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Impacted Crop - How To Treat Your Chickens - Surgery - Graphic Pics

 

Crop Surgery Performed - Truly Graphic but Informative PicsBy Ruth

 

Well, you can add one more thing to the list of things I never thought I would do in a million years.  I operated on a hen tonight and performed crop surgery.  

She has been impacted for at least three weeks, getting more and more frail.  I've had her inside and have been feeding her soft foods and olive oil and doing regular deep tissue massages in an effort to break up the hard mass in her crop.  When she could no longer eat and it was apparent she was having difficulty swallowing and was skin and bones I felt I had no choice but to try and save her.  When I laid her on her side to examine her, black foul-smelling liquid began pouring out.  So, I first held her upside down for about 20 minutes while massaging the crop and being very careful that her head stayed down so that she would not choke or inhale and drown on the awful black smelling liquid that just kept pouring out of her mouth.  There must have been at least a cup of it to come out.  

Then I was able to examine her and the crop was still the size of a softball or larger and hard.  I knew I had to open her up.  I got my trusty assistant Boaz to help.  His job was to hold her.  We laid her on her side and covered her head with a towel and she NEVER moved, never flinched.  In fact, at one point, he said "I don't think she's still with us" and wanted to move the towel or rouse her to see if she was still alive.  But I knew since she had not so much as flinched that she was still alive and I just kept working on her.  The following pictures say it all - they are graphic but informative.  Only time will tell if she will recover but as soon as I finished stitching her back up (first the crop, twice, and then the outer skin) she sat up and looked around and started walking around.

Here is when I first started pulling out all the mass of hay/straw/grass that was in her:

http://www.backyardchickens.com/images/0-images/3005/crop1.jpg

Here is some of it after I got it out - looks like she ate a nest.

http://www.backyardchickens.com/images/0-images/3005/crop2.jpg

Here you can see the incision (about an inch) after the crop was emptied and before I stitched it closed:

http://www.backyardchickens.com/images/0-images/3005/crop3.jpg

And here is the outer stitching that closed up the skin.

http://www.backyardchickens.com/images/0-images/3005/crop4.jpg

You can read more and discuss chicken crop surgery.

Comments (17)

does that hurt the chicken or is it asleep
Nice work! Did you put her on anitbiotics after? How is she doing now?
Yaaay..... e-o.. I'm looking at all the diseases, and I wasn't anticipating it to be this graphic, I know it's rude to say, but I hope we never have to do that to ours....
I hope she is feeling well. Ouchie!
And, Sorry, How many chickens approx. does this affect? We're new to chickens, and I'm only 13, so I apologize for any stupid questions, but I hope if any, I get a stupid answer. :)
Thanks,
BullardBarnyard
That is so impressive! How does someone prevent this from happening??
Wow, I am seriously impressed. Courage to us all if we need to do this, or the bumblefoot thing.
We would love an update - how did your girl fare?
Well Ruth, wish you lived near me incase this happens to my chickens--brave soul you are!! Hope all is well with your hen, let us know.
And "how do you avoid this"???
That's AMAZING!!!! I thought that once a chicken got it's crop impacted, that it died!
Ruth, please update this article, we want to know how your chicken is and have the questions answered for us if you can. Thanks
I would love to know how your hen recuperated...you did a lovely job in helping her and I can barely even see the incision you made after you stitched her up. Good job!!! But...definitely want an update please?
i had a silkie rooster die cause of that i didn't know what to do at the time now i know
What sort of instrument did you use to open the crop up and what did you use to sew it up with ?
YOu can get disposable scalpels and a suture kit(sterile needle and dissolveable thread) at Tractor Supply. I think both are in the livestock section.
I just had a chicken die of an impacted crop. I could not figure out what was wrong. I knew it had something to do with her crop but I did not know what to do. We did turn her upside down and all of the extremely smelly stuff came out of her mouth. We tried to get some of the crud out by turning her upside down to see if we could get the "stuff" out through her mouth. I never thought of chicken surgery. I would like to know if she lived. GOOD STORY!!
Ruth, you did a beautiful job with the crop surgery! What suture did you use for the internal layer of tissue? Dissolvable? Did she drink right away, and what then did you start feeding with? Please update, because you've really got my attention! It appears you have the attention (and well deserved admiration) of many others! Brava! Yo burrill mentioned the suture kit available at Tractor Supply. Thanks you burrill!
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