Impacted Crop

An Impacted crop is caused by a blockage in the crop. This can be caused by tough stems of woody grass that cannot pass from the crop down into the proventriculus. The crop feels full and feels like dough. Check first thing in the morning before the bird has had a chance to eat to see if the crop has emptied overnight.


Species Affected: Mainly Chickens

Other Names: Blocked crop, pendulous crop (when the size causes the crop to hang / swing).

Symptoms: Crop does not empty (it should empty overnight), feels like dough.

Area affected: Crop

Causes: Usually tough strands of long grass but can be anything that's blocking the crop.

Transmission: Not passed from bird to bird but is related to the environment in which the bird is kept.

Diagnosis: Symptoms above.

Prevention: Keep grass in grazing areas cut short.

Treatment: If caught early, the contents of the crop need to be softened with liquid Paraffin, warm water or a couple of teaspoons of Olive Oil. Massage gently for a few minutes, then, turn the bird upside down to empty the crop out through the beak. Turn the bird the right way up to allow it to breathe every 8 to 10 seconds. This is a two person job. In more serious cases, veterinary intervention is required. A vet will usually cut the crop open, empty the contents and stitch the bird back up afterwards.

Risk to Human Health: None.

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