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#10237 - 05/10/04 06:54 PM Impacted crop
Bill Ludwig Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 2582
Loc: Ohio
Well I just cleaned out my first (hopefully my last) impacted crop. It is alot different cutting on an animal you want to keep alive rather than one you intend to eat. She had lost ALOT of weight but hadn't shown any syptoms of distress so it went unnoticed.
Her crop was bulging and I remove half a sandwich bag of stuff eek . I didn't find any single thing that looked like the cause. There was a good deal of grass but nothing that they all dont eat every day. There was orange in there from over 24 hours before some grain and muck. Nasty smell! She was ill (cause unnone) several weeks earlier. I wounder if it may be conected.
I cut as small an opening as I could to work through and hope I removed everything. I intend to give only water with antibiotics and some vitimins for now. Tomorrow I thought I would feed her some yogurt or other food that is completly water soluble so as not to put any stress on the crop.
Has anyone done this??? If so, does this sound like your experience? Any tips for recovery and what to expect? Anything I should have done or not have done?
She has never been a healthy bird but she has survived without any help for 3 years. Her vision is poor and she doesn't lay. Maybe I should have culled her? She seems surprisingly alert for what she has just been through though.
Well I guess I just needed the therapy of writting this all down. Thanks for listening (reading).

Bill

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#10238 - 05/10/04 07:22 PM Re: Impacted crop
Anonymous
Unregistered


Bill,

Well done. I admire your nerve. I hope that if and when this needs to be done to one of my birds I have the same confidence.

A question about the incisions. After cutting through the skin, did you move the crop slightly so that the incisions were not parallel?

Many years ago, I did this on a budgerigar. I was unable to move the crop because it was so engorged so the incisions were parallel. Was this your experience as well?

Here's hoping for a speedy recovery!

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#10239 - 05/10/04 07:40 PM Re: Impacted crop
Bill Ludwig Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 2582
Loc: Ohio
The incisions are inline with each other. I never thought about it and went straight in. Had I thought too much it may not have got done. The crop wouldn't have moved it was so tight but the skin would have pulled over some.
Thats a tip for the future.

Bill

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#10240 - 05/10/04 09:54 PM Re: Impacted crop
Sandy C. Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 04/01/04
Posts: 278
Loc: Australia
Bill I am very interested in this, I have a bird with the same problem but been too scared to try and open her up like you did

How did you close the opening when finished, and do you think that it will stay together when she starts to eat and drink normally again and not pull open

Also where did you make the cut please, I was going to cull this girl last night but couldn't bring myself to do it, glad I waited and read your post

Any information would be very much appreciated

Sandy
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#10241 - 05/11/04 03:34 AM Re: Impacted crop
Bill Ludwig Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 2582
Loc: Ohio
Hi Sandy

Be sure you have everything ready and room to work. Alcahol for cleaning everything, towels, gaze, gloves, razor blade or scalple etc. I laid her on her side and plucked a patch of feathers just off center of the crop. The crop was about 3/4 the size of a baseball and very firm.. Cleaned with alcahol and cut. The skin is very thin. The crop is much thicker. Once open I hope the stuff would sort of squeeze out but it didn't. A larger hole would have helped but I didn't have any way to stich it up. I use the handle end of a childs size toothbrush and basicly dug all the stuff out a hole about 3/8 long. Bleeding wasn't too bad after the first couple minutes. Its hard to tell when your done. I kept finding stuff after The crop felt empty. I am not saying this is the correct or best way to go about this. I was in the same situation though, Do someting or cull her. I didn't want to let her starve to death.
She is standing this morning looking well and she was on a towel all night and there wasn't any blood there this morning. Best of luck to you!

Bill

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#10242 - 05/11/04 05:20 AM Re: Impacted crop
Sandy C. Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 04/01/04
Posts: 278
Loc: Australia
Thank you for all that Bill

Another question

How did you sew her up or didn't you, what did you do, this causing me a bit of grief thinking that if I go to this trouble and put her through all of this and then the crop wont hold any food and keep on opening up at the cut site

Much appreciate your help and time on this

Sandy
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#10243 - 05/11/04 08:35 AM Re: Impacted crop
Anonymous
Unregistered


Sandy,

If I may stand in for Bill for a moment.

The first incision in the skin should be made vertically. 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 as possible. Again, going with the grain.

These incisions should not need closing. The reason for not making them parallel is to avoid adhesions. You don't want the wall of the crop healing to the skin.

Bill, the only advise I can give you is if you notice any adhesion, go back in and stitch up the two incisions separately.

Again, my experience is with budgies. Their crops are basically a bulge in the esophagus. Of course, a chickens is much more developed.

Hopefully, someone with more experience can tell us about the ramifications of crop adhesions in chickens.

Good luck to all four of you and keep us posted

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#10244 - 05/11/04 11:40 AM Re: Impacted crop
Bill Ludwig Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 2582
Loc: Ohio
I did not sew her closed. The crop is very elastic. It stretched while I was working and closed itself.
I just now cleaned and bandaged the incision. Amazing how well it is sealing itself. I moved the skin around and it didn't feel as though it was stuck to the crop wall.
As I said before, my goal is to feed her small amounts at a time of soft food. She ate yogurt this morning. Smashed banana at noon and she just had some scrambled eggs with milk added to make them a little runny.
I just tossed the rooster out and put her in the run for awhile. I hope to keep her in there enough to avoid peck order problems in the fututre.
So far she is looking good.

