Page 2 of 3 < 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#10247 - 05/11/04 06:03 PM Re: Impacted crop


To suture a wound or incision one would use a suture and a suture needle. Here in the States they can be ordered from a supply catalogue such as In an emergency, I'm sure a vet would sell or give you what you need. Be sure and tell them what you are using the supplies for as they come in various sizes.

Hopefully, you won't have to do any "sewing". As Bill said, the incisions seem to be healing very
cleanly on their own.

Good luck and please keep us posted.

#10248 - 05/11/04 06:44 PM Re: Impacted crop
Bill Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 10/05/02
Posts: 591
Loc: Nevada
To sew them up you can use fishing line & a regular Needle. Cross stitch along the cut.

Grass can inpact crops. It twist up into little knots & plugs the passage from the crop to the gizzard

#10249 - 05/11/04 07:13 PM Re: Impacted crop
Sandy C. Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 04/01/04
Posts: 278
Loc: Australia
Thank you once again Bill and Nora

Will be turning into Dr. San this afternoon and will keep you posted as to the outcome

Thanks once again


#10250 - 05/12/04 03:52 AM Re: Impacted crop
Bill Ludwig Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 2582
Loc: Ohio
Hope all went well. I gave my gal enough food to put a small bulge in her crop before dark last night and this morning the crop was emty. She is more active this morning and eating with more intrest. Best wishes!


#10251 - 05/12/04 04:29 AM Re: Impacted crop
Jude Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 08/14/02
Posts: 179
Loc: New Zealand
I have to admire your nerve at incising the crop. I know I would have trouble working up the nerve.
The few times I have had a bird with impacted crop I have syringed 5-10mls of cooking oil into the bird (via the beak). Once in the crop I massage the oil into the impaction you may need to do this a couple of times aday for couple of days. Feed only water while you do this, I add vitamins and antibiotics. I haven't had a failure yet but then I haven't had to deal with it more than 4-5 times and I don't think they were as bad as yours sound.

#10252 - 05/17/04 01:49 PM Re: Impacted crop
Bill Ludwig Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 2582
Loc: Ohio
In my case the crop was larger and harder than I have seen any of my flock have. Next it did not go down over a 24 hour period even though I did not allow her any feed. In this case weight loss was related although weight loss could come from most any problem.
To update the recovery. She is doing GREAT!! She has started to gain weight and has lots of energy. I restricted her free range time for a week and only gave her soft foods. Scrambled egg, yogurt, bannana and hamburger as well as her layer crumbles. I also had her on antibiotics during that week.
I would not normaly be quick to cut and would try what jude suggested. In this case though it just seemed passed that piont. Had I caught it sooner I maybe could have avoided opening her up.


#10253 - 05/18/04 08:12 PM Re: Impacted crop
Sandy C. Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 04/01/04
Posts: 278
Loc: Australia
Well the jobs is done and she is fine

I decided to get some suture (disolving) from the vet, cost a bit, but I felt it was worth it, mind you the hens is only worth around 50c, but I love her

The impaction was nearly as large as a tennis ball nothing would have moved it, no amount of water or oil would have got this out

I too have given my girl antibotics to help her through this, I also found some face wipes that doubled as gauze to go over the wound

I had no one here to help me hold her, so I used velcro straps to hold her down, very scarey stuff, but well worth the effort

I would like to thank Bill and Nora very much for their help, support, knowledge and knowhow, would never have even tried without it


Impacted Crop - Surgical Procedure

By Sandra D. Chapple
I would also like to thank Bill Ludwig and Nora from the The Coop Forum for their help and guidance on this procedure http://www.the-coop.or/cgi-bin/UBB/ultimatebb.cgi

Only use surgery if the crop impaction is so bad that the chicken due to the size of the ball impacting the crop could never pass it out through the neck and mouth

Balls of this size are usually because the bird has not shown any signs that she was impacted, and it is only when she starts to lose weight and her crop is bulging that notice is taken, and action can then be taken to correct the problem

