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#12917 - 03/03/06 04:55 PM Impacted crop

Thought I would share my impacted crop story in case it's useful for anyone else. My 11-month old Auracana had a very full crop and was making a movement with her head & neck like she was trying to swallow. We checked the crop in the morning when she hadn't had any food all night, and it was pretty hard and a little smaller than a golf ball. During the day, of course, it would be much bigger. Food was moving through and she was laying eggs, but clearly something was wrong.

After a couple of weeks, we decided to take her to the vet. It might just go away on its own, but if she went downhill in a hurry, we'd probably regret not having it checked out. Besides, we thought it would be helpful to get to know a chicken vet.

The news looked grim at first--the vet thought that the lump in her crop felt very hard and fixed, like a tumor, and her droppings looked tumor-like, meaning that they were dark green, almost black, which could mean blood in the stool. So they ran a few tests on the droppings and gave her an x-ray. (I know what you're thinking--none of this was cheap--but we've spent more on our cats and they've never so much as laid an egg for us!)

The x-ray showed that the mass was probably just food that wasn't moving through her system, so she prescribed a drug called Metoclopramide which is supposed to get the crop moving and push things along. They also found very high levels of coccidia in her droppings--this is a very common protozoa that chickens are mostly immune to once they get older. There are many different species of coccidia with many different symptoms. For that she prescribed an antiobiotic, and recommended that we put all the birds on medicated feed to make sure everybody stays healthy. (Baby chicks are always on medicated feed because they are less resistant to the coccidia, which flourish in droppings.)

So, that's where we are. 5-10 days of meds, medicated feed for everyone, and hopefully the crop will go down.

Now I just have to figure out how to hide her prescriptions in tasty food so I don't have to shove a dropper down her beak!

#12918 - 03/05/06 07:02 PM Re: Impacted crop
Mumbles Offline

Registered: 08/28/04
Posts: 96
Loc: Michigan
We had the same thing last year with one of our wheaton hens. Emergency vet visit on Sunday $190.00 and then my regular Avain vet a week later when crop still wasn't going down all the way $210.00. Both prescribed nystatin but Avain vet doubled dose for 2 weeks where as Emergency vet was small dosage over month. BIG improvement after doubling dose with in 3 days. We used yogurt, apple sause, cottage cheese, bread, rice,and noodles with med in/on it and worked great. So now about a year later our $400.00 Bantam is doing great and still laying regularly. Would I spend that much again, you bet. Just spent $177.00 9 days ago getting x-rays of another one's wing to see if it was broken or not. It was and is now in a figure eight bandage, she is the queen of the living room right now. Her bandage can come off tomorrow. Shelly is going to get one happy bantam when she get the banadge off. Right now she loves sitting in front of the furance vent when the heat comes on, makes her nice and toasty. We may end up with a permanent house chicken, lol.


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