USE A CROP TUBE TO HELP A HEN WITH ORAL CANKER Feeding with a crop tube is safer than using a syringe on its own
QCan you please advise what help you could recommend for a poorly girl who has picked up oral canker. We have medication from the vet, but it seems to be taking ages to have any effect. We can’t get her to eat even though the last growth has come out. She is a lovely hen, but not fans of us having to feed by syringe. VICTORIA ROBERTS SAYS:
Oral canker does indeed take a while to sort. There may be painful lesions in your hen’s oesophagus, hence the lack of appetite. I suggest you change from syringe feeding to tube feeding as this is safer. A crop tube needs to be carefully inserted in to the oesophagus since the trachea has no epiglottis, thus remains opens and it is all too easy for liquid feed to be inhaled, which can become fatal pneumonia. Keep on with the tube feeding and the medication until she is willing to eat. Canker is caused by a parasite called trichomonas and it tends to happen more often during the winter when vitamin A levels are low due to a lack of nutritious grass and/or a lack of dark green vegetables fed. The very hot summer we had could also have contributed to this as in most of the UK the grass was brown or non-existent.