Impacted Crop How To Treat Your Chickens Surgery Graphic Pic

Graphic Pictures - 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...
By BYC Support · Jan 10, 2012 · Updated Mar 19, 2012 · ·
  1. BYC Support
    Crop Surgery Performed - Truly Graphic but Informative Pics - By 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:


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


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


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

    You can read more and discuss chicken crop surgery.

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Recent User Reviews

  1. Anonymous
    "Quite basic info."
    2/5, 2 out of 5, reviewed Jan 27, 2019
    A little basic that could be added to.
  2. casportpony
    "Very important info missing"
    1/5, 1 out of 5, reviewed Aug 8, 2018
    EggSighted4Life and snow5164 like this.
  3. ronott1
    "good article"
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Jul 26, 2018
    Helpful for operating on impacted crops


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  1. Audio51
    @Hholly .....most Vets don't. If they do it is VERY expensive and not an option for most.
  2. Hholly
    Don't vets work on chickens?
  3. alabamariver
    I have a chicken with an impacted crop now . I have put the oil in her mouth and I have turned her upside down and a liquid stuff came out . Her crop is still full. Please tell me how to do the surgery. How do you put her to sleep or do you ? Do you use scissors to cut or a knife? I don't want to loose her she loves me so much . Thank you so much
  4. oceanswimmer
    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!
  5. Chicken Girls
    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!!
  6. yo burrill
    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.
  7. Homestead girl
    What sort of instrument did you use to open the crop up and what did you use to sew it up with ?
  8. rollkeeg877
    i had a silkie rooster die cause of that i didn't know what to do at the time now i know
  9. CluckyCharms
    I would love to know how your hen 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?
  10. valschicksrus
    Ruth, please update this article, we want to know how your chicken is and have the questions answered for us if you can. Thanks
  11. Peepsicle
    That's AMAZING!!!! I thought that once a chicken got it's crop impacted, that it died!
  12. valschicksrus
    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"???
  13. kellypepperk
    We would love an update - how did your girl fare?
  14. KristinLLB
    Wow, I am seriously impressed. Courage to us all if we need to do this, or the bumblefoot thing.
  15. Happimtn
    That is so impressive! How does someone prevent this from happening??
  16. BullardBarnyard
    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. :)
  17. BullardBarnyard
    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!
  18. the1honeycomb
    WOW great job!
  19. taradrew
    Nice work! Did you put her on anitbiotics after? How is she doing now?
  20. chickenquail
    does that hurt the chicken or is it asleep

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