Hi everyone. I'm new to the discussion board, but I wanted to warn everyone who doesn't already know that they shouldn't give long strands of cut grass to their birds - it can be an impacted crop hazard. Please keep this in mind as spring rolls in and all that new grass is growing.

Below please find the letter I just had to write to the nice lady at www.mypetchicken.com, from whom I purchased my wonderful Buff Orpington, Big Yellow, who sadly passed away today.

"Hi Lissa,

I'm sorry to say that my beautiful girl passed away today. I took her to the vet who found that she had an impacted crop. Hence the odd neck stretching/rolling motions. She made it through the surgery ok, but had a cardiac arrest as she was coming off the anesthesia.

Please, please, in your excellent chicken care/health pages (which I highly commend you for), please make a note somewhere that chickens should never be given long strands of cut grass to eat. Because of all the new fresh spring grass growing in our area, I had been cutting handfulls and giving it to my girls as greens.

When they ingest long strands they can get tangled up in a big wad in their crop and cause a blockage, which is what happened to the sweetest gal in my flock.

Apparently, when chickens "pick" the grass themselves while it's still growing (that is, not when its already been cut), they tear off shorter more manageable pieces, so there is less risk.

So if you post this and it prevents just one owner from making the same mistake I did, they Big Yellow will not have passed away in vain. I direct you to the following website for a similar account, which happily turned out better for that hen:

How the crop got impacted because of long cut grass (and the DIY procedure that the author used to do, but no longer attempts): http://www.browneggblueegg.com/Article/ImpactedCrop_OldWay.html

How the vet emptied the crop (and the dangers of trying to do this procedure yourself): http://www.browneggblueegg.com/Article/ImpactedCrop_Perles.html#Footnote1

Please post this soon to your pages, as I imagine with spring arriving, perhaps others will unknowingly do the same.

Thanks so much for all your help. And thankfully my other three gals are doing fine.

All best,

Francoise

San Francisco, CA"