Grit and crop problems

Discussion in 'Nutrition - Sponsored by Purina Poultry' started by Fairview01, Dec 7, 2017.

  1. Fairview01

    Fairview01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe it's a stretch to post this here but....

    Time and again when I read a post concerning crop problems there is always more than 1 recommendation to make sure grit is available. I don't understand that. The crop is simply a storage organ. Grit needs to reach the gizzard where it with the muscular contractions grind the food from the crop for digestion.

    I have yet to figure out if a chicken has an impacted crop why the chicken should have grit available. The problem is a blockage that keeps the crop from emptying into the gizzard in the first place. Why would I want to encourage grit consumption and create a potentially larger blockage in the crop with a bunch of rocks.

    Seems to me the solution is to address and eliminate the blockage immediately rather than enhance it.

    Your insight would be appreciated.
     
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  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs I Wanna Be A Cowboy Premium Member

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    Makes sense to me. Though I often take it further and believe crop problems are indicative of other problems going on and the crop problems are just a symptom of a deeper problem.

    Now to see what others think. :pop
     
  3. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chicken Obsessed

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    You are right. The crop is merely a hopper to feed the gizzard. If the crop is impacted, grit is not going to help it as it is not designed to grind food.... the walls are not strong enough... and if it is the gizzard that is impacted causing the crop to be similarly impacted then the grit will not make it out of the crop and into the gizzard anyway and the bird is probably pretty much goosed.
    The only possible benefit would be if you are massaging the crop very regularly, then the grit may start to break down any fibrous material that is causing an impaction, but I would be concerned that it may also scratch the crop lining which is not thick like the gizzard and that could lead to infection.
    I therefore agree that offering a bird that is impacted, grit, is probably not beneficial and maybe detrimental in that it will add to the impaction.
    The time to offer grit is when they are healthy.
     
  4. Fairview01

    Fairview01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If our logic is correct than one of the mods should probably this information a stickie. There's a lot of experts out giving out potentially fatal advice there that do not have an inkling of the the digestive system and organ function.

    Thanks
     
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  5. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    Advice given for treating crop problems is a huge pet peeve of mine. I'll go into more detail later. Until then, I also say NO to giving grit to treat crop problems.
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    I'm gonna be a fly in the ointment. I agree with Old hen. The gizzard is designed to function with grit. The digestive system is designed to function with grit in the gizzard. While the crop sits in front of the plumbing system, it makes sense to me that an impacted crop is symptomatic of a digestive system that is not functioning properly. So, yeah, grit in a gizzard is not going to "fix" a crop impaction. But, perhaps if the gizzard had plenty of grit, the impaction would not have happened in the first place.

    However, I do not believe that grit is the be all and end all of preventing crop impaction. To my knowledge, my birds have never had crop impaction, in spite of my laissez faire approach regarding allowing access to hay, and long stringy heaps of garden debris in my coop and run. (one of the "they say" things that causes crop impaction) I'm thinking that an active gut with healthy gut flora is a big part of the impacted crop prevention. Lots of access to deep composting litter, and fermented food help to keep the gut flora balanced.
     
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  7. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    Was my post not clear? ;)

    Sure, make sure they have access to grit, but don't give it hoping that it's gonna fix a crop problem, 'cause it won't, and it could cause more problems.

    I say heck no to massaging crops, giving oil, baking soda, acv, etc.

    I've actually never seen a true crop impaction or gizzard impaction in any of mine, but I have seen crops that didn't empty. I'll go into details about those later.
     
  8. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs I Wanna Be A Cowboy Premium Member

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    I had one hen will a crop problem in all my years keeping chickens. I did the massage thing for two days. Hen went back to normal, but with a low hanging crop. Seemed fine for months than dropped dead about 6 months later. My guess is they were related.

    We don't autopsy our birds as I see no point to it, so I will never know for sure. Mine eat hay and grass clippings all the time. They also are in charge of getting their own grit. We do use gravel in the shed and the rocks get gobbled up through the season until it turns to powder.

    I find most treatments for sick chickens to be a fruitless endeavor.

    @casportpony , I'm interested in reading what you have to say.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017
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  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    I had one gal with a pendulous crop, but never impacted. I gave her away b/c I did not want her playing in the gene pool. I visited her a year later, and she was still bopping around, just as sprightly as ever. Still pendulous crop. A month ago, her owner told me she was still doing well, and laying regularly. I'm guessing she's 4 years old now.

    I'm also in the "usually don't treat" camp.
     
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  10. Fairview01

    Fairview01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No scientific evidence but I think most impacted crops if they are impacted is the result of negligence on the flock owner not providing adequate feed. I think letting the feed bucket go empty creates the hungry chicken that gorges itself when food becomes available.
     

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