Updated! - Test Your Diagnostic Skills - Warning, Contains Graphic Necropsy Photos



BYC Staff
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Jun 24, 2012
The Golden State
Last night I found a hen below the perch and this is what I noticed:

  • Very thin
  • Lethargic
  • Crop full of food and hard
  • No palpable masses
  • No cuts, swellings or bruises
  • Eyes, mouth and nostrils clear
  • No visible mites or lice

I brought her inside where it's warm, but she didn't make it. Since many people don't try their own necropsies I thought it might be fun/interesting to put or diagnostic skills to the test and see what we come up with. Of course much depends on my ability to do a necropsy, and unless it can be easily seen, I doubt we'll know for sure what killed her.

I'll wait until it warms up a little and then I'll start cutting. If there is anything you want me to check for, just let me know!

Last edited:
Oh dear casportpony, you sure are dealing with this whole mess well. I don't think I have diagnostic skills, so wouldn't have a clue what to suggest or ask, but kudos to you for trying your own necropsy! Will be interesting to know what you find out though!

My only guess would be impacted crop?

You go girl!!!
Okay, I will check for an impacted crop. Not sure why, but the death of a random chicken doesn't bother me anymore and I'm actually a little relieved knowing that I won't have to deal with trying to keep it alive.

I get that Kathy...seems, after fighting a disease/parasite, and putting all you have into it, then to have an end...yeah, I think I would feel the same!

Great on the pic's. I'm sure we can all learn tons from this, thank you for doing this Kathy!

Good luck!
Sorry for your loss, but I agree about nursing it for what seems like an eternity, for it only to die anyway.
I can't wait for the pictures.
My guess is either impacted crop or internal parasites.
I'll try my best to check for internal parasites - roundworms, tapeworms, cecal worms and gapeworms should be easy, but capillary worms will be harder, lol.

Did you worm your bird recently? I read on BYC that can cause a blockage, although they were talking in the intestines, but was wondering, if it was gapeworm, that are attached to the trachea, if they could mass in the crop? Just random thinking about this, no clue if it's even possible???? Also, would seem they would feel squishy, not hard, but ya never know, right?

I have also wondered if birds will eat things, like shavings, and other weird things, trying to clear their crop, which could get stuck in there? IDK...just thoughts going through my head.
Here's some more info:

  • Age - Unknown
  • Time found - 9pm, still alive
  • Still alive at 3am
  • Dead at 7am
  • Probably never been wormed
  • Didn't notice anything abnormal, but she's one of the more wild type ranch chickens that usually don't show signs.
  • Green and yellow poop on vent.
  • No smells.

Last edited:
You should also know that I have confirmed cases of blackhead and Marek's here and that I plucked the feathers on her crop and the food in it looks like food that was eaten yesterday.

Last edited:

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom