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Gravel Packed Crop

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by WoofMeowCluck, Mar 7, 2014.

  1. WoofMeowCluck

    WoofMeowCluck Dark Speckled Egg Lover

    Mar 9, 2010
    Breed: Easter Egger
    Age: 5 years old
    Symptoms: Lethargic, with gravel in crop

    I have 20 chickens. They have a 12 x 18 ft coop. They free range in a securely fenced in a one acre field. Fanatic about clean coop, water, feeders. Last wormed (valzaben) in November. Chickens are handled on a daily basis for bug and critter check, and, well, they are just very friendly.

    Last night when I locked up the coop I noticed she was on the roost instead of her favorite place in the coop rafters. I picked her up she felt lighter than normal. Her crop was full but not hard. No discharge from vent area. (she only lays an occasional egg)

    This morning she was sitting on the coop floor, not willing to move. Crop was very hard. I gave her 3 ML of olive oil and massaged her crop. An hour later I gave her 3 ML of water (didn't want her to get dehydrated). Massaged crop. One hour later gave her another 3 ML of olive oil and massage crop. When I check on her in an hour her crop was mushy and I can feel Lots of gravel in it. I had one years ago that was impacted with grass so I know what that feels like, this is gravel, not grass.

    I have continued massaging her crop and giving oil. No improvement at all and she seems weaker. I have her in the garage with a heat lamp on low. OF course she is our favorite chicken! She flies over the fence every day and comes to the back door and clucks loudly until I open the door and give her a piece of banana, then she flies back over the fence.

    I have no idea why she would be so full of gravel, or why she would eat it when there is grit available in the coop? There isn't a gravel pile or a lot of stones in the field either.

    I would appreciate any suggestions and help to save her. She looks pretty bad.

    Thank you!


    TOP KNOT Songster

    Mar 10, 2013
    I have read to help impacted crop to hold them upside down and gently message the crop to induce vomiting. I wonder if that would get out the stones? I wonder if she is needing calcium (like oyster shell) and thats why she ate so muck rock?
  3. WoofMeowCluck

    WoofMeowCluck Dark Speckled Egg Lover

    Mar 9, 2010
    Thank you for replying!

    There is a full container of Oyster shell in the coop. The only thing that comes to mind is… I was walking around the field with them a couple days ago and the flock caught a couple of mice (it's a brutal death for the mouse!). Maybe she swallowed a chunk of mouse that was too big and compensated by eating gravel? I really don't know.

    I did try holding her upside down but only the water and oil came out. I've massaged her crop about every hour today. I'm at a loss [​IMG]
  4. ten chicks

    ten chicks Songster

    May 9, 2013
    Is her crop hanging lower than normal? Often when the crop is hanging down,the food is not able to move through body to be digested. If nothing else works,you could try a crop bra. Here is a link explaining crop bra and how it works.


    Once onsite,go to "INFORMATION" then"symptoms and treatments",scroll down to "CROPS",crop bra does not have to be exactly as mentioned in article, you can design your own version and your girl might not need it for 2 weeks,only until gravel starts to move.

    If she does not start eating/drinking you might want to consider tube feeding her,until she is able to eat on her own.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2014
  5. pwand

    pwand Songster

    Sep 10, 2007
    BC Canada
    Lots of water can help with impaction. You can tube feed water and give her 60 ml at a time. They can get blocked from tumours, reproductive problems , even worms can slow the crop down. It could be anything especially were she is older. How does her poop look? Is she wanting to eat and drink?

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