Operating is not your first option, donít go into it lightly

Make sure you have everything ready that you might need, donít get half way through and then think, gee I should have put some of this or that, you will have a bird with a hole in its chest that is relying on you to do the right thing and hopefully keep her alive

Making up the Straps for restraints
If your doing this procedure on your own or with someone you need to restrain the bird so it doesnít flap its wings and thrash its legs about.
I made up a two restraints from old toweling, and put Velcro strapping to hold them together while on the bird.
The bird I had to work on was a standard size, you will have to make your larger strap to suit the size of your bird, this is only to give you a guide.
Cut one pieces of soft material 10 cm x 25 cm (4 in x 10 in) hem the sides so it doesnít fray, sew Velcro straps at each corner of the smaller end to join up when looped into a circle, leaving a space between the 10 cm for the legs to fit

For the legs cut a piece of soft material l5 cm x 22 cm (2 in x 8 Ĺ in), hem sides so it doesnít fray, sew a tag of Velcro coming away from the material on one side and the same length onto the fabric the other side, making sure they can be brought together to make a circle to go around the legs of the chicken without the Velcro touching the legs
The Velcro I placed on this was 10 cm long (4 in) this way it can be used for the smaller birds and the larger bird

Sew the Velcro onto the fabric

Lots of gutsÖ.and donít faint at the sight of blood
Cotton balls
Cotton buds
Disinfectant (iodine) (Betadine is iodine)
Disposable gloves if youíre squeamish, the extra grip are best they wonít come off easily and slide around
Disposable plastic bag for crop impacted contents
Gauze or cotton squares used for face wipes
Newspaper to go over the plastic
Paper towel
Plastic for the work surface
Razor blade or scalpel (make sure it is clean and sterile if possible)
Rubbish bin
Soft strap for restraint
Surgical tape or Band aids
Suture material from the vets or use thin fishing line (may not be necessary but best to have it just in case)
Needle for sewing up (sterile)

Prior to starting
Isolate the bird prior to the operation, this way when you pick her up you and her are not racing all over the back yard trying to catch her and blood is racing and heart pumping, she would bleed badly

If you think you will need to restrain her, have a friend to help you and/or make up a couple of soft straps to go around her body and her legs to keep her restrained, you sure wouldnít want her getting up and racing off someplace half way through the operation


Start Collection of requirements
Collect all your requirements prior to getting the bird ready to start
Better to have more than you need rather than need something half way through the operation and canít find it
Clean the area your going to be working on really well with disinfectant (vinegar is a good disinfectant, wipe over all benches)
Clean your hands really well prior to starting, and clean your nails also

Get Bird
Quietly pick the bird up ready to start
Put on your disposable gloves if you are going to be wearing them
Pluck away some of the outer feathers at the spot you are going to be cutting, so you can see what you will be doing
If you wet the feathers around the area with a little water and detergent they will not fly all over the place while your doing this procedure
Disinfect the skin where you are going to be cutting (iodine)
Lay the bird on its side to work on her

The first incision in the skin should be made vertically; the outer skin will probably be quite thin due to the stretching that has taken place, so it should be easy to cut, donít make the cut too big, the smaller the better for healing later on

If you are able to discern the tissue grain go with that.

If possible, rotate the crop so that the second incision can be made as close to the top of the crop as possible. Again not too large, but large enough for you to remove the contents
Again, going with the grain.

Try not to make each cut on top of each other, they may adhere to each other when healing, and you would need to reopen the bird to fix this

The crop may be a bit harder to cut through so make sure you have a something that is very sharp, a razor blade or scalpel would be excellent

These incisions should not need closing with stitching if they are small.

