty instant in my experience after a rest; I have never lost a hen doing this - but it has to be your decision whether or not to take the risk.

    Let me know if you want anything else - and, whatever you decide, I wish you luck with Judi Dench (if she's anything like her namesake, she'll be a feisty little thing!)
    M ~:>
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