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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30306
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Emaciated chicken
, Silver Laced Wyndot in March will

Customer Question

Customer: ***** *****, emaciated chicken
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: Silver Laced Wyndot in March will be 3 years old (hen). Up until 8 days ago was fine to us. Then noticed full crop first thing in morning - told it should be empty. We have been trying to treat for some type of crop problem (not sour).
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Customer: Are they expienced in chickens?
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. We don't have many avian vets on this site. Yes, her crop should empty through the night only to be filled up once again during the day. When the crop doesn't empty there are two scenarios to consider. The first is that the crop is impacted and/or infected. The second is that a disorder elsewhere in her body has resulted in atonicity (lack of muscle tone) in her crop. In either event, an emaciated chicken requires the attention of an avian vet (please see here: who can physically examine your hen and determine if it makes sense to pursue the diagnosis or, instead, cull her from your flock. It's best to approach the diagnostic process with a clear sense of this hen's financial value to your operation. Although some services such as your county animal disease diagnostic laboratory might be available free of charge through a county agency or land-grant extension office, the expense of some diagnostic tests and treatments can add up quickly. While it’s always worth your time and money to identify a bacterial or viral infection that could potentially impact more than one member of the flock, this might not be the case with a condition that only affects one hen.

Please see here for "hospice care" for these birds: and please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.