Second Crop Impaction in Two Weeks


5 Years
Apr 23, 2014

I have a 2 year old Golden Sex-Link hen, who seems to have a second crop impaction, just after getting over the first.

Two weeks ago, I found her lying on the run floor, after all the other hens had gone up to roost for the night. She was very limp and lethargic. I set her up in the garage and watched as she gorged herself on water. For the next couple of days, she had what felt like a huge water balloon on her chest, and wouldn't eat. By the end of the second day she was eating food mixed with water and raw eggs, and by the third day she seemed much better (she was up walking around and scratching, and her crop was much smaller). I kept her in another full day, by that point she seemed totally back to normal and I put her back in the coop with the rest.

I checked her crop daily for the next week, and she seemed completely normall. However, on Monday evening, I again found her laying on the ground. She was again lethargic, with a large water balloon on her chest, and I brought her back into the garage. Today she seems a bit better, she is eating the food mixed with water and raw eggs, and is a little more alert, however her crop is still quite full of water.

I am assuming that she has had a crop impaction, and that she is gorging herself with water to try and pass it. She seems to be getting better again on her own, however I am not sure what I need to do to prevent this from happening again. The chickens graze for a few hours a day in the backyard, (they have access to about a half acre) and our grass can get quite long. I am sure I need to start keeping them strictly in an area with the grass kept short. Mostly, I am wondering if there are general rules to follow immediately after a chicken has gotten over a crop impaction. How long should I keep her in the garage? Away from grass? Do I need to keep her on a soft food diet for a bit?

Any suggestions would be highly appreciated!
Eating long tough fibrous grass and dry or overly sprouted grain can contribute to blocked gizzards in chickens. The crop is not usually the problem, it is the tough muscles and confined areas in the gizzard that you must worry about becoming blocked. I agree with you about cutting your grass. Cows, horses, sheep, rabbets, in fact every animal that likes grass much prefers short, tender, succulent grass. It is also superior in nutrition.

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