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Scott Perry
Scott Perry, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
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Experience:  DVM
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I have 2 chickens out of 3 that are acting sick. They both

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I have 2 chickens out of 3 that are acting sick. They both have diareha and a swollen neck. What would be the cause? Kirby Ott

Hi. My name is***** and I am a veterinarian that can answer your question. i understand that 2 of your chickens have a swollen neck and diarrhea. I am curious to know more about the diarrhea. Can you please tell me a little about what it looks like (i..e any blood, mostly water, brown appearance, etc.)?

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Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Mostly watery yellow and brown.

Brown watery feces are typically caused by a bacterial overgrowth, and I am concerned that the swelling in the neck is from an enlarged crop. How has their appetite been lately - any changes?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Not eating much and just lying around.

They definitely need to have a fecal exam performed to rule out causes of parasites. Likely, they are dehydrated and needing fluid support. The swollen neck indicates crop stasis, which can be caused by an infection, foreign body, or an obstruction. It is possible that the crop got infected/obstructed first then no food was able to reach the stomach and intestines, resulting in a bacterial overgrowth.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
what do I need to do?

The most immediate needs are to determine what is causing the crop area to be swollen and that may require a x-ray or swab. If no foreign body then treatment consists of proper medication. If they were eating then you could give support with apple cider vinegar and yogurt with probiotics, but since they are not then your ability is severely limited. Do you have a veterinarian that can see them?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
No,not right off hand

I can help you look if you give me your location. In the meantime, I would recommend to separate them from the remainder of healthy birds, add vinegar to the water (i.e. 2 tablespoons per gallon), and gently massage the neck for 5 minutes. Hopefully we can mobilize the the swelling in the crop to go down the esophagus. However, if it is obstructed then it will not likely make much of an improvement.

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