impacted crop

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ahschnell, Dec 3, 2019.

  1. ahschnell

    ahschnell In the Brooder

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    Aug 26, 2019
    I am so sad. One of my chickens died yesterday(about 3 years old - Buff orfington) . The rest of the flock is fine. Saturday night I noticed she was lethargic. Sunday the same and at night I say she was throwing up (I know they don't actually vomit). Brought her in the house, warmed her up and she continued to decline and kept vomiting. She died before I could get her to the vet. I don't know what I could have done to prevent or help her. The flock has a big area to graze and they go into the coop at night. They get plenty of good food, scraps (only raw veggies), water and grit. I wish I would have brought her the house Sunday morning.
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

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    Yes, it's always sad to lose a chicken and the helplessness we feel when we fail to save her is just further emotional trauma.

    Crop disorders can get real bad real fast, and if we don't notice what's happening, it's often too late by the time we do notice. Here's an article I wrote to help folks recognize the symptoms and how to treat. https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...w-to-know-which-one-youre-dealing-with.73607/

    When you see a chicken become lethargic, backing off their feed, standing around on the edges, not taking part in flock activity, the first thing to do is check the crop. Sometimes a chicken with a crop issue will be extending their neck and gaping their beak, or drinking a lot of water but not eating. Any change in behavior is cause to check that chicken over from head to toe.
     
  3. ahschnell

    ahschnell In the Brooder

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    Aug 26, 2019
    thank you so much for understanding and your help. Do you know of any videos showing how to massage the crop?
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

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    No I have never seen a video of crop massage, now that you mention it. It is a skill that needs to be practiced to be perfected.

    I've done massage on very young baby chicks as well as all other ages, and all chickens seems to enjoy it. However, the exception is sour crop. Massage can actually be dangerous when done on a sour crop as it can push sour fluid into the airway causing choking.

    You can practice on a healthy chicken, though, with very little risk. First, understand where the crop "drain" is. It's not at the bottom of the crop where you would think, but rather a third of the way up. You want to aim for that spot as you massage, pushing the crop contents toward it.

    The technique is tips of fingers focused on the center of the crop mass. Gentle pressure with circular motion is what you want to shoot for. A healthy chicken will stand quietly while you do this as it should feel pleasant to them. You should be able to feel the contents leave the crop as you massage, emptying the crop.

    When you are practicing on a healthy chicken, though, leave some food in the crop as it can result in the chicken eating more right away to satisfy the feeling of an empty crop, resulting in overeating. So spread your practice chickens around so they all get in on the bliss.
     

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