Impacted Crop / Maggots, Waxworms or Pills?


9 Years
Jan 26, 2010
Central Texas
As little history:
Our RIR, Lucy (2 years old), has always been "top heavy". My husband has said she was like a school lunch lady.
She's never been one to let you pick her up without squawking, so she hasn't been held as much as our buff orp. She's also been one to have a dirty bottom. We gave her a bath last summer, but this fall it was looking like she needed another bath. In early December we had a case of fowl pox go through our little flock. Everyone seemed to be doing "ok", but Lucy seemed to be "sleepy" a lot. Although she was actively going about her chicken business with the others in the run/yard, she didn't seem to be bouncing back. After being gone a week at Christmas, I decided to give her a bath while we had some warm weather (this past Monday, 1/2). After giving her the bath & blow-drying her I decided to keep her in the house so she was thoroughly dry before going back outside. While giving her the bath & drying her I noticed her crop was really large & firm--2 golf ball sized. The next day she was the same, so I started doing research & am pretty sure she has an impacted crop. She's staying in a large dog crate in the house & we have been giving her mineral oil, massages, etc. This hasn't seemed to make any difference. She doesn't seem to be in distress & pretty much acts like herself except for being sleepy. The fowl pox is getting better & the spots are slowly going away (everyone else looks fine & are starting to finally lay eggs again). She may have had an impacted crop for a long time...hence the top heavy look. I love her dearly, but can't afford to spend hundreds of dollars with a vet and am not up to performing crop surgery by myself (yet). After doing more searching on the board this morning I found some posts on feeding live maggots and was intriqued by this.

Do they have to be the smaller maggots (or spikes), or can you feed waxworms with the same benefit? I've called every live bait place locally & no one carries "maggots", but have found them online. Several places locally carry the waxworms & I'm ready to buy them if it will help. Anyone else with experience, please chime in!

Does anyone know what the pills used for crop impaction contain? After seeing a few posts with success I'm intriqued by these as well. However, I don't care to buy these pills if they are only mineral oil. The websites don't contain much info.

Everyone on the board has alway been so helpful and I appreciate input from those with more experience. Thanks!
I've heard you can "harvest" your own maggots, to speak. I don't remember exactly, but someone posted this a while ago. It involved taking meat, sealing it up and letting it rot a couple days, then opening it for a day for flies to lay eggs in, seal it for another two or three days, then open for maggots.
I am interested in this now. I have had a pullet that has been in the house or out in the since the 20th of Dec. She started out with Impacted crop I thought I got it cleared up and started her on a Greek yogurt diet but then she got sour crop. That I got cleared up but feeding her fresh garlic. But her crop still is not clearing itself. I have "puked" her a few times yesterday I got her to puke up a piece of straw about a foot long. While massaging her crop today. I think I finally found the cause. I am pretty sure I felt a ball of grass/straw/alfalfa in her crop that feels like maybe the size of a bouncy ball but it is not hard I was able to move it and hopefully get it broken up some.

I have never heard about feeding maggots if it will help I am all for trying it. For now I am back to mineral oil and ACV.
Today 2:12 pmI've heard you can "harvest" your own maggots, to speak.
--Thanks...may have to try that

Thanks for the garlic idea--am going to pick up some more ACV this afternoon. Good luck with you chick-a-doo!

Thanks for that link! I've saved that one as a keeper
The wax worms are a larger maggot, but didn't know if they would die as she ate them as opposed to the smaller maggots. Think the idea behind the maggots are that they stay alive & eat up the obstruction.
Not sure about the maggots....I'm assuming that if some were swallowed "live" then they would eat on stuff in the crop to break it down (?). That's why I'm wondering if the smaller "maggots" vs the larger wax worms would work better...less likely to die in the pecking/eating process? Help!
Another idea for maggots--you may be able to find them in your trash container outside...I know I have before.
My deepest sympathy to our trash man this past summer...60 days of over 100 degree temps made the trash a toxic smelling stew
I didn't look to see if there was anything growing!
I've had my girls for many years now, and occasionally have had a problem with a blocked crop. I tried everything
to solve the problem and thanks to an unknown email I rushed out to our local fishing tackle shop and bought the
fly solved the problem and after a few days the crop returned to its normal state. I suppose the grinding
system slows down with advancing age, but the mealworms are definately the answer.

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