Impacted Crop? Newbie with little experience...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chickeneer45, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. chickeneer45

    chickeneer45 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A few days ago, I noticed that one of my broody hens had a large mass right where its neck and body joined. I was really scared and thought it was a tumor, but after a little research I am relatively certain that it is her crop. I came to the conclusion that she just had a full crop that she would soon digest, but four days later the mass is still there and still very big. It is rock hard which I don't think is a good sign. I have been reading through posts trying to figure out what to do, but I am still pretty confused. It is really bad timing because three of her chicks hatched today, so I am not sure how treatment should go with this in mind... I have a brooder that I could put them in if that is necessary. I am really worried about her. If someone could please explain to me, in detail, the symptoms of impacted crop, how it is dealt with (other than surgery), and also what it does to a bird (I don't understand its effects)? Thanks to anyone with experience with any answers.
     
  2. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When are you seeing it? Has it been in the middle of the day each time? It is completely normal for the crop to fill each day and some birds crops are more prominent and some are bigger piggies than others. What does it feel like? feed? hard or hard with squisky liguid around it? Is there a smell coming from her mouth? Does the bird appear to be losing weight? What does her poop look like?

    The first thing I would do is isolate the bird overnight with only water. Perhaps you can just remove the food for the night for her and her brood or leave only very soft food like scramble egg? Each night a bird will go to bed with a full crop and the food digests over night. Check her in the morning before you feed her anything. Is it empty? If yes then nothing is wrong and she can go home.

    If not, then asess. Check the area and see what her poop looks like to see if any food is getting through her system and if she looks thin or lethargic.

    An impacted crop will feel like a mass usually of feed or grass that is large enough to block the passage of food. It can turn sour when that food starts to rot and it will smell very distinct in her mouth. Chickens do not chew, instead the food enters their crop whole and then after passes through their gizzard where little rocks grind it (grit). This grinding process can take up to 4 hours which is why the food builds up in the crop. Long grass can tangle and create a big blockage.

    Olive oil and massage is the most common first thing to try. As you massage you are trying to break apart the mass and lube it basically with the oil to get it to pass through her system. Some ppl say to give AVC but I personally would not as you will end up with acid trapped in her crop if it can not pass. I would try that first, but wait to make sure it really is impacted as it is possible nothing is wrong.

    (edited: this blockage prevents food from passing into the digestive system which will cause the bird to starve to death no matter how much they try to eat. It also cause the food they eat to keep building up and up in the crop and it will become huge -- this is why if you can not eat the blockage to pass in some why surgery will become necessary)
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2013
  3. chickeneer45

    chickeneer45 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I feel it at all times of the day: morning, midday, evening, night. It feels hard... hard. Havent felt any liquids... Her poop is normal broody poop as far as I can tell, but I have two other broodies so I cant really tell which is hers. Not sure about breath or weight because I dont want to disturb her broodiness by picking her up.
     
  4. casportpony

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

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    If it's not impacted with grass, you can probably get it to pass just by tubing fluids to her, that's what I do with mine. Syringe feeding is too risky and you would have to put a lot in.

    -Kathy
     
  5. chickeneer45

    chickeneer45 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How fo you know if its grass?
     
  6. casportpony

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

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