Bill

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#10245 - 05/11/04 04:58 PM Re: Impacted crop
Sandy C. Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 04/01/04
Posts: 278
Loc: Australia
Thank you so much for your time and information
I will go out and isolate her ready for the operation later on today

I have often thought of doing this, but never had the guts to give it a try, always worried about the crop healing, but with your words of encouragement I will give it a go

Thank you once again Bill, very much appreciated

Sandy
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#10246 - 05/11/04 05:02 PM Re: Impacted crop
Sandy C. Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 04/01/04
Posts: 278
Loc: Australia
Hi Nora

Thank you also for your help and advice

When you say sew up, what would you use to do this, I know what to do, but not what with

I have noted the way to cut, thats pretty important too, so will make sure I follow your advice on that one, would hate to go through all this to find I'd botched it up in the end

I am learning so much from all of you its great, thank you for careing enought to take the time to reply to my posts

Sandy
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Sandy
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#10247 - 05/11/04 06:03 PM Re: Impacted crop
Anonymous
Unregistered


Sandy,

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 www.kvvet.com 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.

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#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
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Bill
http://www.geocities.com/wcmcgee@prodigy.net/photopagetan.html

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#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

Sandy
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Sandy
http://happyhenhouse.proboards43.com

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

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 2582
Loc: Ohio
Sandy
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!

Bill

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

Registered: 08/14/02
Posts: 179
Loc: New Zealand
Hi
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.
jude

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#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.

Bill

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#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

Sandy
-------------------------------------------------

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

Requirements
Lots of gutsÖ.and donít faint at the sight of blood
Bandage
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
Scissors
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

Cutting
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

Bleeding
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

Summary
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
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Sandy
http://happyhenhouse.proboards43.com

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


Sandy,

Congratulations on saving your hen!

Velcro=Genius

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.

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

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
bob

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


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

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#10257 - 05/20/04 08:57 PM Re: Impacted crop
Sandy C. Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 04/01/04
Posts: 278
Loc: Australia
Hi Robert

All my hens are only worth 50 cents, but they are precious to me

Well apart from my Speckled Sussex, she is worth $25, and she is just lovely, huge bird.
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Sandy
http://happyhenhouse.proboards43.com

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#10258 - 05/20/04 09:02 PM Re: Impacted crop
Sandy C. Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 04/01/04
Posts: 278
Loc: Australia
Hi Bunny

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.

I would suggest you buy a small syringe from the chemist for diabetic, it hold 1 ml and has gradient markings that will give you your 400 and 800 respectively

Also what kind of vitamins and how much? Thanks for any advice!

You can get multivitamins that go into water, and the directions are on the packet, only give for one day, then let her rest for 2 days

When she is better, give her a dose of electrolytes in her drinking water for 2 days, then fresh water at least for 2 to 3 days before you do anything else

Actually the multivitamins and electrolytes will do all your hens good
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Sandy
http://happyhenhouse.proboards43.com

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#10259 - 05/21/04 04:41 PM Re: Impacted crop
Bill Ludwig Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 2582
Loc: Ohio
Hi Bunny

Your terramycin mix is about 3/4 tablespoon to a gallon. You vitimin mix will be 1/4 teaspoon to a gallon.
The terramycin wont help the crop impaction though. I only used antibiotics because I opened my hen up and was concerned about infection from that. Good luck.

Bill

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#10260 - 05/21/04 07:52 PM Re: Impacted crop
Anonymous
Unregistered


Bill... are those standard doses? i've not had to use antibiotics as of yet and was wondering if i should jot that down

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#10261 - 05/22/04 04:11 AM Re: Impacted crop
Bill Ludwig Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 2582
Loc: Ohio
Wander
3/4 tablespoon of terramycin = the 600 mg dosage. Half way between the 400 to 800 mg suggested on package. If you have a small postal scale the amount would be .375 ounces. Its the amount I use when using terramycin. What I buy is from Pfizer and comes in a 6.4 ounce pack. If your package is different this may not be correct.
Vitimins are Durvet and come 8 ounces to a pack. The mix should be .0727 ounces per gal. About 1/4 teaspoon.

Bill

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#10262 - 05/22/04 09:55 AM Re: Impacted crop
Anonymous
Unregistered


thanks Bill. i appreciate the info wink

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#10263 - 05/23/04 08:28 PM Re: Impacted crop
Anonymous
Unregistered


San and Bill
Thanks for the information! smile
Nettie seems to be doing better. Getting the crop to empty is a slow process though. She's getting so used to me working with her that she'll sit still on the perch and let me massage her without me having to hold her under my arm.
Bill, her crop felt hot to the touch and skin looked kind of red , no outside cuts or abrasions(possible internal infection) so I thought antibiotics would help. Or am I jumping the gun?
Bunny

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#10264 - 05/24/04 03:36 AM Re: Impacted crop
Bill Ludwig Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 2582
Loc: Ohio
Bunny
It is possible for an impacted crop to become infected. If you belive this is the case then your doing right. I just wasn't sure why you were using antibiotics and thought I should explane why I did.

Bill

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#10265 - 03/08/05 02:36 PM Re: Impacted crop
Marchick Offline
Bantam

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 55
Loc: California
I have a hen with an impacted crop. She has been fluffed up for a couple of days and I am pretty sure long grass is the culprit.

This morning she still had a hard lump about the size of a large egg in her crop.

Should I try the oil/massage treatment first? How do I know what to do first?

Does the oil treatment usually work?

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