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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have had chickens for about 2 years now and I am starting to get frustrated. I feel like I deal with one sickness after another.
I have chickens laying soft eggs and have for a long time. I have tried several types of layer feed. They are all types and ages. I put oyster shell in their food and offer it free on the side. Sometimes they free range and sometimes they are locked up. I cannot figure out what is going on.
I have another on right now that is not eating and is droopy. She is 2 and a half leghorn. Her crop is not full or hard, it is empty. She will drink and the end of her comb is dark purple blue. She is not breathing funny or like she has a resp. illness. I have given her a couple antibiotics over the last few days and she is acting a little better but not great.
Finally I have a 6 month old swedish 55. that has a huge crop. It is not real hard so I wonder if she is stopped up farther down. I have tried docusate sodium, Fed her olive oil and given her nystatin powder and monistat. She layed an egg yesterday so I know its not that. I wormed her yesterday with ivermectin on her neck. I have never vomited a chicken before and it scares me a little. I do not know what else to do to try to break whatever is going on free and get things moving. Like I said I feel like its one thing after another with these chickens. I am about ready to give up. PLEASE HELP. ESPECIALLY WITH THE CROP ISSUE
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Can you get a side pic of the crop bird? She might what is called pendulous crop. But it needs to be seen to confirm it.

Can you also get a pic of the leghorn. If she's a hatchery bird she might have laying issues or it's the end of her life span. Hatchery birds can be short lived and packed full of laying issues.
I can try to get one when I get home from work. I have had the one with the crop problems for a couple months now and her crop has only been like this for three days.
The leghorn is only 2 and a half. Is their life span that short?
 

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Hatchery birds can begin to have laying problems by the time they are approaching three years old. Do you know when she last laid an egg? Of course this is a bad time of year for that since they all slow way down. Check her droppings to see if they're normal. Make sure she doesn't have mites. Have you ever wormed her?

See there are so many possible things going on with her. You do need to check her to make sure she doesn't have a large, soft belly. That's called ascites and is an indicator of laying problems.

The one with the crop. It's large and soft? You might have checked her right after she drank a bunch of water. Take water and food away overnight. Then before putting it back, check her crop. It should be not noticeable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hatchery birds can begin to have laying problems by the time they are approaching three years old. Do you know when she last laid an egg? Of course this is a bad time of year for that since they all slow way down. Check her droppings to see if they're normal. Make sure she doesn't have mites. Have you ever wormed her?

See there are so many possible things going on with her. You do need to check her to make sure she doesn't have a large, soft belly. That's called ascites and is an indicator of laying problems.

The one with the crop. It's large and soft? You might have checked her right after she drank a bunch of water. Take water and food away overnight. Then before putting it back, check her crop. It should be not noticeable.
I have checked her the last 2 mornings and its huge. its not passing anything at all. It is softer so I wonder if she has a blockage farther down. I think it is turning to sour crop too. But I need to get things moving somehow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hatchery birds can begin to have laying problems by the time they are approaching three years old. Do you know when she last laid an egg? Of course this is a bad time of year for that since they all slow way down. Check her droppings to see if they're normal. Make sure she doesn't have mites. Have you ever wormed her?

See there are so many possible things going on with her. You do need to check her to make sure she doesn't have a large, soft belly. That's called ascites and is an indicator of laying problems.

The one with the crop. It's large and soft? You might have checked her right after she drank a bunch of water. Take water and food away overnight. Then before putting it back, check her crop. It should be not noticeable.
I have 3 leghorns and I think only one is laying right now. I am not sure how long it has been since she has layed.
 

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I put oyster shell in their food and offer it free on the side.
I thought I should add, too much calcium can also cause problems in chickens. You should not add oyster shell to their feed, only offer it separately on the side. If you're already feeding them a layer feed, which has plenty of calcium for layers, you definitely should not do that. My chickens barely touch their oyster shell when they're on a commercial layer feed with all of the nutrients they need.

Lots of science-y stuff, but in very simple terms calcium and phosphorous go hand in hand in a chicken's metabolism. Too much of one leads to a deficiency in the other. Some symptoms of deficiency in either of these minerals can be lameness, rubbery bones (rickets), enlarged joints, poor egg shell quality, reduced egg production, and ruffled feathers. That list is not exhaustive.

Not saying that an overload of calcium is definitely your problem, but I would consider removing oyster shell from their layer feed and see if some of your problems don't resolve.
 
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