Hi all, having spent nearly a year trawling the net and this site for useful chicken advice, I finally have something to add myself!
My chicken had an impacted crop with the 'putty-like' consistency sometimes reported. I had her booked for surgery but had a eureka moment that cured it overnight.
The squishy, putty-like texture confused me - I couldn't work out what they might have eaten that could end up like that. Then I realised: gluten. Wheat gluten is very elastic and once the starch has been washed away, it forms a stretchy ball that is very difficult to break up. It's pure, long-chain protein and needs enzymic action to solubilize it. I remembered that fresh pineapple is meant to contain active proteolytic enzymes so bought one and persuaded the unhappy chicken to eat a tiny bit and drink some of the juice. Next morning, the impaction was gone.
I tested the theory by making some gluten balls from wheat flour and soaking them in water/apple juice/processed pineapple juice or juice from a fresh pineapple. The ball in the fresh juice broke up and dissolved completely in a few hours while the other 3 stayed as a squishy ball and did not change consistency. The processed juice would be pasteurised and the enzyme inactivated.
So if your poor chicken has a putty-like impaction, probably from eating pasta/bread, try fresh pineapple (papaya should also work) before cutting her open!!
Thanks for being a great forum and I really hope this helps some sad chickens.