First harvest, question concerning the crop.

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Tarzan31, Jul 31, 2016.

  1. Tarzan31

    Tarzan31 Just Hatched

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    Good afternoon everyone.
    My wife and I are a team in our small wannabe urban homestead. We just started last year with rabbits and a garden and laying hens. The rabbits got too much for us come harvest time. Chickens so far seem to be a good alternative so we bought some unsexxed chicks this year. Our first harvest was yesterday of a big roo. One question I have is that I found a sack on the outside of the breast attached to the breast bone by fat. There did not seem to be a tube connecting it to the digestive tract. (unfortunately my wife did this part and I wasn't paying attention as the guts were coming) I was cleaning up outside when my wife told me about the sack. I went through the bag of guts and it was a mess so I couldn't distinguish if there was a crop in there. I decided to cut off and disect the sack. It was under the layer of skin, it had yellowish pus and a solid white mass that took up about 25% of the sack. I opened up the sack and the white part seemed to be round like a piece of calamari you would get at a restaurant.
    Does anyone know if this is the crop or did my chicken have a problem?

    Thanks!
    Fred
     
  2. mechanic57

    mechanic57 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 23, 2014
    That's the crop. You'll find little stones and grits of sandy bits along with partially digested food matter in there. It gets ground up there since chickens don't have teeth. Then it goes to the gizzard for further digesting. Sometimes you'll have to rinse the carcass if you break it open as you'll get some of it inside the breast area but it's no big deal. Not like breaking open the green thing in the liver or the intestinal tract. Some people with-hold food from the chickens for 18-24 hours before butchering to make sure the crop is empty. Others allow them to eat since a fuller crop can be easier to find and separate from the skin vs when it's empty and blends into the skin and fat. First time I felt a full crop on a live chicken I thought it had a massive tumor!
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2016
  3. Tarzan31

    Tarzan31 Just Hatched

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    I did too! I have had a few chickens for a couple years but I started with a batch of babies this year. Their crops were MASSIVE they kept eating so much. I assume that is a survival instinct, stock up while you can!
    My worry was that there were no rocks just pus in the sack. Should I go get some grit? I figured they would be able to get enough rocks from their pen. (About 16'x24' of wooded space)
     
  4. mechanic57

    mechanic57 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Different people have different ideas and opinions on the use of grit. And pretty much every other aspect of every part of a chicken, what goes in a chicken, and what comes out of a chicken. I personally don't supply grit because mine are in a 20'x32' run and I let them out of there in the afternoons to roam 2+ acres. Since they have good access to a natural selection of things, I don't give them grit. They get it from the ground. Depending on your birds environment and type of feed you give, you may want to give them grit. You'll have to research it some more and see what's best for your flock.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    The crop is the sack on the breast up near the neck. Chickens eat to fill it up and mix some digestive juices in there, but that is not where grit comes in. Grit goes to the gizzard, a big muscle fairly close to the vent. The gizzard is where the food gets ground up and where you will find the rocks.

    It’s a survival instinct. Feral chickens are at risk while foraging so they tend to fill up the crop pretty fast then go to safer place to digest it. Then go fill it up again. Just because they are domesticated does not mean they have lost that instinct.

    I’m a little confused about yellow pus and a lump that looked like calamari. The crop will hold food and some liquid digestive juices, but not much liquid. That calamari might have been something that it ate and had not yet passed on down to the gizzard for grinding. It’s also possible the chicken had an impacted crop. That’s where things get stuck in there and it goes sour. Did it have a sour smell? This is something I think I’d need to be there to see or to see photos to figure out what was going on. It doesn’t sound right, but maybe it was just something it ate.
     
  6. Tarzan31

    Tarzan31 Just Hatched

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    Jul 31, 2016
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    I did take a few pictures and will upload tonight if I can. It is definitely hard to describe. The hard part was a ring that is possibly 1/8" in thickness from inner to outer wall. The diameter was maybe 1/2".
    Trying to find an example online is impossible. I looked through all known diseases along with images and had no luck. I also searched forums and had no luck finding a picture or situation even close to what I saw.
    I was hoping to find a medical journal or something where a crop was dissected but had no luck.
     
  7. Tarzan31

    Tarzan31 Just Hatched

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    Jul 31, 2016
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    Also, the pus did not smell.
     
  8. Venumfire

    Venumfire Out Of The Brooder

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    I would recommend letting your chickens have free access to grit. They will only take what they need so it lasts a long time especially if they are able to free range.
     

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