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Dr. Taus
Dr. Taus, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 505
Experience:  Veterinarian with experience in equine and small animal medicine.
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my chicken was limping and falling to the side and has a droopy

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my chicken was limping and falling to the side and has a droopy tail and very hard large crop. she started moulting weeks ago and stopped laying. she was fine 2 days ago then this morning started acting strange. my other chickens are fine. the only other unusual thing is i chased a rat out of their coop/run a week ago. she just looks miserable. What could be wrong?
Hi there,
Sorry to hear that your chicken is not feeling well. It's great that you've isolated her. Providing a good, warm, quiet place for her to recover is important.

It sounds as if her crop may have become impacted. This can happen when chickens gorge on long grass or eat plastic or metal bits that can sometimes be found in yards or pens. It can also happen if your bird has another illness that has slowed down her crop's ability to empty into her gizzard and let her digest the food.

I recommend nursing care, offering her poultry mash or crumbled poultry diet and plenty of grit. You can put 2 Tbsp of vinegar into her water to encourage the crop impaction to dissolve. You can also mix a bit of olive oil into her poultry mash (don't try to force-feed this, because if it goes into her lungs, it can be deadly). Twice a day, try to gently massage her crop, but don't be forceful.

If this persists for more than 5-7 days, it is unlikely that it is going to resolve, and I'd recommend euthanasia rather than letting her waste away. Often, with good nursing care we can get the crop emptying normally again, but if there is an underlying illness, sometimes it doesn't start moving again.

I hope this is helpful. If so, please rate me positively, and don't hesitate to let me know how I can help further.
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Hi Kim,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Queenie. How is everything going?