Remove crop contents
You will now have to manually remove the contents of the crop, you may think that it will just ooze out, but it is a hard ball, so no such luck, you will need to try and remove it bit by bit, remember it is a large ball, donít use any sharp instruments to remove it, the handle of a small childís toothbrush would be ok, but be careful you donít do any more damage to the crop or poke it through the crop in your eagerness to remove the impaction

I used my stainless steel tweezers that have a long handle and bent at the top from my over locker, I could sterilize these and they were small enough to remove the bulky contents of the crop (no sharp edges), the rest I removed with my fingers

If you find it impossible to remove the impaction with the small hole your going to have to make it larger, but by doing this your also going to have to sew her up instead of leaving the cut to heal on its own, so if at all possible try to remove the impaction with the smallest hole you can

Sewing up the bird: go to your local vet and ask them for a needle and some thread, tell them what it is for you can get different gauges they will need to know what your going to use it for, or you can use a needle from the sewing kit (sterilized of course) and some thin fishing line, but if you need to sew up the crop it might be best to ask the vet for some thread that dissolves, it takes around 6 to 8 weeks to dissolve, but at least you donít have to remove the stitches

Your bird may bleed for the first few minutes, but after that it usually comes to a near stop, but have some gauze or wipes handy to mop up and something to help stop the bleeding if it gets out of hand, a little bit of pressure helps to stop bleeding, but donít go overboard pressing on an already extended crop in panic

Check the crop
It may be hard to tell when you have actually cleaned out the entire crop due to the small hole your working with, so just get out as much as you can, and work on it until you think you have it all, you can only do the best you can possibly do in this situation

The crop is very elastic, so it should bounce back and nearly close up once you have finishedÖ. hopefully

After completing the operation:
Disinfect the work area again (iodine)
Put some gauze and bandage the area so the bird canít peck at it and no dirt or other material can get into the wound

Put her into an isolation cage, put a towel down and check her droppings for blood, just in case something has gone amiss and she is bleeding internally, you may still have to put her down
Your bird will seem surprisingly alert after what she has just been through

Youíre probably going to need a stiff drink to calm your nerves.
It would be a good idea to put her on a 5-day course of antibiotics just to make sure she has the best possible chance of survival
Also some multivitamins to keep up her stamina, she is more than likely pretty run down due to the impaction

Feeding after the operation
Only feed soft foods for 3 to 5 days - day 1 water and antibiotics and some vitamins - day 2 yogurt, mashed banana, runny scrambled eggs, what ever you decide to feed her make sure it is water soluble so you donít put any stress on the crop while it is healing, it should not extend or the sealing process may break downÖ. Feed often 8 feeds a day, but make them really small

Give antibiotics just to make sure nothing gets a hold or takes off in the germ line
Give water to drink, make sure it is fresh and clean every day
Put her into an area that is really clean, soft bedding, away from drafts, direct sun light and rain, if possible a nice warm place

Check the crop area for adhesion 24 hrs later, if you notice any adhesion, go back cut her open and stitch up the two incisions separately, to find if the two incision have adhered to each other all you have to do is move the skin around a small amount and if they have adhered to each other you wonít be able to move them easily

Well I hope all goes well and you and your bird survive the operation

#10254 - 05/19/04 09:37 AM Re: Impacted crop


Congratulations on saving your hen!


Please give us more information on exactly how you used it.

Perhaps, start a new thread with an appropriate title so it doesn't get burried in here.

#10255 - 05/20/04 01:13 PM Re: Impacted crop
Robert Stewart Offline

Registered: 03/12/04
Posts: 57
Loc: California
"the hen's only worth 50 cents but I love her"
I understand that emotion San. These little ones sure can grab a hold of you. I don't know if I'm ready tobe a surgen yet. We have seven hens just over one year and haven't had any problems at all except it takes a lot out of the day just to watch them. haha

#10256 - 05/20/04 08:27 PM Re: Impacted crop

Hi all, I'm a newbie to the forum and chickens and have a question about how much Terramycin(oxytetracycline HCI) to give my hen with a moderatly impacted crop, the bag says 400-800 mg/gal of water but I don't have a metric scale. Anyone know what that might be in teaspoons? I'm doing the vegatable oil, massage, no food and isolating her except for nighttime as she became very agitated when I put her in the tempory isolation. Also what kind of vitamins and how much? Thanks for any advice!
Bunny laugh

Page 2 of 3 < 1 2 3 >

Moderator:  Admin @ The Coop, Moderator2 
Who's Online
0 registered (), 64 Guests and 2 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Shout Box