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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 64888
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 48 years of experience.
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I have an 8 year old hen (bluebell) and I suspect she has

Customer Question

Hi I have an 8 year old hen (bluebell) and I suspect she has sour crop, as previous chickens I have owned over the years had that. She is completely paralysed, she is not eating or drinking, and has lost so much weight. I am keeping her comfortable as I can. I suppose my question is, Should I just continue to keep her comfortable until nature takes its course, or should I try to find a vet to euthanise her?
JA: Hi there. I'll do all I can to help. When did you first notice this decrease in the hen's appetite? How is her energy level?
Customer: She has zero energy, she is completely immobile
JA: Does the hen seem to be in any pain?
Customer: No
JA: What's the hen's name and age?
Customer: Bluebell (Not a very creative name) and I believe she is coming up to 8 years old
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know?
Customer: I think it may be sour crop as her crop feels swollen, and her comb has today started to droopCustomer: Chat is completed
Submitted: 15 days ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 15 days ago.
Dr. Michael Salkin is typing. Please be patient. I have 50 years of experience in canine, feline, avian, rodent, and rabbit medicine and surgery.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 15 days ago.

I'm sorry to hear about this with Bluebell.  Regrettably, she's agonal (near death) and culling should be considered a kindness.  These birds don't recover.  I never object to having an avian vet attend to them but do consider her value to your operation.

There's much more going on than sour crop.  The chronicity of her decline suggests neoplasia (cancer) in her body.  Please respond with additional questions and concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
I have never culled one of my hands before. Other than chopping her head off – ugh - is there anything you would recommend that I could do myself? I have tried to get her to drink water but she will only take very small amounts
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 15 days ago.

I understand.  There are no pleasant ways to do this.  You can see how flock owners perform the task by googling the keywords "chicken, culling, video".  Please continue in this conversation if you wish.