Chick died - "squishy" crop, refused water, food.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by LisaJean, May 2, 2009.

  1. LisaJean

    LisaJean Chillin' With My Peeps

    One of my chicks died yesterday. I noticed that she wasn't eating or drinking. She would not take anything food-wise. I felt her crop to see if she was full. The crop felt... I dunno. Doughy? Squishy? Like not full of food, but full of a liquid maybe? Is there a name for this, and how can I avoid it in the future?
  2. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    So sorry to hear about your chick. As my avian vet tells me, there are two basic types of crop problems: crop impaction and crop stasis.

    Crop IMPACTION can occur if a bird consumes something that will not pass down the digestive tract. Straw, large fibrous weeds, alfalfa, and even gravel, screws and nails can contribute to impaction. The blockage can cause nutritional deficiency, and once contents sit in the crop for a couple of days they can rot and cause food poisoning and other problems. SYMPTOMS can include large, hard crop that does not shrink at night, and even choking if crop contents back into throat. If you feel of the crop you might even be able to feel the ball of straw or other items in a hard mass.

    Crop STASIS is the result of some condition that causes peristalsis (muscle movement of the digestive system) to cease in the crop. A variety of things can cause this, including botulism (food poisoning), disruption of the digestive function from some irritant, and/or fungal or yeast infection (similar to what toddlers can get). SYMPTOMS can include large, squishy crop that does not shrink overnight, and eventually a foul, sour odor coming from the mouth.

    In either case the bird can lose nutrients quickly, and suffer from food poisoning in a matter of days.

    Hope that "non-vet" description helps. There is more to both these general areas of crop issues, but that's a start, anyway. As far as prevention, you may choose to avoid giving your birds access to potentially harmful items listed above, but probably the best prevention is to just look at them each morning and make sure all birds look perky and all crops are flat when they come out of the coop.

    Good luck! [​IMG]

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