1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Impacted crop help.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by dandydoodle, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. dandydoodle

    dandydoodle Songster

    Sep 21, 2010
    Does anyone know someone who can help me with my chicken she has an impacted crop and I live in Acworth, GA. [​IMG] Anyone have any good advice. Something you have actually done that has worked.


  2. willowbranchfarm

    willowbranchfarm Chicken Boots

    Oct 3, 2011
    My Coop
    Here is something i found. But ive never treated it.

    Impacted or Bound Crop in Chickens by Cara & John Harrison

    Causes of Imacted (or Bound) Crop

    Impacted crop (crop bound) is similar in cause to sour crop in that the crop does not empty overnight but in the morning it will feel hard and swollen, like a golf ball.

    In both cases the bird is likely to seem lethargic, will lose weight and may make strange head movements due to the discomfort of the crop

    What is the Crop

    The chicken’s crop is located right beneath the neck against the breast and just right of the centre.

    When a chicken eats the food goes into the crop, which extends to accommodate the food and, especially with young chicks, can be easily seen protruding after the bird has eaten. For more information see Crop Problems in Chickens

    Treating Impacted or Bound Crop in Chickens

    If you suspect your chicken has an impacted crop start treatment in the morning by dropping a small amount of olive oil or liquid paraffin (2-3ml) into the bird’s mouth and then gently massaging the crop to help break up the compaction and repeat this procedure in the afternoon.

    Feed a soft food such as layers mash and again add some natural yoghurt to soften the food and neutralise and bacterial build up in the crop.

    It may take a couple of days to break up the compaction, but if it persists for three days the compaction may need surgically removing.Ideally take the bird straight to the vets where they can perform the operation. However, if a vet isn't available then you may need to undertake this yourself to save your bird's life. This raises a dilemma as we've been emailed by a vet to say that it could be construed as causing unnecessary suffering to the bird unless you can anaesthetise it.

    So in that case it would appear that if you can not obtain the services of a vet (perhaps due to economics or lack of a vet with the requisite skills in your area) your legal option would be to humanely cull the bird. Accordingly, this information is offered for interest only and not as a suggestion of what to do

    To carry this out operation yourself you would need a scalpel, rubbing alcohol, cotton wool, clean towels, water, saline solution (at blood temperature), an additional pair of hands to hold the bird securely and superglue.

    Firstly wrap the chicken in a towel and hold securely. Next, locate the chicken’s crop and sterilise with the alcohol and then make an incision about half way down the crop of about 1cm using enough pressure to cut through the skin and the thin muscle area below.

    Once the incision is made quickly remove the contents of the crop and then rinse the crop with the saline solution. Put a thin line of superglue along the incision and hold the edges of the muscle and skin together so they seal. Superglue was actually invented as a method of treating injuries on the battlefield for the US Army.

    Clean the exterior area and again rub with the alcohol solution. Isolate the chicken in a clean secure coop and do not give any food or water for at least 18 hours. After this provide water and small amounts of liquefied food such as pureed fruit or mash.

    If you suspect infection go straight to the vet for further treatment. Always seek the advice of a vet if the condition worsens.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Thespoiledchicken

    Thespoiledchicken Songster

    Sep 12, 2011
    Long Island
    Hi Michelle. Impacted crop is not fun [​IMG]

    Do you have any Krill oil? I have used it with great success. Break open a few capsules and suck it up into a syringe, gently squirt it into the chickens beak. You can also mix Krill oil with scrambled eggs or bread if you can get the chicken to eat anything. I would keep her warm and stress free and administer the oil, maybe do some LIGHT massage of the crop after she gets a dose or two. Keep giving it to her as often as possible until it is fully cleared up.

    The oil coats the crop and helps it to empty which she needs since she might have eaten something bad. If you don't have any krill oil than try some fish oil, that will also work.

    Good luck and keep us posted!

  4. dandydoodle

    dandydoodle Songster

    Sep 21, 2010
    What is krill oil? Where do I get it? Is it dangerous to them.
  5. Thespoiledchicken

    Thespoiledchicken Songster

    Sep 12, 2011
    Long Island
    Krill oil is like fish oil, it is made from Krill (shrimp like crustaceans). It is a great supplement for people because it is high in Omega 3 and loaded with antioxidants and Astaxanthin. I have used it on my chickens with excellent results- you can find it at any health food/ vitamin store. If you can't get any Krill than the next best thing would be regular fish oil, most supermarkets or drug stores carry this. The oil will coat the crop and encourage emptying.

    Another thing to try in the future is apple cider vinegar. You need to use the organic kind with the mother in it. 1 tablespoon per gallon of water- it will keep the water clean and boost the chickens immunity(don't use it in a metal waterer though- only the plastic kind). Also make sure you are offering them grit- it helps them to digest the food. If they free range chances are they are getting plenty of grit already but chickens that are penned up need to be supplemented.

    The Krill/ Fish oil should work pretty quickly for impacted/ sour crop. Give it a go and let us know what happens [​IMG]

    Good Luck!

    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
  6. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Songster

    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Great post by Willow. Is her crop hard or soft? Keep her isolated and do not feed any solid food. The olive oil with massage tends to work but if it is too bad you may need to consider surgery. I am not a vet or medical professional but I have done a successful crop surgery. You can PM me if you get to that point.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by