Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Chicken Health: Impacted Crop

Yesterday while I was checking on the girls, I realized Ruby was not herself. She was standing in the middle of the run with her eyes close and oblivious to everything around her. I immediately brought her in and checked her out. After talking to some knowledgeable chicken keepers online I checked her to make sure she wasn't egg bound, didn't have parasites, and a few other things. When I felt her crop there was nothing inside but one object. After remembering the girls trying to eat a mouse a few days before, I realized it was a mouse. It felt like there was one in there too! I was told by the same knowledgeable chicken keepers that it would probably require surgery t remove, either way, we needed to see a vet.

This morning we brought Ruby to the vet and they felt her crop and confirmed it was an impacted crop! 

First they tried doing an ultrasound to see what it was, but it was unsuccessful. 

Next they did an x-ray which gave us a clear image of what was in there, and also made a cool view of what a chicken's bones are like and arranged. 

Although we couldn't 100% confirm it, we believe there was in fact a mouse in Ruby's crop! as of now she is resting in the garage in a crate where we will monitor her bowel movements and keep her on a strict diet. If improvement isn't noticed, Ruby will have to have crop surgery later this week. 

About Impacted Crop 

What is impacted crop?
Impacted crop is the chicken version of indigestion. It's often caused from when they gorge themselves on large treats or scraps and have trouble digesting. 

How is impacted crop caused?
Impacted crop is caused from chickens eating things like string, hay, long grass, and other long string-like things they cannot digest or pass. This is most common in spring when grass is not dead and its tough and hard to digest.

How can I prevent impacted crop?
Make sure your there isn't string that the chickens can eat and don't give them treats that are too big and they may gorge themselves on. 

How can I cure impacted crop?
Depending on how bad, in some cases you can massage their crop, and in worse cases surgery may be require. Please talk to your local avian vet or read about it online before doing surgery yourself or culling the bird. 


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