DIY Impaction Surgery

2theDogz

Chirping
Apr 12, 2021
76
140
86
I'm on day 3 of trying to help this 3 mo cockerel with impaction. Size of crop has shrunk about 60% from these pics through massage & pushing out a lot of excess liquid. Withheld food 36 hrs, only a rabbit bottle for water. Now giving some egg yolk & yogurt. Mineral oil every 2 hrs, massaging frequently. The mass feels like long, matted grass or straw and is about the size of an Oreo.
My gut says this won't pass with the current treatment. I have everything on the supply list for surgical removal.
If anyone has experience with this I would greatly appreciate your input.
🙏❤️
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Ryguy3684

Here comes the Rooster
Premium Feather Member
May 29, 2020
773
1,364
236
Fauquier County, Virginia, United States.
I've done the surgery before and would do it again. However, I try syringing water with massages, twice a day, for at least a week before doing the surgery. Is the little guy eating well? Is he acting "off", yet?

Currently, I have a hen that I've been working on for almost two weeks. It's a little bit of a different scenario, but she ate a foot long garter snake, and it just needed some help because it was stuck in her crop. She's almost back to 100% now.

I don't want to do unnecessary surgery, but I also don't want to wait until the chicken is too weak/sick. That can make the recovery period hard on the bird.

Are you planning on suturing the incision, or gluing? I use dissolvable sutures on the crop, and glue the skin, but 10 people will give you 10 reasons why their way is best. If you go through with it, make sure to watch plenty of videos and check the forum. That helped me a lot.

I, personally, would give it more time as long as he's acting normal. Good luck with whatever you do and keep us posted.
 

2theDogz

Chirping
Apr 12, 2021
76
140
86
Oh, goodness. Have you tried a molasses flush or stool softener? I had a young hen with a clogged crop. Took about a week of treatment to clear it.
Will they work on straw? I have both on hand but haven't started them yet because I read about it being indigestible. Not opposed to trying if waiting that long to clear it won't increase the risk of sour crop or other complications. What protocol should I follow with them? Thank you for your advice, greatly appreciated!
 

2theDogz

Chirping
Apr 12, 2021
76
140
86
I've done the surgery before and would do it again. However, I try syringing water with massages, twice a day, for at least a week before doing the surgery. Is the little guy eating well? Is he acting "off", yet?

Currently, I have a hen that I've been working on for almost two weeks. It's a little bit of a different scenario, but she ate a foot long garter snake, and it just needed some help because it was stuck in her crop. She's almost back to 100% now.

I don't want to do unnecessary surgery, but I also don't want to wait until the chicken is too weak/sick. That can make the recovery period hard on the bird.

Are you planning on suturing the incision, or gluing? I use dissolvable sutures on the crop, and glue the skin, but 10 people will give you 10 reasons why their way is best. If you go through with it, make sure to watch plenty of videos and check the forum. That helped me a lot.

I, personally, would give it more time as long as he's acting normal. Good luck with whatever you do and keep us posted.
Thank you so much for your reply. He's not acting off yet. Can you walk me through the water syringe treatment? The first two days he was like a water balloon. I massaged and turned him over, got out about 1/3 c of fluid. It was only then that I could feel the clump/impaction. The massage helped & he's now at least partially clearing fluid & some of smaller solids I felt in there.
As you stated, waiting til he's weak or sours is my biggest concern. If I can keep him healthy over more time then I'm certainly willing to wait. I have Nystatin on hand but haven't researched dosage or whether to give as a preventative vs treatment .
What can I feed him besides the egg & yogurt? Soaked crumbles?
TIA!
 

Ryguy3684

Here comes the Rooster
Premium Feather Member
May 29, 2020
773
1,364
236
Fauquier County, Virginia, United States.
Thank you so much for your reply. He's not acting off yet. Can you walk me through the water syringe treatment? The first two days he was like a water balloon. I massaged and turned him over, got out about 1/3 c of fluid. It was only then that I could feel the clump/impaction. The massage helped & he's now at least partially clearing fluid & some of smaller solids I felt in there.
As you stated, waiting til he's weak or sours is my biggest concern. If I can keep him healthy over more time then I'm certainly willing to wait. I have Nystatin on hand but haven't researched dosage or whether to give as a preventative vs treatment .
What can I feed him besides the egg & yogurt? Soaked crumbles?
I use a syringe (without the needle, of course) and squirt about 10 ml of warm water into the crop. The trick is to go slow, 1ml at at a time. Don't squirt it down the throat, because he'll aspirate. Under the tongue and let him swallow it. Once you get the hang of it, it should only take a few minutes. With a healthy, active bird, it's MUCH easier with two people.

Wait a minute, then massage the crop for 5-10 minutes. If you can feel the impaction, try to massage it in between your fingers. Not hard, but firm. The warm water will help soften, and work to break up the clump. I do it twice a day until it's gone.

I usually only withhold food for the first day. After that, I let him eat normally. That way, you can tell, in the morning, if he's digesting properly. The impaction won't keep him from digesting new food. That will only happen if there's a blockage. If he's only eating crumbles, and you're doing massages, the new food shouldn't build up on the current impaction.

That, almost, always works for me, within a week. If not, I would definitely revisit surgery. I know some people will use a docusate sodium stool softener. I've never done it, but you could look that up as well.
 

Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Sep 20, 2015
40,620
58,667
1,362
Southern N.C. Mountains
There have been a couple people here that successfully performed crop surgery at home. I'm trying to remember the others.

@Wyorp Rock @Eggcessive, do either of you lovely ladies remember?
That would be @azygous

3 days is a very short period of time when treating a crop issue. May want to give it a couple of days to see if this can be remedied.

Bird needs to have access to plenty of fresh water where they can drink freely and not get dehydrated.
Withheld food 36 hrs, only a rabbit bottle for water.
 

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